TITLE XVIII
FISH AND GAME

Chapter 211
FISH, SHELLFISH, LOBSTERS AND CRABS

Method and Manner of Taking Fish

Section 211:1

    211:1 Violation of Rules and Regulations. – A person who violates any provision of the rules and regulations promulgated under the provisions of RSA 206:10 to 13 shall be guilty of a violation and in addition shall be guilty of a violation for each fish taken, possessed, bought or sold in violation thereof.

Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:8. RL 245:41. RSA 211:1. 1959, 29:1. 1973, 531:54, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Section 211:1-a

    211:1-a Fin Fish. – A person who violates any provision of the rules and regulations promulgated by the executive director relative to either fresh water or salt water fin fish shall be guilty of a violation and guilty of an additional violation for each such fish taken, possessed, bought or sold in violation of such rules and regulations; provided, however, if all violations for which said person is convicted are the result of the actions of said person on a single complaint, the maximum total fine for all violations resulting from such actions shall, notwithstanding RSA title LXII, be $100 plus $10 for each fish taken in violation of this section.

Source. 1973, 36:2. 1975, 250:1, eff. June 6, 1975.

Section 211:2

    211:2 Carp. – Carp may be taken and possessed from Mascoma lake by the use of long bow and arrow with cord attached.

Source. 1953, 193:3, eff. May 1, 1953.

Section 211:2-a

    211:2-a Repealed by 1996, 108:20, II, eff. July 14, 1996. –

Section 211:2-b

    211:2-b Repealed by 1996, 108:20, III, eff. July 14, 1996. –

Section 211:2-c

    211:2-c Repealed by 1977, 450:1, eff. June 12, 1977. –

Section 211:2-d

    211:2-d Repealed by 1986, 214:24, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. –

Section 211:2-e

    211:2-e Freshwater Smelt. –
I. Notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, no person shall take smelt (Osmerus mordax) from the fresh waters of this state by any method other than by angling, unless the executive director determines that other methods of taking smelt would not be detrimental to the smelt resources of the state.
II. The executive director shall have the authority to open and close the season for the taking of smelt, to fix the daily bag and possession limits, and any other conditions governing the methods and manner of taking and reporting of smelt. All rules adopted by the executive director shall be in accordance with RSA 541-A.
III. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1991, 193:1, eff. May 28, 1991.

Section 211:3

    211:3 Repealed by 1965, 62:1, eff. June 15, 1965. –

Section 211:4

    211:4 Lake or Pond Partly in Another State. – If, in the case of a lake or pond situated partly in this state and partly in another state, the laws of such other state permit fishing in that part thereof lying within such other state by persons licensed or otherwise entitled under the laws of this state to fish in that part of such lake or pond lying within this state, persons licensed or otherwise entitled under the laws of such other state to fish in the part of such lake or pond lying within such other state shall be permitted to fish in that part thereof lying within this state, and, as to such lake or pond, the operation of the laws of this state relative to open and closed seasons, limits of catch, minimum sizes of fish caught and methods of fishing shall be suspended upon the adoption and during the continuance in force of rules and regulations relative to those subjects and affecting that part of such lake or pond lying within this state, which rules and regulations the executive director is hereby authorized to make, and from time to time add to, alter and repeal. Before making, adding to, altering or repealing such rules and regulations, said executive director shall confer with the officer or board having like duties in such other state, in order to secure uniformity of law, rules and regulations as to the whole of such lake or pond, if practicable. Such rules and regulations shall prior to their effective date be printed and available for distribution at the office of the executive director and of the clerk of each city and town in this state in which any part of such lake or pond is situated or to which it lies adjacent.

Source. 1949, 69:1, eff. Mar. 16, 1949.

Section 211:5

    211:5 Fishing in Connecticut River. – If the laws of the state of Vermont permit fishing in that part of the Connecticut River lying within that state by persons legally licensed to fish in New Hampshire or otherwise entitled under the laws of this state to fish in that part of said river lying within this state, residents of Vermont legally licensed to fish in the state of Vermont or otherwise entitled under the laws of that state to fish in said part of the Connecticut River lying within the state of Vermont shall be permitted to fish in that part of the Connecticut River lying within this state. If the above reciprocal laws are in effect as to that part of the Connecticut River lying within the states of New Hampshire and Vermont the executive director is authorized to adopt special rules as to fishing in such waters, after consultation with the like officer of the state of Vermont, in the same manner and with the same effect as the executive director is authorized to do with respect to boundary lakes under the provisions of RSA 211:4.

Source. 1951, 116:1, par. 32-b. RSA 211:5. 1959, 263:1. 1990, 30:1. 1998, 113:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Section 211:5-a

    211:5-a Repealed by 1993, 50:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. –

Section 211:6

    211:6 Penalties. – Any person who violates any of the provisions of RSA 211:2, 4 and 5 hereof or special rules and regulations made thereunder shall be guilty of a violation and in addition shall be guilty of a violation for each fish taken or possessed in violation thereof.

Source. 1951, 116:1, par. 32-c. RSA 211:6. 1973, 531:56, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Section 211:6-a

    211:6-a Repealed by 1996, 108:20, IV, eff. July 14, 1996. –

Section 211:6-b

    211:6-b Repealed by 1996, 108:20, V, eff. July 14, 1996. –

Section 211:6-c

    211:6-c Repealed by 1996, 108:20, VI, eff. July 14, 1996. –

Section 211:7

    211:7 Poison; Explosive. – No person shall take any fish by the use of any poisonous, stupefying or explosive substance. Possession of any such substance by any person on the waters, shores, or islands of this state, except for mining or mechanical purposes, shall be prima facie evidence that the same is possessed for use in violation of the provisions of this section.

Source. RL 245:33.

Section 211:8

    211:8 Obstructions. – No person shall, by means of rack, screen, weir or other obstruction, in any stream or river, or the inlet or outlet of a public pond, prevent the passage of fish except as provided in RSA 211:8-c.

Source. RL 245:34. RSA 211:8. 1971, 138:1, eff. July 25, 1971.

Section 211:8-a

    211:8-a Fishways at Existing Dams or Obstructions. –
Fish passage facilities shall be constructed and maintained at existing dams or obstructions in accordance with the following procedure:
I. After the executive director of the fish and game department has made a determination that a fish passage facility is needed at an existing dam or obstruction, and upon his request, the governor, with the advice of the council, shall appoint a commission of 3 disinterested citizens of the state to review this determination.
II. Said commission shall hold public hearings to determine the need and desirability of providing fish passage facilities over the dam or obstruction, and the deliberations of the commission shall include a careful consideration of the economic values associated with the project. Upon completion of its study, the commission shall report its findings to the governor and council; the report shall include any recommendations for special conditions to be associated with the project and a recommendation for the distribution of cost between the owner and the state for construction and maintenance of the fish passage and a recommendation as to whether the owner or the fish and game department shall operate and maintain said fish passage facilities.
III. Upon receipt of said report, the governor, with the advice of the council, shall determine the share of the cost of construction and the share of the cost of maintenance to be borne by the owner and by the state. The state's share shall be a charge on the fish and game fund.
IV. The actual design and location of fish passage facilities authorized under this section shall be determined by the executive director of the fish and game department.
V. The owner of the dam or obstruction at which a fish passage facility is constructed as provided in this section or the fish and game department, as determined by the governor and council shall, consistent with the primary purpose of the dam or obstruction, operate the fish passage facility to allow for the passage of fish species present during the period of their normal migration as determined by the executive director of the fish and game department.
VI. Any party to the action or proceedings under this section may apply for a rehearing or appeal under the procedure as provided by RSA 541.

Source. 1971, 138:2, eff. July 25, 1971.

Section 211:8-b

    211:8-b Inspection. – The executive director or his representative may, from time to time, enter and inspect any dam or impoundment in any river or stream, or inlet or outlet of any pond located within the state of New Hampshire to insure the adequate installation, maintenance and operation of fish passage facilities required by RSA 211:8-a.

Source. 1971, 138:3, eff. July 25, 1971.

Section 211:8-c

    211:8-c Federal Power Commission. – The provisions of RSA 211:8-a shall not apply to those dams under license by the federal power commission.

Source. 1971, 138:4, eff. July 25, 1971.

Section 211:9

    211:9 Nets; Traps. – A dip net held in hand may be used to assist in the taking of fish attached to a hook. A circular drop net, not more than 48 inches in diameter, or a square net of equal area, may be used for taking minnows for bait, from waters not inhabited by brook trout. Minnow traps may be set for taking minnows for bait, in water inhabited by trout, provided that no such trap shall exceed 18 inches in length, and that the aperture therein for the entrance of fish shall not exceed one inch in diameter.

Source. 1941, 126:15. RL 245:35.

Section 211:10

    211:10 Drawing Water. – No person shall take fish by shutting or drawing off water.

Source. RL 245:36.

Section 211:11

    211:11 Notice. – No person by means of opening gates or dams, other than in the ordinary use of an established water privilege, shall draw down or lower the water in any stream, lake or pond in the state to a degree which will endanger fish life therein until notice in writing has been given to the executive director of such intention 2 weeks prior to such drawing down or lowering so that the department may take out the fish in the waters to be so drawn down or lowered.

Source. 1949, 91:1, par. 36-a, eff. Mar. 22, 1949.

Section 211:12

    211:12 Exception. – The provisions of RSA 211:11 shall not apply to privately owned lakes or ponds.

Source. 1949, 91:1, par. 36-b, eff. Mar. 22, 1949.

