DURHAM, N.H. — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing to address proposed rules on groundfish on September 3, 2013, at 7 p.m. at the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road in Portsmouth, NH 03801.

NH Fish and Game adopted interim rules effective July 1, 2013, to change the minimum size limits of some groundfish species and implement a minimum size limit for witch flounder for commercial harvesters. The interim rules were designed to complement similar federal rules that also went into effect on July 1 for federal waters (3-200 miles from shore). The minimum size changes in the interim rule reduced the size limit from 22 to 19 inches for Atlantic cod, 18 to 16 inches for haddock, 13 to 12 inches for yellowtail flounder, 14 to 12 inches for American plaice and 9 to 7 inches for red fish; and established a 13 inch length limit for witch flounder.

The Fish and Game Department is proposing to readopt this interim rule as a regular rule, as well as make amendments to the recreational groundfish rules to raise the minimum size limit for haddock for recreational anglers from 18 inches to 21 inches and to increase the minimum fillet size for haddock from 12 to 13 inches as of January 1, 2014. The proposed rule change to the recreational size limit for haddock is also in line with a similar change made by NOAA Fisheries for federal waters on May 1 to reduce the recreational harvest of haddock.

The complete rulemaking notice, with original and proposed rule language for these proposals, can be viewed at (click on “Groundfish Rules”).
Written comments must be received by September 10, 2013. Send to: (use subject line “Comment on Groundfish Rules”); or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to 603-271-1438.

Directions to the Urban Forestry Center, 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, N.H.: From Portsmouth Traffic Circle: Take the Route 1 Bypass South exit off circle. Merge with Route 1 and go through five traffic lights. Turn left at sixth light onto Elwyn Road.

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