Cheri Patterson: (603) 868-1095
Robert Atwood: (603) 868-1095
September 22, 2021
Durham, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on the proposed closure of harvest within a shellfish restoration area and changes to the commercial Black Sea Bass rules regarding the directed pot/trap fishery. The public hearing will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, NH. Those interested are invited to attend and provide comment.
The Department is proposing to close a 10-acre area of Great Bay to shellfish harvest to further oyster reef restoration efforts in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and the University of New Hampshire. At the hearing, the Department will take public comment on the proposed 10-acre restoration site.
State law (RSA 211:63-b) gives the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department the authority to “order a closing of clam, oyster, and other bivalve areas for the purpose of restoration of the area, provided that the closure will not unduly interfere with existing or anticipated commercial or recreational activities.” Such a closure “shall continue in effect for a period of not more than 5 years.”
The 10-acre restoration site is located adjacent to and includes part of the Nannies Island oyster reef, referenced by map. Only the 10-acre restoration site shown on the map is proposed for closure to shellfish harvest. The existing Nannies Island, outside of the closure, and Woodman Point oyster reefs would remain open to recreational oyster harvesters. The Department proposes that the closure be in effect for 5 years to increase the likelihood of successful restoration and enhancement of the oyster population at the site.
The NH Fish and Game Department is also proposing rule changes for a directed commercial black sea bass pot/trap fishery. These proposed changes are in accordance with requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. The proposed rules would require two escape panels in the parlor portion of the traps. Unobstructed or obstructed escape vents would need to meet specifications. The proposed rule can be found at https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/marine/index.html.
The NH Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife, and marine resources and their habitats. Learn more about the NH Fish and Game Marine Division at www.wildnh.com/marine.