Section 211:13

    211:13 Prohibited Devices. – No person shall use, have in his possession for use, or furnish for another's use, for taking fish in the fresh waters of this state, except as specifically permitted in this title, a net of any kind or description, set line, fishing otter, trawl, grapple, spear, jack, jack light or electrical or other device for killing or stunning fish. A person found on any such waters of this state, or the shores or islands thereof, having in his possession any of the aforesaid devices, shall be prima facie guilty of a violation of the provisions of this section. Such devices are declared to be public nuisances and may be summarily seized and destroyed by any person. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the executive director or any person acting under his direction.

Source. RL 245:37.

Section 211:13-a

    211:13-a Repealed by 1967, 12:1, eff. Dec. 31, 1967. –

Section 211:13-b

    211:13-b Lead Fishing Sinkers and Jigs; Use Prohibited. –
I. No person shall use any lead sinker or lead jig for the taking of fish in any fresh water, except as otherwise specifically permitted in this title.
II. A person using any such lead sinker or jig shall be guilty of a violation. Notwithstanding RSA 651:2, the penalty for a violation of this section shall not exceed $250.
III. The prohibition under this section shall apply to interstate waters pursuant to RSA 211:4 and 211:5.
IV. For purposes of this section, "lead sinker" means any sinker made from lead that weighs one ounce or less, and "lead jig" means a lead weighted hook that weighs one ounce or less. Prohibited fishing tackle shall include lead sinkers with a total weight of one ounce or less and lead jigs with a total weight of one ounce or less, regardless of whether they are painted, coated, or covered by some other substance or by attached skirts. Lead sinkers and lead jigs shall not include lead fishing related items including but not limited to lead core line, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, poppers, plugs, or flies.

Source. 1998, 312:3. 2004, 172:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005. 2013, 193:1, eff. June 1, 2016.

Section 211:14

    211:14 Selling Fry. – No person shall buy, sell, offer for sale, carry beyond the limits of the state, or place in private waters, any fish or fry entrusted to his care by the executive director for distribution in the waters of this state.

Source. RL 245:38.

Section 211:15

    211:15 Fertilizer. – No person shall take or use any species of fish except suckers for fertilizer.

Source. RL 245:39.

Section 211:15-a to 211:15-d

    211:15-a to 211:15-d Repealed by 1967, 12:1, eff. Dec. 31, 1967. –

Section 211:16

    211:16 Bait Prohibited. – No person shall use carp or goldfish as live bait when fishing in any waters of this state. Possession of live carp or goldfish while fishing shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section. No person shall use shad or whitefish for bait for cusk.

Source. RL 245:40.

Section 211:16-a

    211:16-a Repealed by 1973, 32:1, eff. May 14, 1973. –

Section 211:16-b

    211:16-b Fishing Tournaments. –
I. No person shall promote or operate any fishing tournament in the waters under the jurisdiction of this state without first procuring a special permit from the executive director to do so.
II. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to definitions, fees, conditions, requirements for waivers, including waivers of the fee, qualifications, and all other criteria relating to the operation of a fishing tournament on any waters of the state.

Source. 1977, 27:1. 1996, 73:1, eff. July 12, 1996. 2015, 186:10, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:17

    211:17 Penalties. – A person who violates the provisions of this title relative to fishing shall be guilty of a violation unless a greater penalty is specified, and in addition shall be guilty of a violation for each fish taken in violation of this title; provided, however, that if all violations on a single complaint, the maximum total fine for all the violations resulting from such actions shall, notwithstanding RSA title LXII, be $100 plus $10 for each fish taken in violation of this title.

Source. RL 245:41. RSA 211:17. 1973, 531:57. 1977, 27:2. 1996, 108:18, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Bob Houses

Section 211:17-a

    211:17-a Ice Fishing. –
I. Any person owning or placing a smelt shanty or bob-house on the ice for the purpose of ice fishing shall mark clearly on the outside of the door of said structure the owner's name and address. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a violation, and his hunting and fishing privileges may be suspended for a period of 30 days.
II. Any owner of a smelt shanty or bob-house who shall allow the structure to remain on public property or public waters or on the property of another without permission after April 1 shall be guilty of a violation, and such owner's fishing license shall be suspended for one year. The fish and game department may claim such property and its contents and sell at a public auction to be held at the discretion of the executive director, or, if of no value and the owner cannot be apprehended, the structure and its contents may be destroyed.
III. No person owning or placing a smelt shanty or bob-house on the ice for the purpose of ice fishing shall conspire with another to burn said bob-house or smelt shanty thereon. Whoever violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1957, 82:1. 1963, 92:1. 1969, 38:1. 1971, 66:1. 1973, 531:58. 1993, 236:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Section 211:17-b

    211:17-b Operation of Motor Vehicles, Snowmobiles, or OHRVs on Ice on Great Bay. – No person shall drive a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or OHRV on the ice on Great Bay, except that any person who holds a New Hampshire recreational saltwater license under RSA 214:9, XVI may do so, provided that he or she does not drive or park his or her vehicle any closer than 300 feet to any occupied so-called bob-house, fishing shanty, or fishing hole other than the one the person occupies. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person engaged in emergency rescue operations or public service of any description. No person driving a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or OHRV on the ice on Great Bay shall operate said vehicle at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1959, 306:3. 1969, 209:1. 1973, 531:59. 1983, 449:22. 2005, 210:10. 2009, 103:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; 144:132, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

Section 211:17-c

    211:17-c Marking Fishing Holes in Ice on Great Bay. – Whoever by himself or others cuts a fishing hole larger than 112 square inches in area in the ice on Great Bay and leaves the same unattended, unless covered by a bob-house, without first marking the same with a stake extending at least 18 inches above the ice shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1963, 218:1. 1973, 531:60, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Lobsters and Crabs

Section 211:18

    211:18 License. –
I. No person shall take lobsters and crabs from any water under the jurisdiction of this state without first procuring a valid and proper license to do so as provided in paragraph III. No such taking shall occur during the time from sunset to one hour before sunrise. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 211:62 relative to the licenses to be issued under paragraph III including, but not limited to, terms, limits, eligibility, transferability, sale, exemptions, revocation, trap tag fees, and control of entry date.
I-a. Any person who purchases a license to take lobster and crabs in waters of the state of New Hampshire pursuant to this section shall be deemed to have given consent to law enforcement officers to haul, for any purpose, their lobster and crab gear set for the purpose of taking or keeping lobster and crabs within the jurisdiction of the state of New Hampshire.
II. [Repealed.]
II-a. A person who is a resident of a state that provides reciprocal commercial permits or licenses to take lobsters to New Hampshire residents may take lobsters or crabs commercially upon first obtaining a license from the department, if the person's commercial license from the person's state of residence provides at least the equivalent number of traps allowed in the respective license class sought pursuant to this section.
III. The following criteria shall apply to the issuance of lobster and crab licenses by the department:
(a) If a person is a resident of this state and does not take lobsters or crabs for the purpose of sale and does not use more than 5 traps, the person may receive a recreational lobster and crab license.
(b) Any individual who possessed a valid commercial lobster and crab license or resident wholesale dealer's license pursuant to RSA 211:49-c or the provisions of former RSA 211:39-a in this state or any state that provides reciprocal permits or licenses as specified in paragraph II-a in any year from 1994 to 1998, inclusive, and who had documented landings of more than 12,000 pounds of lobster and crab in at least 2 of those years shall be eligible to receive a commercial lobster and crab license.
(c) Any individual who possessed a valid limited commercial lobster and crab license prior to January 1, 2006 shall be eligible to receive a limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(d) Any individual wishing to engage in the commercial taking of lobster and crab may receive a part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(e) Beginning January 1, 2012, any eligible individual shall purchase a commercial or limited commercial lobster and crab license for each calendar year in order to remain eligible to purchase such license in subsequent years, except that:
(1) Active duty military personnel stationed outside the state for any portion of the calendar year may submit duty orders and a written request to the executive director to obtain an exemption for that year.
(2) The purchase requirement shall not pertain to those individuals prohibited from purchasing a valid lobster and crab license for the entire calendar due to a court conviction for violation of marine fisheries regulations.
(3) The purchase requirement shall not pertain to those individuals who file with the executive director, each year, a notarized affidavit indicating their intent to remain eligible to purchase such license in subsequent years. The notarized affidavit shall be on a form provided by the department and shall be postmarked on or before June 30 of that year.
III-a. The executive director shall set the fee pursuant to RSA 206:10, I for the following lobster and crab license types issued under this section:
(a) Resident commercial lobster and crab license.
(b) Nonresident commercial lobster and crab license.
(c) Resident limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(d) Nonresident limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(e) Resident part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(f) Nonresident part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(g) Recreational lobster and crab license.
III-b. Notwithstanding paragraph III, the executive director may adopt rules to increase the number of commercial lobster and crab licenses available under this section from only those individuals who hold a valid limited commercial or part-time commercial lobster and crab license, provided that any increase in lobster and crab licenses complies with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission lobster management plan.
III-c. The executive director shall establish a surcharge on each class of license issued under paragraph III-a of not more than $25 nor less than $10 to be deposited in the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund, established in RSA 211:77, and shall adopt rules for implementing and collecting the surcharge. Any person who satisfactorily demonstrates to the executive director that he or she is participating in a coastal cleanup program shall not be required to pay the surcharge. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to determine satisfactory participation in a coastal cleanup program and to account for licensees who are exempt from the surcharge each year.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. Nothing in this section shall pertain to the taking of green crabs.

