Massachusetts law about recreational hunting and fishing

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on recreational hunting and fishing law.

Table of Contents

Best bets

Mass. Div. of Fish and Wildlife (MassWildlife)
Primary resource for official information about freshwater fishing and hunting.

Mass. Div. of Marine Fisheries (DMF)
Primary resource for official information about saltwater fishing, lobstering, and crabbing.

Massachusetts Hunting and Fishing Regulations
Comprehensive guide to licenses, permits and fees, species regulations, prohibitions, and more, updated annually.

Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide
Comprehensive guide to regulations, species, access sites, bait and tackle shops, and more, updated annually.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 130 Marine Fish and Fisheries

MGL c. 131 Inland Fisheries and Game

Massachusetts regulations

321 CMR 2 Miscellaneous regulations relating to fisheries and wildlife 

321 CMR 3 Hunting 

321 CMR 4 Fishing 

322 CMR Division of Marine Fisheries

Federal regulations

50 CFR 32 Hunting and Fishing

Selected case law

Dapson v Daly 257 Mass. 195 (1926)
"…the title to wild animals and game is in the Commonwealth in trust for the public, to be devoted to the common welfare…"

Web sources

MassFishHunt Licensing and Harvest Reporting 
Contains information on freshwater fishing and hunting license types and fees, how to obtain licenses and permits, and walk-in locations to obtain licenses. 

About the Hunter Education courses
Basic required course as well as advanced classes

Apply for a crossbow permit
If you have a permanent disability and want to hunt with a crossbow, you can apply for a permit.

Take Me Fishing
Resource by state to all things fishing-related, including regulations, licenses, places to fish, fishing reports, educational programs and events, species of fish, and fishing techniques

Print sources


Last updated: January 29, 2019