Proposed 2016 Cod and Haddock Regulations


2016 Proposed Cod and Haddock Regulations:

Cod: 1 per day, minimum size 24 inches, August 1- September 30

Haddock: 15 per day, minimum size 17 inches, May 1- December 31

NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a proposed rule to modify recreational fishery management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock, including daily bag limits, size limits, and seasonal possession restrictions. This action would increase recreational fishing opportunities for cod and haddock, enabling the fishery to achieve, but not exceed, anticipated catch limits.

Submit comments by March 18 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by sending mail to:

John K. Bullard
Regional Administrator
NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Please mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on groundfish recreational fishing management measures.”

Questions about this proposed rule? Contact William Whitmore, 978-281-9182;

39 on “Proposed 2016 Cod and Haddock Regulations

  1. SIB

    A step in the right direction, it will take years of conservation measures to bring our favorite ocean table fair back to stable populations.
    I feel for the party boats though, they all may be filing Chapter 11…..

    1. fishing for a living

      I think you people don’t no what your talking about. there is more fish in the ocean now then in 1970. If there is no cod how come every one is catching them .Put the limit on size not on how many you catch. that’s fair.

      1. Thomas culkin

        We the fisherman know politics are the ones that have there nose in it they should worry about of the worst things going on in our country you pay A fishing boat 70$ to 100$ to fish and come home with 1 cod 1 Fluke or 1 striped bass it’s not taking your kids out have a good time because some politician has their hand in your pocket as usual

      2. Sarah McGraw

        It is very sad that a way of life that created a entire city, is almost extinct. This impacts the entire City. I was born and raised in Gloucester Mass, I can remember fondly the smell of the city, it was very distinctive, when you started to smell it, you new you were home. Just Sad.

  2. Cody gillis

    15 haddock is way too many. Next year we’ll be back to 2 at 37″ . Cod bag and seson sounds ok.

    1. Dennis Villiard

      You seem to forget that previous to new regs there was no bag limit on haddock. So putting limit now is a good measure. And whats with the 2 at 37″? Haddock have never been 37″.

  3. Ralph Scopa

    I read the proposal I think it’s a great start been fishing out there for almost 50 years they haddock population seems to be outstanding in my book—One cod per person per boat I think is substantial beginning —recreational fishing in my opinion does not even make a dent in the cod population—I am definitely for the new proposal

  4. sal poli

    The August is the worse month for cod all your going to catch is dog fish. You might get lucky towards the end of September.

  5. Paul Morris

    If it’s going to be 1 Cod per person, make the season the same as Haddock. Again, recreational fishing (at that quota), should not pressure the ground fish stocks. It would be nice to keep a large Cod while you’re Haddock fishing.

    1. Tom

      Any real dent in the Cod population is not coming from a fathers and sons going out on a party boat like Helen H, Yankee Fleet, Capt, John, etc.. Blame the fleets of factory ships from the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Spain, and Japan!

      With the 100’s of dollars it costs to go on these trips with a cod limit of 1 each, its not worth it. Cheaper to go to the supermarket.
      Regarding the $10 salt water fishing license requirement in MA. You can shove it. Its not the cost, its the thought of it. Can’t take your sons fishing on a boat or from land without yet further fees and licensing requirements. You can’t move today without paying someone something. Fed up!

  6. quan beatty

    The law makers that sit in a back room are killong the fishing. They are killing the little guys. ” recreational fishers ” but they keep letting the dredgers and netters catch millions of pounds per year. I fished massachusetts last year for haddock and could not catch 10 in a day because of all the cod i pulled up and had to release. PLEASE STOP HURTING OUR FISHERY .

  7. Glenn Egan

    I wold like to see the haddock at 19″. At least you get a nicer filet. I can honestly say the cod regs are good but cut down on the mid water herring trawls. Best forage fish for the cod.