Source. RL 245:42. 1950, 12:2. 1951, 200:1. RSA 211:18. 1965, 305:1. 1977, 286:1. 1981, 498:5. 1986, 214:4. 1987, 62:3. 1996, 246:1, 2. 1998, 116:1, 2. 1999, 26:4, II. 2004, 166:2. 2005, 204:1. 2006, 140:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2011, 81:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. 2015, 186:11, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 211:18-a

    211:18-a Penalty, Loss of License. – In addition to any other penalty any lobster license holder convicted of assaulting an enforcement officer or wilfully damaging any boat or motor used by an enforcement officer shall lose his lobster license for one year.

Source. 1965, 170:2, eff. June 22, 1965.

Section 211:18-b

    211:18-b Repealed by 1997, 10:25, I, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. –

Section 211:18-c

    211:18-c Crabs. – Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter to the contrary any person may take 12 crabs a day by angling, diving, or by hand without a license.

Source. 1971, 240:1. 1987, 62:5, eff. April 29, 1987.

Section 211:18-d

    211:18-d Penalty for Misuse of Lobster and Crab License. – Any person who furnishes to another person or permits another person to have or use a lobster and crab license issued to himself or any other person or changes or alters such license or uses a license issued to another person or makes a false statement in application to obtain said license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1977, 286:2, eff. June 26, 1977.

Section 211:19

    211:19 Repealed by 1973, 580:2, eff. July 5, 1973. –

Section 211:19-a

    211:19-a Rye Harbor, Prohibition. –
I. The taking of lobsters and crabs in Rye Harbor by any person is forbidden. No lobster or crab trap buoys may be placed in the harbor or the approach channel to the harbor. A fisherman has 24 hours to remove his or her gear from restricted areas after an authorized enforcement officer makes a verbal request to the fisherman to remove said gear. An extension may be granted in the case of rough seas or thick fog.
II. State conservation officers and persons appointed by the Pease development authority, division of ports and harbors shall enforce the provisions of this section, and may remove gear from the restricted area if the verbal request authorized in paragraph I of this section is ignored.
III. Rye Harbor as used in this section means the area below high water mark inside the northeast and southwest breakwater on the seashore at Rye, and an area west of an imaginary line beginning 200 feet seaward from the day marker on the northeast jetty on the northeast boundary of the channel and running northeasterly at right angles to the northeast boundary of the channel to Ragged Neck point. The harbor master may designate and buoy at his discretion a channel, at least 100 feet wide, running from the jetties at the harbor entrance to a point in the vicinity of the whistling buoy. Said channel as designated shall be the approach channel to Rye Harbor.
IV. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation and his license to trap lobsters shall be suspended for a minimum of 30 days.

Source. 1965, 170:1. 1969, 261:1. 1973, 531:61. 2001, 290:9, eff. July 1, 2001.

Section 211:20

    211:20 Helper's License. – Any person licensed under the provisions of RSA 211:18 may get a helper's license which entitles the person to have the help of a person in the taking of lobsters or crabs. The helper's license may be transferred to any one helper employed by the licensee, but may not be transferred to a person who previously had a lobster license which is under suspension. A helper may assist, set, or haul pots or traps or any other device used in the taking of lobsters and crabs only in the presence of and aboard the boat of a person licensed under the provisions of RSA 211:18, and who holds a valid helper's license. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to the fee for a helper's license and the terms and restrictions of a helper's license to comply with lobster trap limits established under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission management plan for American lobster relative to reduced fishing effort.

Source. 1953, 199:2. RSA 211:20. 1965, 305:2. 1971, 146:1. 1997, 10:3. 2000, 256:1, eff. Aug. 11, 2000. 2015, 186:12, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:21

    211:21 Revocation; Suspension. – The executive director may revoke or suspend the lobster and crab license of any person who has been found guilty in any court of a violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter by the executive director. If an appeal is taken the license shall be suspended pending the disposition of said case and for not more than one year thereafter from date of conviction by the higher court. The executive director shall revoke or suspend the license of any person who has been found guilty in any court a second time within 5 years of the first finding of guilt, of a violation of any such laws or regulations, for a period of not less than one, nor more than 3 years from the date of such finding or conviction. The executive director may order any license to be suspended or revoked, after due hearing, for any cause that he may deem sufficient. Any person whose license has been revoked or suspended shall not accompany any licensed fisherman or assist him in any way while he is engaged in taking or transporting lobsters or crabs.

Source. RL 245:43. 1950, 12:3. RSA 211:21. 1955, 308:7. 2009, 11:2, eff. June 16, 2009.

Section 211:22

    211:22 Removal of Devices. – Any person whose license has been suspended shall within 5 days remove from the waters all lobster traps, pots, cars, or any device used in taking or storing of lobsters and crabs. Said lobster traps, pots, cars or devices shall be taken to a place of storage on the shore and shall be inspected by a conservation officer and such traps, pots, cars or devices shall not be placed in the water again by any other person until they have been inspected by a conservation officer and rebranded with the last name and initials of the new user in a manner satisfactory to the conservation officer.

Source. 1947, 278:1. 1950, 12:4, eff. May 18, 1950.

Section 211:23

    211:23 Repealed by 2004, 166:6, eff. May 24, 2004. –

Section 211:23-a

    211:23-a Prohibited Methods of Taking. – No person shall at any time take from any waters under the jurisdiction of this state any lobsters by diving, spearing or dipping.

Source. 1955, 324:5, eff. Aug. 5, 1955.

Section 211:24

    211:24 Repealed by 1977, 189:3, eff. Aug. 13, 1977. –

Section 211:25

    211:25 Spawn, Etc. – No person shall remove spawn from any female lobster and no person shall take, serve, have in his possession, sell, or offer for sale any female lobster carrying spawn or any lobster spawn.

Source. RL 245:46. RSA 211:25. 1977, 189:1, eff. Aug. 13, 1977.

Section 211:26

    211:26 Female Lobsters. – Whoever takes, buys, sells, or has in his possession any female lobster bearing eggs shall be guilty of a violation and, in addition, shall be guilty of a violation for each additional oviparous female lobster involved. However, a person who takes any such female lobster and immediately returns it alive to the waters from which it was taken is not subject to the penalty. This section shall not apply to lobsters spawning in cars or pounds, if they are, upon discovery, immediately liberated alive in the coastal waters; nor shall anything herein contained be construed as prohibiting the executive director or his agents from possessing and transporting female lobsters carrying spawn for propagation purposes.

Source. 1950, 12:7. RSA 211:26. 1965, 305:3. 1973, 531:62. 1977, 189:2, eff. Aug. 13, 1977.

Section 211:27

    211:27 Legal Length; Rulemaking. –
I. No person may transport, buy, sell, give away, or expose for sale, or possess for any purpose, any lobster less than the minimum legal length alive or dead, cooked or uncooked, measuring from the rear of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of the body shell to the rear end of the body shell. The minimum legal length shall be determined in rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 211:62. This paragraph shall not apply to uncooked shell-on lobster tails processed onshore in a New Hampshire facility permitted under RSA 211:38-a or a similar facility outside of New Hampshire.
II. (a) Whoever ships, transports, carries, buys, gives away, sells, or exposes for sale, or possesses for any purpose, lobster meat, which has been cooked, before or after the meat has been taken from the shell, without the tail meat being whole and intact, and of a length determined in rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 211:62, shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
(b) All lobster meat shall be delivered in containers marked as prescribed by rules adopted by the executive director.
(c) For the purpose of this paragraph cooked lobster meat taken from the shell shall be laid out straight and measured from end to end and it shall not include the small part that is on the body end of the tail meat.
III. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs I and II, no person licensed pursuant to RSA 211:18 shall take, possess, or land any lobster greater than the maximum legal length from or on the waters under the jurisdiction of the state.
(b) A person not licensed to take lobster in accordance with RSA 211:18 may possess, transport, or land in accordance with RSA 211:49-a, RSA 211:49-aa, RSA 211:49-b, RSA 211:49-c, and RSA 211:49-d lobster greater than the maximum legal length if the lobster was legally taken from waters outside the jurisdiction of the state.
(c) The maximum length shall be measured from the rear of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of the body shell to the rear end of the body shell. The maximum legal length shall be determined by rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 211:62.
(d) All lobster possessed in accordance with this paragraph shall be whole and intact.

Source. RL 245:47. 1943, 114:1. 1950, 12:8. RSA 211:27. 1965, 305:4. 1967, 48:4. 1983, 85:1. 1989, 78:1. 1998, 349:1. 2010, 56:2, eff. July 1, 2010. 2015, 101:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 211:28

    211:28 Exceptions. – Nothing in the provisions of RSA 211:27 shall be construed to prevent hotels or restaurants serving cooked lobster to guests for immediate consumption as food from chopping meat taken from lobster of legal length in reasonable quantities for current use; nor shall RSA 211:27 prevent an individual from chopping lobster meat for immediate consumption for himself, his family or his guests.

Source. 1950, 12:9, eff. May 18, 1950.

Section 211:29

    211:29 Lobster Meat. – No person, firm or corporation shall transport, possess or offer for sale lobster meat from sources outside the jurisdiction of this state unless such meat shall comply with RSA 211:27. The inclusion of any such meat of less than the prescribed legal length within any container, package, receptacle or tray shall subject all such meat included in said container, package, receptacle, or tray to be forfeited and the possessor of such meat shall be subject to the penalty imposed for violation of RSA 211:27. Provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not prohibit the sale of lobsters canned in hermetically sealed cans not requiring refrigeration when the contents of the cans do not weigh over eight ounces net. Nothing in the provisions of this section or RSA 211:27 shall prohibit the processing and distributing within the state by packers or processors located within or without the state of processed lobster meat for the purpose of canning or freezing for resale as processed stews, newburgs, chowders or pies, or prohibit wholesalers and retailers from selling processed lobster meat packed in stews, newburgs, chowders or pies providing they are licensed as required by RSA 211:38.

