As required by the Massachusetts Public Records Law at M.G.L. c. 66 § 6A (b)(iii), the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has developed these guidelines is to enable a person seeking access to public records in the custody of DFG to make informed requests regarding the availability of such public records electronically or otherwise. DFG is comprised of the Office of the Commissioner, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), the Office of Fishing and Boating Access (OFBA). More specifically, the authority and responsibilities of the above DFG Offices and Divisions are as follows:
Office of the Commissioner
DFG, through its Office of Commissioner and Divisions and Offices, works to preserve the state's natural resources and people's right to conservation of those resources, as protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. The Office of the Commissioner oversees and coordinates the activities of DFG’s Divisions and other Offices and programs and also provides agency-wide functions that include legal and fiscal services and the land acquisition program.
Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) has authority and responsibility under M.G.L. c. 131 for the protection, conservation, management and restoration of the Commonwealth’s inland fish and wildlife resources, including state-listed species protected under the MA Endangered Species Act, M.G.L. c. 131A (MESA).
Division of Marine Fisheries
The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has authority and responsibility under M.G.L. c. 130 to manage the Commonwealth’s living marine resources in balance with the environment resulting in sustainable fisheries and contributions to our economy, stable availability of diverse, healthy seafood and enriched opportunities that support our coastal culture.
Division of Ecological Restoration
The Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) works with community-based partners to restore aquatic ecosystems. DER’s ecological restoration work brings clean water, recreation opportunities, healthy commercial fisheries, and other ecosystem services to the citizens of Massachusetts.
Office of Fishing and Boating Access
The Office of Fishing and Boating Access (OFBA) is charged with providing access to these many waterways. Presently, the agency oversees boat and canoe launch sites at over 275 coastal and inland locations in 1 Massachusetts, giving residents and visitors extensive opportunities to enjoy fishing, canoeing, sailing, water skiing, and recreational boating statewide.
Set forth below in these guidelines are (1) the names and contact information for DFG’s Records Access Officer and the Records Access Coordinators for each of the DFG Divisions and Offices; (2) instructions for making a public records request; and (3) identification of categories of public records maintained by DFG, which includes information on whether such records are available online at DFG’s website or at another state agency website.
Instructions on Making a Public Records Request
A request for public records that may be maintained by DFG and/or by a DFG Division or Office should be made directly to the applicable DFG Records Access Coordinator. If a person does not know or is uncertain about whether the records being requested are maintained by a particular Division or Office of DFG, the request should be made to DFG’s agency-wide Records Access Officer. All requests for public records should be made 2 in writing by email or regular mail. Any person making an initial oral public records request to DFG will be asked to memorialize their request in writing and send it to the DFG Records Access Officer or Records Access Coordinator, as applicable.
For a complete list of categories of records maintained by DFG and its Office and Divisions, please see the following resource: Guidelines for Making Public Records Requests