2021 Newfoundland and Labrador recreational groundfish fishery

In 2021, the recreational groundfish fishery will be open for a total of 39 days. For the 2021 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.

Season dates:

Summer season:

Saturday, July 03, 2021 to Monday, July 05, 2021
Saturday, July 10, 2021 to Monday, July 12, 2021
Saturday, July 17, 2021 to Monday, July 19, 2021
Saturday, July 24, 2021 to Monday, July 26, 2021
Saturday, July 31, 2021 to Monday, August 02, 2021
Saturday, August 07, 2021 to Monday, August 09, 2021
Saturday, August 14, 2021 to Monday, August 16, 2021
Saturday, August 21, 2021 to Monday, August 23, 2021
Saturday, August 28, 2021 to Monday, August 30, 2021
Saturday, September 04, 2021 to Monday, September 6, 2021

Fall season:

Saturday, September 25, 2021 to Sunday, October 03, 2021

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 2021, 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. 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/ ophthalmologist 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. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application electronically, via email. Applications received via regular mail may result in delays to processing your application.

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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