Source. 1951, 200:3; 231:1. RSA 211:29. 1955, 308:9. 1961, 145:1, eff. May 26, 1961.

Section 211:30

    211:30 Mutilated Lobsters. –
The possession of lobsters, or parts thereof, alive or dead, cooked or uncooked, mutilated in such manner as to make accurate measurements as prescribed in this chapter impossible, shall be prima facie evidence that they are not of required legal length. Provided that this section shall not apply to:
I. Hotels, restaurants, or individuals having in possession chopped lobster meat as provided in RSA 211:28 or lobster processed under a lobster tail permit in accordance with RSA 211:38-a.
II. Uncooked shell-on lobster tails processed outside of New Hampshire and offered for sale in this state.

Source. 1951, 200:3, par. 47-c. 2010, 56:3, eff. July 1, 2010. 2015, 101:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 211:31

    211:31 Limitation. –
I. No person, except the owner or a conservation officer, shall take up, lift, molest, have in his possession, or transfer any pot, trap, car or other contrivance that is set for the taking or holding of lobsters or crabs, nor take, remove or carry away from the beach or shore, any such pot, trap, car or other contrivance or warp or buoy without the written permission of the owner. In addition to the penalty for violation of this section, said person, if he holds a license, shall lose said license for one year.
II. The executive director of the fish and game department shall post sufficient permanent signs in proper places as the executive director deems necessary to inform the public of the provisions of RSA 211:31, I.

Source. RL 245:48. 1951, 200:4. RSA 211:31. 1975, 301:1, eff. June 7, 1975.

Section 211:32

    211:32 Marking Pots and Traps. – No person shall set any pot or trap for any lobster or crab without having the pot or trap and buoy attached, plainly carved or branded with his last name and initials. No person shall use or set in any tidal water any car or other contrivance for holding or keeping lobsters or crabs without having such car or contrivance plainly marked with the last name and initials carved or branded thereon. Any pots, traps, cars or other contrivance used to catch or store lobsters or crabs in violation of any provision hereof and any lobsters or crabs therein shall be forfeited.

Source. RL 245:49. 1950, 12:10, eff. May 18, 1950.

Section 211:33

    211:33 Distinctive Colors. – Each applicant for a lobster and crab license shall state the color scheme or other special markings of the buoys desired to be used by him. These colors, if approved by the executive director, shall be set forth in his license, and all buoys used by the licensee shall be marked accordingly. Also, each lobster boat must have painted said colors on port and starboard bow in a section not less than one foot square, or a freshly painted buoy set at the highest point on the boat excluding the mast and visible for 360 degrees. Such buoy or colors must be permanently attached at all times that lobster gear fished under that license is in the water.

Source. 1950, 12:11. 1951, 200:5. RSA 211:33. 1972, 25:1. 1975, 85:1, eff. June 14, 1975.

Section 211:34

    211:34 Traps on Trawls. – No pot, trap or other contrivance for taking or holding lobsters or crabs shall be set or buoyed other than plainly and separately except as hereinbefore provided. When pots, traps, or other contrivances are set on trawls, buoys plainly marked as provided in RSA 211:32 and 33 shall be set on both ends of the trawls. Pot or trap trawls used for taking lobsters and crabs which contain less than 5 pots or traps may be plainly marked on one end.

Source. 1951, 200:6. 1997, 10:4. 2008, 320:1, eff. Aug. 31, 2008.

Section 211:35

    211:35 Repealed by 1985, 40:4, I, eff. June 8, 1985. –

Section 211:36

    211:36 Repealed by 1985, 40:4, II, eff. June 8, 1985. –

Section 211:37

    211:37 Prohibition. – If a conservation officer informs a person that his boat, automobile, truck, or any motor vehicle, wharf, dock or landing or contents thereof are about to be inspected, it is unlawful for the person to throw or dump or cause to be thrown or dumped from any boat, automobile, truck or other motor vehicle, dock, wharf, or landing, or destroy or cause to be destroyed any fish, lobsters, crabs, shellfish, or any pot, trap, car, contrivance, bag, box or other receptacle used for storing or catching lobsters or crabs, or the contents thereof, or any article or thing, or to cut loose any article or thing which may be attached to the boat, automobile, truck or any other motor vehicle, dock, wharf, or landing prior to the inspection. Any person who refuses or attempts to refuse to stand by for such inspection is guilty of a misdemeanor. The executive director shall suspend the license of the person for not less than one year. Any lobsters or crabs thrown or dumped or caused to be thrown or dumped in violation of this section are prima facie evidence that these lobsters or crabs were taken in violation of these statutes. A person is guilty of a violation for each lobster or crab which is thrown or dumped contrary to this section.

Source. 1941, 27:4. RL 245:52. 1947, 278:2. 1950, 12:12. RSA 211:37. 1965, 305:5. 1977, 588:38, eff. Sept. 16, 1977.

Section 211:38

    211:38 Lobster Meat. – No person shall sell lobster meat which has not been processed and sealed within containers which do not require refrigeration without first procuring a license to do so. Such license shall not be required for food service establishments licensed under RSA 143-A which purchase and sell processed and packaged lobster meat from a licensed wholesaler or processor. The executive director shall issue such license for a period of one calendar year pursuant to the provisions of RSA 211:39, RSA 211:49-aa, and RSA 211:49-c. The license shall expire on December 31 of each year.

Source. RL 245:53. 1951, 200:7. RSA 211:38. 1961, 146:1. 1967, 48:1. 1985, 291:7. 2000, 256:2, eff. Aug. 11, 2000. 2021, 116:1, eff. Sept. 7, 2021.

Section 211:38-a

    211:38-a Lobster Tail Permit. –
I. Any person who is licensed to engage in the wholesale trade of marine species in accordance with RSA 211:49-c may engage in the processing of lobster tails after procuring from the executive director a lobster tail permit. The lobster tail permit authorizes the licensee to remove a lobster tail from a legal sized lobster, as defined in RSA 211:27, I and II, and process that shell-on whole and intact lobster tail. No lobster greater than the maximum legal length as described in RSA 211:27, III shall be used for lobster tail processing. Processing shall only be conducted at the one location or place of business which is listed on the lobster tail permit. All containers in which shell-on lobster tails are packed to be sold, shipped, or transported must be clearly labeled with the name, address, and permit number of the packer along with a description of the product.
II. The executive director may adopt rules relative to the taking, inspection, and processing of lobster necessary for implementation and enforcement of this section in accordance with RSA 211:62 and which may also include rules for determining that lobster tails processed under this section were removed from legal-sized lobsters and other provisions as may be necessary.
III. Measurements for the purpose of inspection shall consist of removal of the cooked meat intact from the lobster tail section and measured to ascertain conformity with size restrictions as specified in RSA 211:27, II.

Source. 2010, 56:1, eff. July 1, 2010. 2011, 81:2, eff. May 16, 2011. 2015, 101:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 211:39

    211:39 Retail Dealer's License. –
I. No person, firm or corporation shall engage in a retail trade in lobsters or crabs, without first having procured from the executive director a license therefor. Such license shall entitle the holder, as a retail dealer, to buy, sell, ship and transport lobsters and crabs in retail trade within and outside this state. A separate license shall be required for each market, store, vehicle or other facility where lobsters and crabs are sold in retail trade. A retail dealer's license shall not be required of a person to buy or transport lobsters and crabs that are possessed by him for consumption by himself or family, nor of a properly licensed fisherman who, by virtue of his lobster and crab license, may transport and sell any lobsters and crabs that have been lawfully taken by him.
II. The executive director shall set the fee pursuant to RSA 206:10, I, for retail dealer licenses issued under this section.

Source. 1950, 12:13. 1951, 200:8. RSA 211:39. 1967, 48:2, 3. 1985, 291:8. 1997, 10:5, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. 2015, 186:13, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:39-a

    211:39-a Repealed by 1997, 10:25, II, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. –

Section 211:40

    211:40 Revocation. – Any person holding a license under RSA 211:38 or 39 who is convicted of a violation of the laws relating to lobsters and crabs shall forfeit such license for not more than one year from the date of conviction in the discretion of the executive director.

Source. 1950, 12:14, eff. May 18, 1950.

Section 211:41

    211:41 Repealed by 1975, 340:14, I, eff. Aug. 6, 1975. –

Section 211:42

    211:42 Exceptions. – The provisions of this subdivision relative to taking marine species shall not apply to transportation of marine species in interstate commerce where shipment originated outside the state and is consigned outside the state.

Source. 1951, 200:10. RSA 211:42. 1975, 340:10, eff. Aug. 6, 1975.

Section 211:43

    211:43 Definition. – The word "resident" as used in this subdivision when applied to a corporation shall mean a corporation organized under the laws of this state. The word "nonresident" as used in this subdivision when applied to a corporation shall mean a corporation organized under the laws of another state.

Source. 1951, 200:12, eff. Jan. 1, 1952.

Section 211:44

    211:44 Penalties. –
Any person who violates a provision of this subdivision shall be penalized as follows:
I. For each offense under RSA 211:22, 23, 23-a, 32, 34, 38 or 39 shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person.
II. For an offense under RSA 211:18, 18-a, 20, 21, 31, any person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
III. For an offense under RSA 211:24, 25, 26, 27, or 29, any person shall be guilty of a violation, and each lobster or crab or parts thereof involved will constitute a separate offense.
IV. [Repealed.]

