Cheri Patterson: (603) 868-1095
Renee Zobel: (603) 868-1095
April 14, 2021

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) held a virtual public hearing on April 6, 2021 regarding proposed rule changes concerning river herring harvest prohibition and vertical line (endline) marking for fixed-gear fisheries. The rules proposed have been adopted and are now in effect as of 12:01 a.m., April 15, 2021.

River herring harvest is managed through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) employing state-specific approved Sustainable Fisheries Management Plans. River herring spawning runs in New Hampshire have declined over the last two years to levels that have triggered a closure of the fishery to all harvest based on the sustainability target in New Hampshire’s Plan. The harvest of river herring by any means in New Hampshire is now prohibited. Any trap or weir must allow for the total escape of river herring, and any river herring caught as a bycatch must be immediately released.

In response to proposed rules to modify the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, NHFG proposed a rule change to vertical line marking for lobster trap/pot and gill net gear to allow the industry this year to adapt to new and impending rules. The amendment to the rules allows for the existing red marking system to be used through December 31, 2021 or yellow marking consistent with impending NOAA rules. The yellow vertical line marking configuration, which may be used immediately but must be implemented by January 1, 2022, includes:

  • Three-foot yellow mark within the first two fathoms of the buoy at the surface system
  • 12-inch yellow mark in the top half of the endline
  • 12-inch yellow mark in the bottom half of the endline

To learn more about these changes visit To learn more about these changes visit