2016 Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish Fishery

In 2016, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 46 days. This is an increase of 14 days over previous years.

This is a transitional measure in advance of implementation of a license and tags regime for all recreational fishery participants, which is expected to be introduced prior to the 2017 season. Full consultations on the new regime will be undertaken with the general public and industry in the near future.

Species and Area

The recreational groundfish fishery will occur in all NAFO areas/subareas  around Newfoundland and Labrador, which includes 2GH, 2J3KL, 3Ps, 3Pn and 4R. Two exceptions are the Eastport and Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where recreational groundfish fishing will not be permitted.

Dates of seasons

Summer Season:

Friday July 01, 2016 to Sunday July 03, 2016
Saturday July 9, 2016 to Sunday 10 July, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016 to Sunday, August 07, 2016,

Saturday  August 13, 2016  to Sunday August 14,2016
Saturday  August  20, 2016   to Sunday August 21, 2016
Saturday  August  27, 2016  to Sunday August 28,2016

Saturday September 03, 2016 to Monday, September 05, 2016

Fall Season:
Saturday, September 24, 2016 to Sunday, October 02, 2016.

Retention Limits

Recreational fishers are limited to five groundfish per day (including cod). However, the maximum boat limit when three or more people are fishing is 15 groundfish.

Management Measures and Regulations

The recreational fishery is open to both residents and non-residents.

There is no requirement for licences or tags for the public.

For 2016, tour boat operators will be eligible to apply for a licence to seek an increased trip limit. This licence will have harvest reporting requirements.

Retention of Atlantic halibut, Spotted and Northern wolffish, and any species of shark is prohibited. Sculpins and cunners may be released. All other groundfish caught must be retained and are part of the daily bag limit of 5 groundfish.

High-grading of groundfish is not permitted and no fish are permitted to be wasted.

All fish caught must be retained in a readily identifiable state. Fish may be bled, gutted, and split while at sea, but further processing such as filleting, skinning, packing or otherwise at sea is not permitted, as such further processing practices make determinations of species, number and size of the fish problematic.

Only angling gear and handlines with a maximum of three hooks are permitted. Handlines include artificial lures, baited hooks and feathered hooks. Artificial lures with treble hooks weighing less than five ounces or 142 grams are acceptable. Traditional jiggers are not permitted unless they are modified and have only one single hook.

There are provisions in this year's recreational fishery that allow a disabled person to designate a person to catch their daily limit of groundfish. Information is available atFisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Client Service Centres.
Access the designation for disabled persons form here [PDF 25 KB] | HTML. Print and complete form and return to your nearest DFO office for authorization.

Fishery officers and Fishery Guardians will monitor this fishery closely, both at sea and at dockside, to ensure regulations are followed. Complaints will be investigated and enforcement action initiated where required. The sale of groundfish caught in the recreational fishery is strictly prohibited.

Commercial fishing vessels are not permitted to participate in recreational fishing activity on any fishing trip where there is any commercial fishing activity.

For safety reasons, fishing is only permitted from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.

The public is reminded to follow safe boating practices and be aware of local weather and sea conditions before leaving port.