Source. RL 245:56. 1951, 200:11. RSA 211:44. 1965, 305:6. 1973, 528:122. 1975, 340:14, II. 1985, 40:1, eff. June 8, 1985.

Section 211:44-a

    211:44-a Repealed by 1975, 340:14, III, eff. Aug. 6, 1975. –

Section 211:45

    211:45 Repealed by 1965, 307:2, eff. Sept. 5, 1965. –

Salt Water Fish, Clams, Etc.

Section 211:46

    211:46 Repealed by 1985, 40:4, III, eff. June 8, 1985. –

Section 211:46-a

    211:46-a Repealed by 1993, 23:1, eff. June 7, 1993. –

Section 211:47

    211:47 Repealed by 2009, 103:12, I, and 2009, 144:143, I, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. –

Section 211:48

    211:48 Seines, Nets and Weirs; Exemption. –
I. No person shall use a seine or net or weir for the taking of salt water smelt in Great Bay, Little Bay, Piscataqua River, Squamscot River, Oyster River, Bellamy River, Lamprey River and their tributaries, except that salt water smelt may be taken by the use of a bow net in the Oyster River, the Squamscot River, Bellamy River and Lamprey River only, and by dip net held in hand in the Bellamy River, Oyster River, Lamprey River and Squamscot River only, provided that any person who at any time during the 3 years immediately preceding the enactment of this act has owned and operated a weir or weirs for taking of salt water smelt in these waters and who files the information hereinafter required with the executive director, fish and game, within 90 days after enactment of this act, may continue to operate said weir or weirs in the same location or locations and to no greater extent and in no larger size than he has previously operated during that 3-year period. The information to be filed as provided herein shall include name and address of the owner and operator of the weir or weirs, the location, length and description of same and such other information as the executive director, fish and game, may require to establish the facts as to the person's prior ownership and operation and his right to continue to operate.
II. Those fishermen who have filed information with the executive director pursuant to paragraph I shall be, for the duration of their respective lives, permitted to continue to operate their weirs consistent with the information filed with the executive director regardless of any state laws or regulations. These exemptions are non-assignable and shall terminate upon the death of each registered fisherman.

Source. RL 245:58. RSA 211:48. 1959, 306:2. 1969, 207:1. 1971, 191:1. 1979, 51:1, eff. April 13, 1979.

Section 211:48-a

    211:48-a River Herring. – A resident of this state or a nonresident who is licensed under RSA 211:49-a may use a seine, net, or weir for the taking of river herring from the waters of New Hampshire.

Source. 1967, 183:1. 1977, 201:1. 1978, 40:10. 2004, 166:3. 2009, 10:1, eff. June 16, 2009.

Section 211:48-b

    211:48-b Use of Nets; Lamprey River. –
I. No person shall use any type of net or weir for the taking of fin fish from the downstream side of the McCallen Dam to a line perpendicular with the 2 riverbanks from the north side of the Newmarket boat launch ramp except that the executive director of the New Hampshire fish and game department may permit netting as the executive director deems necessary for propagation and scientific purposes.
II. Notwithstanding any rules to the contrary, except as limited by this section, any resident as defined in RSA 207:1, XXIII may set or use a net or weir in the remaining tidal portion of the Lamprey River or tributaries for the taking of river herring only to a point downstream to a point perpendicular with the 2 river banks from Shackfords point to Moody point in the town of Newmarket, provided that said person shall obtain a permit under rules as adopted in accordance with RSA 541-A which shall be granted by the executive director. Such permittee shall be required to submit a report under rules as adopted in accordance with RSA 541-A and said information shall be a public record.
III. No person shall set or use nets or weirs in the Lamprey River unless such nets meet the following requirements:
(a) No person shall set or arrange a weir at any time to an extent greater than from one shoreline to the thread of the stream, nor shall any person set or use any gill net greater than 100 feet in total length from one shoreline outward to the thread of the stream. Such nets shall be stationary, pulled tight and straight and shall remain in a fixed position and the permittee shall be in attendance at all times.
(b) No person shall set or use a weir or net within 1,000 feet of another net. The distance between nets shall be measured in linear feet along the thread of the stream.
(c) No person shall take river herring from the waters of the Lamprey River by any method between sunrise Wednesday and sunrise Thursday of any week. During such period all nets shall be removed and a weir shall be constructed so that total escapement of all river herring shall occur.
(d) Use of nets, except weirs, shall be restricted to the period of sunrise to sunset.
IV. Any person who previously operated a weir during 1986 or who was exempt under the provisions of RSA 211:48, II shall have exclusive priority as to the location of such weirs. This section shall not interfere with those fishermen as described in RSA 211:48, II.

Source. 1987, 192:1. 1995, 9:26. 2009, 10:2, 3, eff. June 16, 2009.

Section 211:49

    211:49 Cod, Etc. –
I. No person shall use mobile gear, including but not limited to, otter trawls, mid-water trawls, beam trawls, pair trawls, purse seines, Scottish seines or drag seines in any form for the taking of any finfish or crustaceans in the waters under the jurisdiction of the state. The taking of all species of salmon (Salmonidae) and striped bass (Morone Saxatilis) is prohibited at any time by netting in any form. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the setting of lobster traps or trawls for the taking of lobsters and crabs.
II. The executive director may open and close the waters, or parts thereof, under the jurisdiction of the state to the taking of marine species by mobile gear pursuant to RSA 541-A and consistent with sound conservation and management practices. In addition to penalties established under RSA 211:58, violation of this section may result in confiscation of all fishing gear used in such violation.

Source. RL 245:59. 1949, 289:1. RSA 211:49. 1971, 501:1. 1973, 549:1. 1975, 62:1. 1983, 219:1. 1985, 40:2, 5. 1993, 51:2, eff. June 15, 1993.

Section 211:49-a

    211:49-a Nonresident Commercial Salt Water License. –
I. Any person who does not qualify as a resident under RSA 207:1, who takes, possesses, lands, or transports by any method, from or on the waters of this state, regardless of where the catch was taken, any marine species by any method for the purpose of selling the same, shall first procure a valid license from the executive director to do so. This license shall not include the taking, possession, landing, or transport of northern shrimp (Paudulus borealis) which requires a license under RSA 211:49-e, or the taking of lobsters and crabs, which requires a license under RSA 211:18. A nonresident shall not take sea urchins, clam worms, river herring, or scallops unless the state in which such person is a resident provides a reciprocal licensing privilege for residents of this state.
II. The fee for an annual license shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. The license shall be for the operator of the boat, vessel, flotation device, or gear, and helpers; provided, however, that helpers shall not be allowed for the taking of sea urchins or scallops by diving. The executive director shall establish a surcharge on each license issued under this section of not more than $25 nor less than $10 to be deposited in the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund established in RSA 211:77, and shall adopt rules for implementing and collecting the surcharge. Any person who satisfactorily demonstrates to the executive director that he or she is participating in a coastal cleanup program, or the sea urchin or scallop fishery, shall not be required to pay the surcharge. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to determine satisfactory participation in a coastal cleanup program and to account for licensees who are exempt from the surcharge each year.
III. Licensees shall be responsible for conducting their fishing activities in compliance with rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 541-A.
IV. Any person so licensed shall furnish to the executive director such information concerning marine species and fishing activities as the executive director may require by rules adopted under RSA 541-A.
V. Any person convicted of violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person. In addition, the defendant's catch shall be confiscated and sold according to rules adopted by the executive director pursuant to RSA 541-A, the proceeds of such sale to become the property of the New Hampshire fish and game department.

Source. 1973, 348:2. 1983, 81:1. 1994, 150:1, 2. 1997, 10:6. 2004, 166:4. 2009, 10:4, eff. June 16, 2009; 83:1, eff. July 1, 2009. 2013, 129:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2015, 186:14, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 211:49-aa

    211:49-aa Nonresident Wholesaler License. –
I. Any person, firm, or corporation who does not qualify as a resident under RSA 207:1 or RSA 211:43 and who is engaged in a wholesale trade in any marine species shall first procure a valid license from the executive director to do so in this state. The license shall entitle the licensee to buy, sell, process, and transport any marine species in wholesale trade within the state and to ship any marine species within and outside the state. A separate extra facility license shall be required for each market, store, vehicle, or facility where such marine species are bought or sold at wholesale. A nonresident wholesale license shall not be required by a person properly licensed pursuant to RSA 211:49-a. The fees for an annual license and for each extra facility license shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. A copy of the license shall be carried in each vehicle and displayed at all facilities.
II. No person, firm, or corporation, whose ship, vessel, or similar craft is within the territorial waters of this state shall engage in the processing or wholesale trade of any marine species, excluding northern shrimp, lobster, and crabs, without first procuring a license under this section.
III. The license under this section shall not entitle a person, firm, or corporation to transport on state waters lobsters and crabs or northern shrimp taken outside the jurisdiction of the state via ship, vessel, or similar craft for the purposes of landing the lobsters and crabs in the state as permitted under RSA 211:49-d and the northern shrimp in this state under RSA 211:49-e.