  8. dennis jordan

    hadd0ck could even stand to lower no down to 10 or 12 a day cod should lower size to many die releasing

  9. John dionbe

    Just shut it diwn for 5 yrs PERIOD!
    No commercial. No recreational.
    No trawlers. No netting. No dredging. No herring netters.

    Done deal.
    You guys really make me wanna puke!

    1. P Gurney

      Sorry you want to puke the comments are posted by recreational fisherman. I’m not a scientist and the knowledge I have is only through my own personal experience. I don’t think a guy with rod and reel on a small boat is the problem. I do know if you stop all fishing billions of people would die of starvation.

    2. BOB

      if its 5 yrs I might as well sell my cod stuff, cause at my age I can’t wait 5 yrs.

    3. Bill

      Sadly, that doesn’t really work very well. Maybe things would be different if there were fewer/no netting/dredging. More bait is always better, I suppose. However, fish stocks for the bigger fish that we’re talking about take 2-3 decades of little to no pressure before they really rebound. Meanwhile, the appetite for fish keeps on growing. Something has to give, but I don’t think a 5 year moratorium will do anything but shift the pressure to other fish/fisheries for 5 years. Oh, it will also run the small, local fishermen out of business and the only ones left at the end of 5 years will be the big, multi-national boats capable of stripping the ocean bare in a matter of weeks.

  10. Ryan

    Cod has worms anyways. I stopped eating it several years ago when could no longer shake the image of the worms embedded in fillets. And I highly doubt McDonald’s or Gortons makes sure that each worm is removed from all those fillets before turning them into sandwiches or fish sticks. I would bet that 90% of the people in this country that consume cod know nothing about them having worms. If you want to stop overfishing by the trawlers put out some news stories or Cod worm propaganda. Problem Solved !! The demand would disappear overnight.

    1. Larry

      McDonald’s sell pollock in their fish burgers. All fish have worms. We caught bigger and more cod last summer than we have in 5 yrs. all were burped and put back, sadly about 40% died. Put a 5 fish limit for cod. The trawlers are what really hurts the fisheries

  11. richard whitlock

    once again it seems you missed the boat in the act of catching haddock you might dead release five cod or leave them floating for the gulls lets make a little sense of whats going on rec.anglers are not the problem. I think we would all be happy with a limit that makes sense say three cod over 24″ and five haddock over 19″ everybody goes home happy the numbers would replenish ground stocks if thats what your trying to do??

    1. Andy White

      Unfortunately the new regulations are beating the recreational fisherman and small businesses (guides,baitshops,ect) off the water and even out of business. Typical scenario of beating up on the little guy! Big business(dredgers,trawlers,ect.)Don’t want to hear anything about limitations ect..they just take take take. Say we were to cut them down to size. If people want to eat fish make them go out and catch them themselves like. At the same time it would create a boom for the small business on or near the water as well as cutting down are overall fish harvest yet having a hell of a lot more happy anglers!

  12. bob dow

    Shut it down for every one for 5 years. do it right. then control it right so you don’t wipe it out again. 7 fish at 28 in. 15 haddock is to many. they will be gone. 17 in. I get bigger fresh water fish. 21 was good. 8 at 21 in. for haddock. get real. Do it right. commercial is 16 in. that’s a joke. They are so small in the supermarkets. you get them back then clean them out again. It doesn’t do no good to talk about this.

  13. Raymond Wurtz

    Stop dragging , hook and line only, long line limits of 200 hooks, no drift nets, no by catch allowance . It has to be included in commercially fished totals .

    1. Little b

      I like your comment. Makes me sick to see all the by catch swept overboard.

  14. j mercado

    you know what i think its great beginning but we are here in mass nh and maine ripped off because in nj they can take upto 3 stripers what up with that we pay just as much taxes as everyone else and recreational fishermen with just bait or poppers are not going to kill all these fish i think we should be back to two one at 28 one above 33

  15. George Schlichte

    Captain Yankee fleet… commercial fisherman 35 yrs… 85 % of released cod if done properly survive. Commercial Fleet has been sacrificing and losing for 20 yrs plus..Recreational Fleet has been targeted not nearly as long… Don’t blame the commercial industry for the state of the fishery as a whole.

