2020 Newfoundland and Labrador recreational groundfish fishery

In 2020, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 39 days. For the 2020 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. Three exceptions are the Eastport, Gilbert Bay and Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where recreational groundfish fishing will not be permitted.

Dates of seasons

Summer season:

Saturday, July 04, 2020 to Monday, July 06, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020 to Monday, July 13, 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020 to Monday, July 20, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020 to Monday, July 27, 2020
Saturday, August 01, 2020 to Monday, August 03, 2020
Saturday, August 08, 2020 to Monday, August 10, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020 to Monday, August 17, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020 to Monday, August 24, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020 to Monday, August 31, 2020
Saturday, September 05, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020

Fall season:

Saturday, September 26, 2020 to Sunday, October 04, 2020

Retention limits

Recreational fishers are limited to five (5) groundfish per day (including cod).

Management measures and regulations

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

Fisheries and Oceans Canada encourages all individuals participating in the Recreational Groundfish Fishery to follow public health advice.

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

For 2020, 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]. First time applicants are required to download, complete and have their doctor complete a section of the form. However, individuals who are looking to renew can complete the form electronically by saving it and sending via email (NL-TN.Licences@dfo-mpo.gc.ca) or clicking submit at the bottom of the form during which time an email will be generated for the applicant.

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

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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