Source. 1988, 99:1. 1990, 32:1. 1997, 10:7. 2009, 83:2, eff. July 1, 2009. 2013, 129:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2015, 186:15, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:49-b

    211:49-b Resident Commercial Salt Water License. –
I. Any resident of this state who takes, possesses, lands, or transports on the waters of this state any marine species by any method for the purpose of sale, regardless of where the catch was taken, shall first procure a valid license from the executive director to do so. This license shall not include the taking, possession, landing, or transport of northern shrimp (Paudulus borealis) which requires a license under RSA 211:49-e, or the taking of lobsters and crabs, which requires a license under RSA 211:18.
II. The fee for such annual license shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. The license shall be for the operator of the boat, vessel, flotation device, or gear, and helpers; provided, however, that helpers shall not be allowed for the taking of sea urchins or scallops by diving. The executive director shall establish a surcharge on each license issued under this section of not more than $25 nor less than $10 to be deposited in the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund established in RSA 211:77, and shall adopt rules for implementing and collecting the surcharge. Any person who satisfactorily demonstrates to the executive director that he or she is participating in a coastal cleanup program, or the sea urchin or scallop fishery, shall not be required to pay the surcharge. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to determine satisfactory participation in a coastal cleanup program and to account for licensees who are exempt from the surcharge each year.
III. Any person so licensed shall furnish to the executive director such information concerning the marine species or fishing activities as the executive director may require by rule.
IV. Licensees shall be responsible for conducting their fishing activities in compliance with the rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 541-A.
V. Any person convicted of violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person and a misdemeanor if any other person. In addition, the defendant's catch shall be confiscated and sold according to rules adopted by the executive director pursuant to RSA 541-A and the proceeds of such sale shall become the property of the New Hampshire fish and game department.

Source. 1983, 254:1. 1986, 9:2. 1991, 229:3. 1994, 150:3. 1997, 10:8. 2004, 166:5, eff. May 24, 2004. 2013, 129:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2015, 186:16, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 211:49-c

    211:49-c Resident Wholesaler License. –
I. Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in a wholesale trade in any marine species shall first procure from the executive director a license to do so. Said license shall entitle the licensee to buy, sell, process, and transport any marine species in wholesale trade within the state and to ship any marine species within and outside the state. A separate extra facility license shall be required for each market, store, vehicle, or facility where such marine species are bought or sold at wholesale. A resident wholesaler license shall not be required by a person properly licensed pursuant to RSA 211:49-b. The fees for an annual license and for each extra facility license shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. A copy of the license shall be carried in each vehicle and displayed at all facilities.
II. Any person, firm, or corporation, whose ship, vessel, or similar craft is within the territorial waters of this state and engaged in the processing or wholesale trade of any marine species, excluding northern shrimp, lobster, and crabs, shall first procure a license as required under this section.

Source. 1988, 99:2. 1990, 32:2. 1997, 10:9, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. 2013, 129:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2015, 186:17, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:49-d

    211:49-d Landing License; Lobster and Crabs. – Any person who is not licensed under RSA 211:18, RSA 211:49-a, or RSA 211:49-b and wishes to transport in state waters lobsters and crabs taken outside the jurisdiction of the state via ship, vessel, or similar craft in state waters for the purposes of landing the lobsters and crabs in the state must first procure a landing license. This shall allow the licensee to sell lobster and crab landed under such person's license. The fee for annual licenses for residents and nonresidents shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I.

Source. 2009, 83:3, eff. July 1, 2009. 2011, 81:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. 2015, 186:18, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:49-e

    211:49-e Commercial Shrimp License. –
I. Any resident of this state, or an eligible nonresident, who takes, possesses, lands, or transports northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) on the waters of this state by any method for the purpose of sale, regardless of where the catch was taken, shall first procure a valid license from the executive director to do so.
II. The fees for the northern shrimp resident and nonresident licenses shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I.
III. A nonresident shall not be eligible to obtain a commercial shrimp license unless the state in which such person is a resident provides a reciprocal licensing privilege for residents of this state.
IV. The license shall be for the operator of the boat, vessel, flotation device, or gear, and helpers.
V. Any person so licensed shall furnish to the executive director such information concerning the harvest or fishing activities for northern shrimp as the executive director may require by rule.
VI. Licensees shall be responsible for conducting their fishing activities in compliance with the rules adopted by the executive director under RSA 211:62.
VII. Any person convicted of violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person and a misdemeanor if any other person. In addition, the defendant's catch shall be confiscated and sold according to rules adopted by the executive director pursuant to RSA 541-A and the proceeds of such sale shall become the property of the New Hampshire fish and game department.
VIII. The executive director may adopt rules to establish the number of commercial shrimp licenses available under this section. The executive director may adopt rules to establish eligibility criteria for an individual to be eligible to purchase a commercial shrimp license.

Source. 2013, 129:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2015, 186:19, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:50

    211:50 Repealed by 1985, 40:4, IV, eff. June 8, 1985. –

Section 211:51, 211:52

    211:51, 211:52 Repealed by 1957, 251:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1958. –

Section 211:53

    211:53 Sale Prohibited. – No person shall at any time sell or take for sale oysters from the waters under the jurisdiction of the state, except as provided for in RSA 211:62-e.

Source. 1949, 237:2. RSA 211:53. 1991, 229:4. 1994, 151:1, eff. May 23, 1994.

Section 211:54

    211:54 Repealed by 1959, 194:5, eff. Jan. 1, 1960. –

Section 211:55

    211:55 Repealed by 2004, 166:1, eff. May 24, 2004. –

Section 211:55-a

    211:55-a Sand Eels. – No person shall take sand eels by the use of a seine, weir or net except residents of this state.

Source. 1973, 312:1, eff. June 26, 1973.

Section 211:56 to 211:57

    211:56 to 211:57 Repealed by 1957, 251:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1958. –

Section 211:58

    211:58 Penalties. –
Violators of this subdivision shall be guilty of the following for each offense:
I. RSA 211:48, 48-a and 55 shall constitute a violation.
II. RSA 211:49 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. RL 245:65. 1945, 67:2. RSA 211:58. 1955, 308:5. 1967, 183:1. 1971, 501:2. 1973, 528:123. 1977, 171:1. 1979, 38:2, 3. 1985, 40:3, eff. June 8, 1985.

Section 211:59

    211:59 Repealed by 1965, 307:2, eff. Sept. 5, 1965. –

Section 211:60

    211:60 Advisory Committee on Marine Fisheries. –
I. There is established an advisory committee on marine fisheries to recommend programs and policies regarding marine fisheries to the fish and game commission. The advisory committee shall consist of 5 members and one alternate member, all of whom shall be residents of the seacoast region, appointed by the governor and council.
II. The term of office of each member shall be for 3 years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. The alternate member shall attend all meetings of the advisory committee, and shall act in the place of a member to make a quorum for the transaction of business, and may then vote on any motion with the powers granted to members. Members of the committee shall serve without compensation.
III. The duties of the advisory committee shall be to review and make recommendations as seems advisable relative to marine species. The committee shall have authority to hold hearings in the coastal towns on marine species.

Source. 1957, 176:1. 1991, 229:5. 1998, 86:1. 2004, 166:8, eff. May 24, 2004.

Section 211:60-a

    211:60-a Repealed by 1998, 86:3, eff. July 18, 1998. –

Section 211:61

    211:61 Clams, Lobsters. – The advisory committee on marine fisheries as appointed under RSA 211:60 may recommend to the fish and game commission such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the propagation, preservation, and taking of clams, clam worms, lobsters, crabs, oysters, and other marine species. All laws and regulations relative to the taking, sale, possession, and transportation of lobsters, crabs, clams, clam worms, oysters, and other marine species shall remain in full force and effect until such time as they are changed under the authority contained in this section.

Source. 1957, 251:1. 1965, 303:1. 1967, 55:1. 1991, 229:6. 2004, 166:9, eff. May 24, 2004.

Section 211:61-a

    211:61-a Repealed by 1991, 229:12, eff. Aug. 9, 1991. –

Section 211:61-b

    211:61-b Cooperation with Federal Agencies. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the executive director of the department of fish and game is hereby authorized to make application to the United States Department of Commerce for cooperation and assistance in the carrying out of projects authorized by the Congress of the United States under the provisions of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act of 1964, as amended. Such funds as may become available for the purposes of improving and developing the natural resources of Seabrook Harbor under the terms of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act may be used for purposes consistent with the regulations of the United States Department of Commerce.

Source. 1965, 248:1. 1983, 219:2, eff. Aug. 15, 1983.

Section 211:62

    211:62 Authority for Regulating Taking, Inspection and Processing of Marine Species. –
I. Rules relating to the taking, inspection, and processing of marine species may be made by the executive director of the fish and game department with the approval of the fish and game commission, and upon the advice and cooperation of the advisory committee on marine fisheries.
II. The rules relating to marine species may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) The size, number, sex, and quantity that may be taken;
(b) The areas to be opened or closed to their taking;
(c) The manner of their taking;
(d) The transportation of marine species within and through the state of New Hampshire;
(e) The sale, inspection, and processing of marine species; and
(f) Appropriate definitions.
III. Existing rules shall continue in effect until the effective date of new rules adopted in accordance with RSA 541-A.
IV. Conservation officers shall have the authority granted to public health officers and agents under RSA 143:4; RSA 143:23 through 28; and RSA 146:20, for the purpose of enforcing laws and rules pertaining to marine species.
V. Rules pertaining to marine species managed under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact under RSA 213 and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act under 16 U.S.C. section 1801, et seq., shall be exempt from the rulemaking requirements of RSA 541-A. The executive director may adopt such rules after notice and hearing as determined by the executive director to be practicable. Rules adopted under this paragraph shall be filed with the director of legislative services and with the joint legislative committee on administrative rules.

Source. 1957, 251:1. 1959, 194:1. 1963, 320:1. 1967, 411:1. 1983, 229:1. 1990, 178:2. 1991, 229:7-9. 1995, 82:1. 2004, 166:10, eff. May 24, 2004. 2019, 78:1, eff. Aug. 17, 2019.

