A public hearing on proposed amendments to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department rules, as well as proposed rule changes for several Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)-managed species, will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road in Portsmouth, NH 03801.

The proposed rules would:

  • Eliminate the 2-fish limit and require immediate release of American shad caught in New Hampshire freshwaters, including the Connecticut River.
  • Amend certain conditions required for marine aquaculture licenses.
  • Establish a 5-consecutive-year license for oyster operations in Great Bay Estuary, as required by law, and establish fees for the 5-year license.

At the hearing, comments will also be taken on several proposed rule changes for Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)-managed species, including to:

  • Amend the legal length for lobster taken in Lobster Conservation Management Area 3.
  • Establish that American shad taken by any method from tidal waters shall be immediately released back into the waters from which it was taken.
  • Amend certain details related to sea herring spawning closure rules.
  • Eliminate the May 15-24 closed season for the take of winter flounder by recreational fishing.
  • Amend groundfish regulations so that commercial vessels that have not been assigned a federal groundfish permit may possess a maximum of 500 pounds of winter flounder per vessel. Currently the maximum is 250 pounds.
  • Establish an earlier opening (July 1) for the season for taking spiny dogfish in state waters.
  • Revise the weekly reporting information required from non-federally permitted dealers purchasing spiny dogfish, as consistent with the minimum data requirements of the Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System (SAFIS).

The complete rulemaking notices, with original and proposed rule language for these proposals, can be viewed at http://www.wildnh.com/Legislative/Notices_summary.htm (click on “Marine Aquaculture”; “Shad – Inland and Connecticut River”; or “ASMFC exempt rule changes”).

Written comments must be received by November 14, 2012. Send to: comments@wildlife.nh.gov (use subject line “Comments on Marine or Shad Rules”); or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to 603-271-1438.

Logo courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game

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