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Coastal Anglers: New N.H. Marine Rule Changes in Effect for 2012

DURHAM, N.H. - Coastal anglers should be aware of several  new rule changes for 2012 that are now in effect regarding the taking of  different species in some New Hampshire coastal rivers and other  coastal/estuarine waters.  These changes,  recently implemented by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, include the  following:

  • Recent declines in the spawning runs of river herring in the Oyster River have prompted Fish and Game to close this river to the  taking of river herring by any method from the head-of-tide dam at Mill Pond in  Durham to the mouth of the river at Wagon hill Farm and Durham Point.  A map that corresponds to the extent of this  closed area can be found on page 24 of the 2012 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest in  the shellfish section.  The coordinates  for the Oyster River shellfish closure and the river herring closure are  identical and are identified in red.
  • The Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection Area is  located south of the Isle of Shoals and was implemented in 2011 to protect  large aggregations of spawning cod during the spring.  The area is closed to the use of recreational  and commercial gear capable of catching cod between April 1 and June 30. A map  of the Cod Spawning Protection Area can be found on page 9 of the 2012 NH  Saltwater Fishing Digest put out by Fish and Game and on the web at New rules allow fishing  within the state waters portion of the Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection  Area with hook and line and an artificial weight or single lure weighing one  ounce or less.  The rule provides anglers  with the opportunity to fish for pelagic species such as mackerel while still  prohibiting the use of gear that could catch spawning cod.  Any vessels transiting through this area must  have all hooks and bait removed from fishing rods, commercial vessels must have  all gear stowed, and any groundfish on board the vessel that were caught  outside this area must be gutted.
  • The taking of sea-run salmon is now prohibited in  coastal/estuarine waters.  Any salmon  caught must be released immediately.
  • The area 50 feet above and 200 feet below the fish  ladder at the Wiswall Dam on the Lamprey River in Durham, N.H., is closed to all fishing between  April 1 and July 31.  The lower closure  equates to roughly the end of the granite wall on river left, and a USGS pin on  river right.  Signs will be posted.

Please note that because these rules went into effect  after the 2012 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest went to print, they are not included  in the publication. The Digest is a good  resource for information on other marine fishing rules.  Download it at  or pick up a copy at any  Fish and Game Department office or licensing agent.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the  guardian of the state's marine, fish and wildlife resources and their  habitats.  The Department's Marine Fisheries Division is located in  Durham, N.H.  Visit

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