Section 211:62-a

    211:62-a License for Taking. – No person shall at any time take oysters unless the person is a resident of the state and has been duly licensed as provided in this section. Any resident of this state shall, upon application to the executive director of the fish and game department, be granted a license to take oysters upon payment of a fee set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. Such license shall be issued for the current calendar year. The executive director of the fish and game department shall make readily available such licenses as are covered by this section through its regular outlets. A person who furnishes to another person or permits another person to have or use the person's oyster license or the license of any other person, or changes or alters such license or uses a license issued to another person, or makes a false statement in an application to obtain said license shall be subjected to the penalty under RSA 211:64.

Source. 1959, 194:2. 1967, 383:1. 1969, 63:3. 1971, 240:1. 1977, 286:3. 1981, 498:6. 1985, 291:10. 1986, 214:5. 1995, 238:1. 1997, 10:10. 2001, 252:7, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; 252:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2003. 2015, 186:20, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:62-aa

    211:62-aa Exception for Aged Persons. – No fee, including the agent's fee, shall be required for the issuance of a license under the provisions of RSA 211:62-a for taking oysters of a resident of the state who is 68 years of age or over. Such license shall be effective for the remainder of such resident's life, as long as the applicant remains a resident of the state, unless sooner suspended or revoked by the executive director. The minimum residency requirements of RSA 214:7-b are applicable.

Source. 1967, 3:1. 1973, 44:1. 1983, 35:1. 1985, 291:24. 1995, 238:2. 1997, 10:11, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Section 211:62-b

    211:62-b Repealed by 1979, 32:1, eff. June 10, 1979. –

Section 211:62-c

    211:62-c Motor Vehicles Restricted from Clam Flats. – No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle at any time on or over any clam flats under the jurisdiction of this state. For the purposes of this section, clam flats are defined as any tidal area that is exposed at low tide and capable of growing clams. This section shall not apply in cases of emergency travel required in law enforcement or rescue operations nor when travel is authorized by the Pease development authority, division of ports and harbors or New Hampshire fish and game department for projects designed for the improvement of the natural resources of the state. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a violation, and his or her fish and game licenses shall be subject to revocation for a period not to exceed one year.

Source. 1965, 157:1. 1977, 588:43. 2001, 290:10, eff. July 1, 2001.

Section 211:62-d

    211:62-d Clams in Coastal Waters. – No one other than an individual natural person who is a bona fide resident of the state, and who has obtained a commercial clamming license, may at any time commercially harvest or take the following from ocean waters within the jurisdiction of the state, black clams (Cyprina islandica), sea clams (Spisula solidissima), and razor clams (Enis directus). No such person authorized by this section to take such clams may take more than 500 bushels of unshucked clams daily. The fee for a commercial clamming license shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I.

Source. 1973, 210:1, eff. June 12, 1973. 2015, 186:21, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:62-e

    211:62-e Aquaculture. –
I. The purpose of this section is to encourage the orderly development of aquaculture in the state, while ensuring that aquaculture operations do not adversely impact upon the state's aquatic and marine resources and do not pose unacceptable disease, ecological, environmental, health, safety or welfare risks to persons, the environment, aquatic species or marine species.
II. In this section:
(a) "Aquatic species" include, but are not limited to, all fish, crustacea, mollusks, invertebrates and aquatic plants which usually inhabit fresh water.
(b) "Aquaculture" means the propagation and rearing of aquatic species and marine species and includes the planting, promoting of growth, harvesting and transporting of these species in, on, or from the waters of this state, or the operation of a fishing preserve.
II-a. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to license types, fees, bonding, insurance and the taking, permitting, inspection, possession, processing, sale, propagation, rearing, planting, growth promotion, harvesting, releasing and transportation of aquatic or marine species as related to aquaculture or fishing preserve operations including, but not limited to:
(a) The size, sex, number and quantity that may be taken, processed, or imported.
(b) The areas to be opened or closed to their taking, rearing, harvesting, releasing, planting, and growth promotion.
(c) The method and manner of their taking.
(d) The transportation within or through the state of New Hampshire and its waters.
(e) The sale, inspection, processing, and marking.
(f) Method of keeping.
(g) Method of recapture.
(h) All fees for bids, applications, review, monitoring, lease or rent, harvest, processing, and any other costs to the department for the issuance or renewal of a license or permit.
(i) Appropriate definitions.
II-b. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, for the issuance of 5-year licenses under this section to oyster aquaculture operations in the Great Bay estuary, and the fees, terms, and conditions therefor as authorized under paragraph II-a. The executive director shall establish a surcharge on each license issued under this section of not more than $25 nor less than $10 to be deposited in the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund established in RSA 211:77, and shall adopt rules for implementing and collecting the surcharge. Any person who satisfactorily demonstrates to the executive director that he or she is participating in a coastal cleanup program shall not be required to pay the surcharge. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to determine satisfactory participation in a coastal cleanup program and to account for licensees who are exempt from the surcharge each year.
III. (a) A person may be granted an aquaculture license by the executive director, under such terms and conditions as he may deem necessary, to release and recapture domestically reared anadromous fish in state waters.
(b) No license shall be issued which may interfere with the natural or established runs of anadromous fish, result in waste or deterioration of fish, or when the proposed operation is on a stream or river below a state or federal fish hatchery or egg taking station.
(c) All fish released into the wild under the authority of this section, while they are in the wild, will lose their status as private property and may be taken by duly licensed anglers as defined under RSA 207:1.
(d) Any license granted by the executive director pursuant to this section shall contain the following conditions:
(1) Domestically reared anadromous fish released into state waters shall be marked if the executive director determines it practicable. Any marking shall be approved by him.
(2) If the executive director finds that the operation described in the license and conducted pursuant to this section is not in the public interest, he may alter the conditions of the license to mitigate the adverse effects, or cause an orderly termination of the operation under the license. An orderly termination shall not exceed a 3-year period and shall culminate in the revocation of the license in its entirety. During this period, the licensee may continue to take specified domesticated anadromous fish according to the provisions of the license but shall be prohibited from releasing any additional fish.
(3) If the executive director finds that the operation has caused deterioration of the natural or established runs of anadromous fish in the waters covered by the license he shall require the licensee to return the run to the same condition as it was prior to the issue of the license. If the licensee fails to take appropriate action, the executive director may take such action and the licensee shall bear any cost incurred by the agency.
(4) Prior to the release into state waters all fish shall be examined by a qualified pathologist approved by the executive director and certified that they are not diseased or affected with any disease which in the opinion of the executive director may be detrimental to the resources of the state.
(5) If the licensed operation is located on a stream or river which does not have a state or federal fish passage facility the licensee shall have the right to divert all fish returning to the stream or river to an inspection area as authorized by the executive director, and shall be allowed to examine all fish for the purpose of identifying domestically reared fish that have returned. No unmarked fish may be transported from the trapping facility and must immediately be returned unmarked to the stream or river.
(6) If the operation is located on a stream or river possessing a state owned fish passage facility, fish and game department personnel will examine all fish and separate and hold any marked domestically reared fish that have returned. The licensee shall reimburse the fish and game department for actual expenses incurred.
IV. [Repealed.]

Source. 1978, 40:26. 1979, 254:1. 1992, 171:4-7, 12, III. 1995, 238:3, 4. 2008, 72:1, eff. July 20, 2008. 2012, 90:1, eff. July 28, 2012. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 211:62-f

    211:62-f Illegal Taking of Clams. –
I. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person:
(a) Takes clams (Mya arenaria) between the hours of 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise.
(b) Takes or possesses in one calendar day more than one bushel, liquid measure, of unshucked clams, while on or leaving any clam flat or any waters under the jurisdiction of this state.
II. Any person convicted of violating subparagraph I(a) or I(b) shall forfeit such boats, motors, oars, forks or any other equipment used or usable in the illegal clamming at the time of such offense.

Source. 1994, 217:1, eff. May 25, 1994.

Section 211:63

    211:63 Repealed by 1983, 229:2, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 211:63-a

    211:63-a Emergency Closing. – Any rules adopted under the authority of RSA 211:62 may be suspended and the taking of bivalves may be prohibited in any area when the department of environmental services shall determine that accidental pollution exists in the area. The emergency closing shall be ordered by the executive director without a hearing. The executive director after a hearing shall have authority to order a partial closing of clam, oyster, and other bivalve areas for the purpose of management of the areas by rotation. When such management closing is ordered the order shall be effective immediately without a waiting period.

Source. 1967, 55:3. 1983, 291:1. 1995, 238:5; 310:181. 1999, 112:3, eff. Aug. 9, 1999.

Section 211:63-b

    211:63-b Closing for Restoration. – The executive director, after a public hearing, may 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. When such closing for restoration is ordered, the order shall be effective immediately without a waiting period and shall continue in effect for a period of not more than 5 years. No more than 50 acres shall be closed at any time.

Source. 2015, 110:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2015.

