2017 Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish Fishery

In 2017, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 46 days. For the 2017 season, there is no requirement for licences or tags.

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:

Saturday July 01, 2017 to Monday July 03, 2017
Saturday July 8, 2017 to Sunday July 09, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017 to Sunday, August 06, 2017,
Saturday, August 12, 2017 to Sunday, August 13, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017 to Sunday, August 20, 2017
Saturday, August 26, 2017 to Sunday, August 27, 2017
Saturday September 02, 2017 to Monday, September 04, 2017

Fall Season:

Saturday, September 23, 2017 to Sunday, October 01, 2017.

Retention Limits

Recreational fishers are limited to five groundfish per day (including cod).

Management Measures and Regulations

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

The maximum boat limit when three or more people are fishing is 15 groundfish.

For 2017, 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, skinning, cutting into sections, 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.

Provisions will continue that allow a disabled person to designate a person to catch their daily limit of groundfish will continue. Information is available at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Client Service Centres.

Applicants can access the designation for disabled persons form here [PDF 49 KB]. Print and complete form and return to your nearest DFO office for authorization.

To fill out a PDF form, you must:

  1. download it to your computer
  2. use PDF software to open it (such as, Adobe Reader or Foxit PDF)

For more information: How to download and open a PDF form

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.

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