Coastal Water Recreational Fishery Information Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Frequently asked questions about the management measures for salt water/marine/coastal water
recreational fisheries in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region. It is important for all recreational
harvesters to be aware that any fish harvested during recreational activity cannot be sold, bartered, or
traded.

Species that do not require a recreational licence:

Squid:

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Season Dates: Open year round.
  • Authorized gear: Hand held squid jigger. Reels and rollers are permitted; however, the use of
  • mechanical/hydraulic devices to assist with the harvest is not permitted.
  • Limit: There is no bag limit.
  • All incidental catch of groundfish must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

Mackerel:

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Season Dates: April 1 to December 31.
  • Authorized Gear: Hook and line or angling gear; permitted to fish with a maximum of five lines or
  • with a fishing line with a maximum of six hooks attached.
  • Limit: Possession limit of 20 mackerel in any one day.
  • Size: Minimum retention size 26.8 cm in length.
  • All incidental catch of groundfish must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

Capelin:

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Season Dates: Open year round.
  • Authorized gear: Hook and line (or angling gear), dip nets, or cast nets are permitted.
  • Limit: There is no bag limit.
  • All incidental catch of groundfish must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

Trout Fishery (Coastal Waters):

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Guide Requirements: There are no guide requirements for harvesting in coastal waters.
  • Season Dates: Open year round in coastal waters.
  • All other Trout angling regulations apply in coastal waters, including daily bag limits and possession limits. For further information, please consult the Angler’s Guide.
  • Authorized gear: Angling gear.
  • Daily Limit: Bag limit and size limits - The daily bag limit is 12 fish, which can be a combination of
  • any of these species: Speckled, Brown, Rainbow trout, Ouananiche or 5 lbs. (2.25 kg) round weight
  • + 1 fish of any of these species, whichever is reached first. No Rainbow trout or Ouananiche less
  • than 20 centimeters (8 inches) can be retained.
  • Possession limit: The limit is twice the daily bag limit.
  • All incidental catch of groundfish must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

Smelt (Coastal Waters):

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Guide Required: There are no guide requirements for harvesting in coastal waters.
  • Season Dates: Open year round in coastal waters.
  • All other general angling regulations apply in coastal waters; including, authorized angling gear (angling gear). For further information, please consult the Angler’s Guide.
  • Authorized gear: Angling gear.
  • Limits: No bag limit or possession limit applies.

Recreational Groundfish:

  • Licence Required: No licence required.
  • Season: The season is announced annually in spring with an opening date in July.
  • Authorized gear: Only angling gear and hand-lines, with a maximum of three hooks, are permitted. Hand-lines 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.
  • Daily Limits: The daily harvest limit is five groundfish per day (including Cod). The maximum boat limit, when three or more people are fishing, is 15 groundfish.
  • Retention of Atlantic halibut, Spotted and Northern wolffish or 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 five (5) groundfish.

Species that require a recreational licence:

Personal Use Seal:

  • Licence Required: Yes, a personal use licence is required, and a licence fee is applied. Apply for a licence online via the National Online Licencing System.
  • Persons obtaining a Personal Use Seal Licence must have:
    • Proof of age (18 or older).
    • A Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Certificate.
    • Proof they have successfully completed a Seal Humane Harvesting information session.
  • Personal Use Seal Licence holders must follow the Marine Mammal Regulations and Conditions of licence. All Sealing activity will be monitored by Fishery Officers.

Scallop:

  • Licence Required: Yes, a recreational licence is required, and a licence fee is applied. Apply for a licence via the National Online Licencing System.
  • Season Dates: January 1 – December 31
  • Authorized gear: scuba, drag (limited to Scallop Fishing Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11), dip-net, and/or hand rake. The use of mechanical/hydraulic devices to assist with the harvest is not permitted.
  • Daily Limits: Daily limit – 50 scallop, Possession limit – 100 scallops.
  • All incidental catch i.e. lobster, groundfish etc. must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

Shark:

  • Licence Required: Yes, a recreational licence is required, and a licence fee is applied. Apply for a
  • licence via the National Online Licencing System.
  • Reporting Requirement: Yes
  • Season Dates: January 1 – December 31.
  • Authorized gear: Angling gear.
  • Catch and release only.
  • All incidental catch of groundfish must be released in a manner which causes it the least harm.

If you would like to have all Notices to Anglers and Public Notices sent directly to you by email please
contact: dave.parsons@dfo-mpo.gc.ca