Section 211:64

    211:64 Penalty. –
I. Any person who violates the provisions of RSA 211:62-a, 211:64-b, or any rule adopted by the executive director relative to clams, clam worms, and oysters shall be guilty of a violation.
II. Any person taking clams in excess of the limits provided by regulation promulgated under RSA 211:62 shall be guilty of a violation. Each quart or portion thereof taken or possessed in excess of the legal limit shall be a separate offense.
III. Any person taking oysters in excess of the limits provided by regulation promulgated under RSA 211:62 shall be guilty of a violation. Each 1/2 bushel or portion thereof taken or possessed in excess of the legal limit shall be a separate offense.
IV. In addition to any other penalty provided, the executive director in his or her discretion may also revoke or suspend for a period not exceeding one year any license or permit issued to any person, firm, or corporation who violates this title. Any person, firm, or corporation who continues to violate any provision of rules adopted under RSA 211:62 or any provisions of RSA 211:62-a while under revocation or suspension shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and the executive director in his or her discretion may revoke any rights for a license or a permit for up to 5 years.
V. Any person, firm or corporation who violates any provision of rules adopted under RSA 211:62 pertaining to the sale or processing of clams, oysters, mussels, or scallops shall be guilty of a violation, and each 1/2 bushel of clams, oysters, mussels, or scallops involved shall constitute a separate offense.
VI. Whoever violates the provision of RSA 211:62 or any rule adopted by the executive director relative to American eels and their harvest shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, or guilty of a class B felony for a second offense within 5 years of a prior offense, and all equipment used to carry out such offense shall be confiscated. In addition, the defendant's catch shall be confiscated and sold according to rules adopted by the executive director pursuant to RSA 541-A, the proceeds of such sale to be deposited in the fish and game fund and used by the fish and game department for the law enforcement and marine fisheries divisions.

Source. 1957, 251:1. 1959, 194:4. RSA 211:64. 1969, 18:1. 1973, 529:41. 1979, 39:1. 1985, 288:1. 1995, 238:6. 2009, 11:3, eff. June 16, 2009. 2014, 210:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

Section 211:64-a

    211:64-a Penalty. – Whoever violates the provisions of RSA 211:62-d or any rule or regulation promulgated by the executive director as hereinbefore provided relative to clams or other offshore resources shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person, and all equipment used to carry out such violation shall be confiscated.

Source. 1973, 210:2. 1977, 588:3, eff. Sept. 16, 1977.

Section 211:64-b

    211:64-b License for Recreational Taking of Clams. – No person shall at any time take clams for such person's own use unless the person is a resident of the state and has been duly licensed as provided in this section. Any person 6 years of age or older shall, upon application to the executive director of the fish and game department, be granted a license to take clams for recreational purposes upon payment of a fee set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. Such license shall be issued for the current calendar year. A resident of the state may take up to one quart of clamworms during any one day for such person's own use without a license. A person who furnishes to another person or permits another person to have or use the person's recreational clam license or the license of any other person, or changes or alters such license or uses a license issued to another person, or makes a false statement in an application to obtain said license shall be subjected to the penalty under RSA 211:64.

Source. 1995, 238:7. 1997, 10:12. 2001, 252:9, eff. Jan. 1 2002; 252:10, eff. Jan. 1, 2003. 2015, 186:22, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 211:64-c

    211:64-c Exception for Aged Persons. – No fee, including the agent's fee, shall be required for the issuance of a license under the provisions of RSA 211:64-b for the taking of clams by a resident of the state who is 68 years of age or over. Such license shall be effective for the remainder of such resident's life, as long as the applicant remains a resident of the state, unless sooner suspended or revoked by the executive director. The minimum residency requirements of RSA 214:7-b are applicable.

Source. 1995, 238:7. 1997, 10:13, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Marine Fisheries

Section 211:65

    211:65 Division Established. – A division of marine fisheries is established in the department of fish and game. The division is responsible for the regulation and promotion of both recreational and commercial marine fishing in the salt waters of the state.

Source. 1965, 307:1, eff. Sept. 5, 1965.

Section 211:66

    211:66 Terms Defined. – The term "marine fisheries" as used in this subdivision shall be construed as referring to the management of marine species.

Source. 1965, 307:1. 1991, 229:10, eff. Aug. 9, 1991.

Section 211:67

    211:67 Repealed by 2005, 104:5, I, eff. Aug. 14, 2005. –

Section 211:68

    211:68 Executive Director of Fish and Game. – The executive director of fish and game shall exercise general supervision over the division of marine fisheries and is authorized to hold hearings and adopt rules as provided by statute.

Source. 1965, 307:1. 2005, 104:1, eff. Aug. 14, 2005.

Section 211:69

    211:69 Chief of Division. – The executive director of the fish and game department shall appoint a marine biologist of adequate training and experience to be the chief of the division of marine fisheries. The executive director shall employ the necessary office, enforcement, and field help for the control and the promotion of marine fisheries within the funds available for the division.

Source. 1965, 307:1. 2005, 104:2, eff. Aug. 14, 2005.

Section 211:70

    211:70 Repealed by 2005, 104:5, II, eff. Aug. 14, 2005. –

Damage to Fish, Other Aquatic Life, Wildlife or Their Habitat

Section 211:71

    211:71 Contamination of Waters; Liability. – Whoever unlawfully discharges contaminants into the inland or coastal waters of the state shall be liable to the state for any damage to the fish, other aquatic life and wildlife or their habitat in said waters caused by such contamination.

Source. 1971, 184:1, eff. Aug. 10, 1971.

Section 211:72

    211:72 Damages; Determination by Department of Fish and Game. – Upon learning of damage to fish and other aquatic life or wildlife and/or their habitat occasioned by contamination, the executive director of the department of fish and game or his designated agent shall investigate and determine the party responsible. He shall compute the damages based on tables for each species of fish as promulgated by the department and by such other means as he deems reasonable and accurate. He shall calculate the value of fish and other aquatic life or wildlife or their habitat destroyed by using standard procedures and such other means as he deems reasonable and accurate for estimating the value of fish populations and other aquatic life or wildlife or their habitat.

Source. 1971, 184:1, eff. Aug. 10, 1971.

Section 211:73

    211:73 Continuing Contamination. – The executive director shall notify the department of environmental services or any other department of the state authorized by law to seek injunctive relief against water pollution if the contamination is a continuing offense.

Source. 1971, 184:1. 1996, 228:111, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 211:74

    211:74 Damage Actions. – When, in the opinion of the executive director, the damage to fish life and other aquatic life, or wildlife, or their habitat, so warrants, he shall request the attorney general to institute an action at law for damage to fish life and other aquatic life, or wildlife, or their habitat, caused by the contamination. Any damage moneys received pursuant to this section shall be credited to the fish and game fund.

Source. 1971, 184:1. 1983, 23:1, eff. June 11, 1983.

Marine Species

Section 211:75

    211:75 Search and Seizure. –
Any conservation officer shall have power:
I. To search without a warrant and examine any person or any boat, conveyance, vehicle, box, bag, locker, traps, crate or other receptacle or container for marine species, when the conservation officer has reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that marine species taken contrary to the provisions of this chapter are concealed thereon or therein.
II. To secure and execute search warrants, based on probable cause, and in pursuance thereof to enter any building, enclosure, vehicle or car and to break open any apartment, chest, locker, box, trunk, crate, basket, bag, package or container and to examine the contents thereof.
III. To seize and take possession of any marine species which have been caught, taken or killed or had in possession or under control or which have been shipped or are about to be shipped at any time, in any manner, or for any purpose, contrary to the laws of this state.
IV. To raise, lift or in any way examine any pot, trap, car or other contrivance that is set for the taking or holding of marine species and to seize all pots, traps, cars or other contrivances and the contents thereof used in violation of any law or rule relating to marine species, and to hold the same until the fine and costs imposed for such violation have been paid in full. Provided, that in case such fine and costs are not paid within 60 days after imposition such pots, traps, cars or contrivances may be sold at public auction. Prior to such sale the department shall give notice to the owner, if known, by registered mail; otherwise a notice shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the state, giving the time and place of such sale. If the owner shall appear and shall pay the fines and costs and shall reimburse said department for expenses incurred in connection therewith, the property shall be delivered to the owner; otherwise the same shall be sold and the proceeds of such sale shall be for the use of the department, unless otherwise authorized by the court exercising proper jurisdiction.
V. To board any boat which is on public waters under the jurisdiction of this state with or without a warrant, if the conservation officer has reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that any provisions of the statutes, rules and regulations relating to the taking of marine species as defined in RSA 207:1 or 211:62 are being or have been violated thereon, for the purpose of enforcing such statutes, rules and regulations.

Source. 1975, 340:11. 1994, 142:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. 2012, 209:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.

Section 211:76

    211:76 Penalties. –
I. A person who violates any statutes pertaining to marine species where no penalty is provided shall, if a natural person, be guilty of a violation and, if any other person, be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. A person who violates any rule or regulation promulgated by the executive director relative to marine species shall be guilty of a violation, and shall be guilty of a further violation for each lobster or crab or marine species, or parts thereof involved. The executive director, in his discretion, may also revoke any license issued to said person under this title for a period not exceeding one year.

Source. 1975, 340:11, eff. Aug. 6, 1975.

Derelict Fishing Gear and Coastal Cleanup Fund

Section 211:77

    211:77 Derelict Fishing Gear and Coastal Cleanup Fund Established. – There is hereby established a separate fund to be known as the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund. The fund shall be administered by the executive director and shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the executive director for the purposes of this section. The executive director shall credit to this fund all federal moneys, state funds appropriated, fines or settlements for derelict fishing gear or other items, and fines for littering in coastal waters or beaches collected under RSA 163-B:4. The executive director may accept and expend all funds, including any gifts, grants, or donations made to the fund. The moneys in the fund shall be used to establish and support new and existing programs to retrieve and dispose of derelict fishing gear, to conduct periodic coastal cleanup programs for the removal of derelict fishing gear and marine trash, and to support recycling efforts for fishing gear and other marine trash. In this section, "derelict fishing gear" means lost, discarded, or abandoned fishing gear.

Source. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 10, 2021.