Recreational Cod and Haddock Seasons Extended In Gulf of Maine

NOAA Fisheries Enacts Final Interim Rule Extending Recreational Gulf of Maine Cod and Haddock Seasons

On August 13, 2020, NOAA Fisheries extended the recreational Gulf of Maine cod and haddock seasons for the 2020 season. The final interim rule extends the fall for-hire fishing season for cod, adds a spring cod fishing season and extends the spring haddock season for all recreational anglers.

In response to this action, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is proceeding to implement complementary measures for state-waters. Given the late timing, the extended fall for-hire recreational fishing season for GOM cod will be implemented by conditioning all 2020 For-Hire Permits (see Statement of Permit Conditions). DMF then expects to implement the springtime adjustments to the recreational GOM cod and haddock seasons by regulation over this coming winter.
 

Gulf of Maine Cod

Prior to this federal rule change, the recreational GOM cod season was scheduled to occur from September 15 – September 30 with a one-fish per angler bag limit and 21” minimum size for all recreational anglers. With this rule change, the for-hire fishery has been extended an additional 14 days to September 8 – October 7; private recreational anglers will still be subject to a September 15 – September 30 season. Additionally, an April 1 – April 14 season has been added for both for-hire and private recreational anglers. During these open seasons, the one-fish per angler bag limit and 21” minimum size shall remain in effect.

The extended fall for-hire season is intended to allow the for-hire fleet to use the fall season to make up for the loss of access to the fishery in the spring. Travel and other COVID-related restrictions imposed by states in March and April effectively closed the for-hire fishery. While state restrictions of for-hire fishing have been lifted or modified, limits on the number of people who may gather remain in place and constrain the number of passengers for-hire vessels may accommodate.

FY2020 GOM Cod Recreational Fishing Limits

Angler Mode

Open Season

Bag Limit

Minimum Size

Private Angler

September 15 – September 30

April 1 – April 14

1 fish

1 fish

21”

21”

For-Hire Angler

September 8 – October 7

April 1 – April 14

1 fish

1 fish

21”

21”

Gulf of Maine Haddock

Prior to this federal rule change, the recreational GOM haddock season was scheduled to occur from April 15 – February 28 with a 15-fish per angler bag limit and 17” minimum size for all recreational anglers. With this rule change, the fishery will be extended to include the entirety of April with the closed season only occurring from March 1 – March 31. No changes to the bag limit or size limit were made.

FY2020 GOM Haddock Recreational Fishing Limits

Angler Mode

Open Season

Bag Limit

Minimum Size

Private Angler

April 1 – February 28

15-fish

17”

For-Hire Angler

April 1 – February 28

15-fish

17”

3 on “Recreational Cod and Haddock Seasons Extended In Gulf of Maine

  1. Neil McMillan

    The limits on COD are PHONEY!! Commercials are killing the bounty and they are encouraged to. Between bycatch and regular limits we ( rec fishers) are being held to task that are unrealistic. I wont go back on a charter until the rules change.

  2. Bryan Marshall

    While it may fall under the “something is better than nothing” category. It does nothing for those who actually privately own a boat and want to keep a random Cod should you hook one. I am as eager as any hardcore recreational fisherman/boat owner, but getting the boat out of winter storage and up and running for April 1-15open season would be challenging at best with New England Spring weather. Not to mention it’s not like the Cod are a mile off shore. The spring winds etc. make it difficult as it is to get out at times. Good for the Charter guys and those without a boat, but would it kill them to let personal boat owners have a few extra realistic weeks to grab a few Cod? I guess the answer is yes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *