The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is proposing a moratorium on recreational fishing of cod in state waters.
Fish stock assessments show the population of cod is still at historic lows in New England waters.
In response, Fish and Game is proposing that all cod caught by recreational anglers be immediately released, year round.
The department is also proposing to limit recreational fishing of haddock – that species is doing fine, but fishermen going for haddock often end up with cod as well.
Recreational fishing accounts for almost a third of the catch for both cod and haddock in New Hampshire.
Doug Grout with Fish and Game says the proposed changes may be controversial with the recreational fishing industry.
“We hear from fishermen that they don’t believe the stock assessment for cod and they also know that there’s lots and lots of haddock around. So they’ll be concerned about having a closed season on it.”
Fish and Game will host a public hearing on the issue July 25th in Portsmouth. The comment period for the proposed rule changes ends August 1st.
The complete list of proposed rule changes can be seen here.