    1. mark

      Wrong-the commercial fleet has destroyed the fishery and now the lobbyists have bribed the politicians to ensure the recreational fisherman don’t take any more profits.

    2. Keith

      Lot of notitalls here Captain. We are all fisherman and share the same resource and need to stick together to find a reasonable solution. The politicians love to play us off each other, don’t let them do it. They are the enemy, not your fellow fisherman. I’m no expert, but the way the catch limit number yoyo, it’s clear they aren’t either. As far as recreational haddock regs go, I’m just a happy hack fisherman, but 10 fish at 19″+ sounds reasonable. Does anyone know if the limit reflects daily limit or a possession limit? That makes a big difference too. With all that said, let the little guy keep enough fish to make fishing worth it. The big commercial guys need to make a living, but clearly they take the lions share. All good, happy fishing.

  16. chris

    George, interesting point. But does that include cod that come up in a net? Hard to imagine that but I’d defer.

    Rec fishermen did their part without a doubt, but the 24/7/365/50 years draggers and purse seines have played an outsized role and that’s where most of the damage is being done today. Don’t blame anyone for wanting to make a living on the water but why can’t it become a hook and line fishery exclusively? That brought red snapper back to the gulf.

    And I’d love to see the price of cod go up in keeping with how little of the stock remains. Plenty of tilapia out there.

    Recreational fishermen – if you want a voice at the policy level (and I promise the commercial guys have one) consider joining the Coastal Conservation Association.

  17. BrianF

    15 haddock is great but let’s not forget it went from unlimited to 3 in one year in an effort to reduce fishing pressure where cod also inhabit. I love to fish and eat fish. I am also all about protecting our fishery but do not think it is the recreational fisherman that are doing the heavy damage out there. My fish swim away. I use circle hooks when bait fishing and treat all fish released with great care.

    Last year on the closed sections where draggers were not allowed; we experienced haddock and cod in size and numbers that surpassed anything we have had in recent years. Only a few trips from my small datapoint here but found the formula that might just work. (No draggers = good fishing). Simple science in my book.

    Aquaculture may be the answer to change commercial fishing. Commercial fishing should be limited rod and reel only and let’s take all of those nets and make batting cages for our local little leagues.

    Heck, I’m sure that there is an opportunity here for mixing reduced cost or free charters for getting some hands on deck for a rod and reel fishery? Free or reduced cost Charter boat trips where you can keep a small creel and the rest goes to the boat for a commercial quota? Or maybe full price but what you catch reduces your trip cost down to zero depending on what you put on deck? Sign me up for that please!

  18. David S

    Don’t understand the jump from 3 to 15 haddock. Make it 10 at 19″ like Pollack. The 2 fillets on a 17″ haddock hardly are enough for a sandwich.

  19. bubbah nils

    It’s those darn seals that are to blame. I say we bring out the clubs. Open season on those no good sea dogs.

  20. Earl

    Fishing out of Gloucester for over 55 yrs and the new regs make sense (15 haddock) . We had guys from fisheries on party boat last year they could not keep up with measuring the fish from just the 5 of us in the bow. We had over 300 haddock between 5 guys 1 cod is fine but should be all summer, saw a ton of decent cod come over the rail last year. Sport size keepers should be the same length as commercial .I think there is valid current research to indicate water temps may be at least as responsible for cod drop off as fishing pressure and we can t control that.

  21. george bridle


  22. Bob G

    Government always put their noses where it don’t belong. They made all the laws years ago now they try to rectify their jobs by making all kinds of laws that are not needed. Leave the fishermen alone. We want to have a good time and some excitement.

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