This page includes information on hunting seasons, hunter education, and licenses, stocking schedules, pond maps, boat registration, boater safety, employment opportunities and more.
Are you looking for a place to drop your line, set your tip-up, or cast a fly in freshwater? Do you need information about freshwater fishing licenses, regulations, or publications?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Fishing in Massachusetts
- Seasons Summary 2016 - A convenient summary of the hunting, fishing and trapping season dates for the year.
- Freshwater Fishing and Hunting License Information – Find out who needs a license to hunt and fish in Massachusetts, and learn about license types and fees.
- MassFishHunt Licensing Information – Learn more about the online licensing system.
- Hunting and Freshwater Fishing Laws – Specific information on hunting, freshwater fishing and trapping season dates, laws and other related information.
- Pond Maps – Find maps of ponds and lakes that provide angler access.
- Trout Stocking Information – A listing of trout stocked waters for the spring and fall.
- Fishing Opportunities – Find information about catch and release areas, barrier free fishing, boat ramp access, Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoir access, and more.
- Best Bets For Fishing – See lists of waterbodies where trophy-sized fish have been caught throughout the state.
- Angler Education Program – New to fishing? Take part in family fishing festivals or fishing clinics! Groups can borrow fishing gear through a loaner program to help people of all ages learn to fish or to improve their skills.
- Fishing and Boating Access Sites – Links to boat launch areas, boat ramps, designated fishing areas, and piers through the Office of Fishing & Boating Access.
- Catch and Release Fishing Areas – Find the catch and release areas in your district or across the state.
- Freshwater Sport Fishing Awards Program – This program recognizes the adult and youth anglers who catch fish of a minimum size in 22 species categories. Learn about past winners and how to participate in the competition!
- Saltwater Fishing Derby – The saltwater fishing competition conducted by the Division of Marine Fisheries.
- Barrier Free Fishing – A listing of state-wide facilities that provide accessible fishing opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Loons, Lead Sinkers and Jigs – To protect loons, be aware that the use of certain lead sinkers and jigs is illegal; find more information including companies and shops that sell lead-free equipment.
Bass Tournament Directors; Biologists Need Your Tournament Info!
Help MassWildlife collect information on trophy bass by submitting a bass creel survey form . The information generated from bass tournaments helps add to biologists understanding of bass populations in waters across the Commonwealth. Data such as how long it takes to catch a bass, average weight, and the number of trophy bass landed allows MassWildlife fisheries biologists to track trends in individual waters across the state. A copy of the data you submit will be sent to your e-mail address as your confirmation.
If you prefer to report your Creel Survey in paper format, please download the bass creel survey and mail or fax it to the DFW Field Headquarters address on the bottom of the form.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
An external link to the Dept. of Public Health. Advisories are posted on consumption of specific types of fish from specific water bodies for certain groups of people.
- Seasons Summary 2016 : A convenient summary of the hunting, fishing and trapping season dates for the year.
- Hunting Permits for Antlerless Deer, Black Bear, and Wild Turkey.
- Hunting Stamps:These electronic “stamps” are required for hunting waterfowl and migratory game birds as well as for hunters participating in archery and black powder deer hunting seasons.
- Hunter Education: Offerings included Basic Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education as well as other hunting related courses.
- HIP (Harvest Information Program): All migratory game bird hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program each calendar year.
- Hunting Harvests: Access an archive of Deer, Bear, and Turkey harvest totals.
- Ask MassWildlife: Common hunting questions answered file size 1MB
Checking or Reporting Your Game
Online Game Check -- Beginning in 2013, hunters may report “or check” their deer, bear, turkey and most furbearers online. Bobcat and otter must be checked at a traditional furbearer check station. NOTE: You must complete this process BEFORE processing your game for the table, freezer or taxidermist.
To start the online checking process log in to: MassFishHunt
Detailed Online Game Check
Remember, You must login to MassFishHunt with your Customer ID in order to check your game online.
Detailed information and steps to take when checking different game online:
- Guide to Furbearer Hunting/Salvage Check file size 1MB - Use this guide to help check coyote and fox taken/salvaged under your hunting license
- Guide to Furbearer Trapping/Salvage Check file size 1MB - Use this guide to help check beaver, coyote, fisher, fox, and mink taken/salvaged under your trapping license
Game Check Stations
- Map and lists of deer, bear, turkey, and coyote check stations -- Updated annually prior to the seasons.