Cheri Patterson: (603) 868-1095
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
February 22, 2019

Image courtesy of Frank Marenghi, MD Department of Natural Resources

DURHAM, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Atlantic menhaden rules on March 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH. The public is welcome to attend and offer comments on the proposed rules.

The proposed changes to the menhaden rules were developed in an effort to provide greater opportunity for harvesters to catch the menhaden quota assigned to New Hampshire.  The proposed changes include:

  • Allowing certain sink gill net configurations to be used to catch menhaden.
  • Allowing small, hand-drawn purse seines to be used for harvesting menhaden under certain  conditions.
  •  Requiring menhaden harvesters to report certain events such as any entanglements with marine mammals or other gear as well as release of a purse seine catch of menhaden to NH Fish and  Game within 12 hours.

Proposed changes to the menhaden rules were originally presented at a public hearing on January 7.  Further changes to the proposed menhaden rules have been developed based on public comments that were received, and the changes are significant enough to warrant a second public hearing on March 5.

Atlantic menhaden are an important source of bait for lobster harvesters and are sustainably managed by the Atlantic coast states under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.  Last year, commercial harvesters only caught approximately 10% of the state quota for menhaden due to current gear restrictions.  The intent of the proposed changes to the menhaden rules is to provide increased opportunity to harvest a larger percentage of the state’s quota consistent with sound conservation and management practices.

Read the proposed rules at

Written public comment will be accepted through March 8, 2019.  Send written comment to:

Paul G. Sanderson, Esq.
Legal Coordinator, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

Or submit email comments to