2018 Newfoundland and Labrador recreational groundfish fishery

In 2018, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 39 days.  For the 2018 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, June 30, 2018 to Monday, July 2, 2018
  • Saturday, July 7, 2018 to Monday, July 09, 2018
  • Saturday, July 14, 2018 to Monday, July 16, 2018
  • Saturday, July 21, 2018 to Monday, July 23, 2018
  • Saturday, July 28, 2018   to Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Saturday, August 4, 2018 to Monday, August 6, 2018
  • Saturday, August 11, 2018 to Monday, August 13, 2018
  • Saturday, August 18, 2018 to Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Saturday, August 25, 2018 to Monday, August 27, 2018
  • Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Monday, September 3, 2018

Fall season:

Saturday, September 22, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018.

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 2018, 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] (How to download and open a PDF form). First time applicants need to download, complete and have their doctor complete a section of the form.

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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