Recreational Gulf of Maine Cod and Haddock Season Opens April 1

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NOAA Fisheries - New England - Mid Atlantic Bulletin

March 22, 2021

Recreational Gulf of Maine Cod and Haddock Season Opens April 1

Recreational anglers and for-hire vessel operators are reminded that this year cod may be harvested from the Gulf of Maine from April 1 through April 14. Anglers may harvest 1 cod per day with a minimum length of 21 inches during this season. 

Additionally, anglers may begin harvesting haddock in the Gulf of Maine on April 1, with a limit of 15 haddock per angler per day, and a minimum length of 17 inches. Fishing for groundfish, including cod and haddock, is prohibited in the “Whaleback” Closure from April 1 through June 30.

The harvest of cod and haddock is permitted year-round outside the Gulf of Maine. 

Anglers must release all cod and haddock that do not meet the minimum size requirements, or during seasons or in areas where their harvest is prohibited. Anglers are encouraged to use circle hooks to minimize discard mortality of released fish, and are also encouraged to target haddock or other abundant stocks to minimize unintended cod mortality. Anglers interested in targeting haddock this season are encouraged to use Massachusetts DMF’s Haddock Fishing Guide.   

The New England Fishery Management Council has made recommendations for status quo recreational measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock for fishing year 2021, starting May 1, 2021. We are still considering the Council’s recommendation, and will make a determination soon.

Anglers can find out more about recreational groundfish regulations, including bag limits and seasons in federal waters, on our website. Other resources for recreational anglers in the Greater Atlantic Region can be found here.


Industry: Contact Kyle Molton, Sustainable Fisheries, 978-281-9236

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175