General Fishing Rules

General Fishing Rules for Rivers and Streams apply to most rivers and streams in the state. Follow the seasons, bag limits, length limits, and important notes listed with each species in the chart.

General Fishing Rules for Rivers & Streams

Species Season Bag Limits & Minimum Lengths Important Notes
Black Bass January 1 - March 31 2 fish daily limit; only 1 fish >16 inches.
April 1 - May 14 2 fish daily limit.
May 15 - June 15 Catch and release only. Artificial lures and flies only.
June 16 - June 30 2 fish daily limit.
July 1 - October 15 5 fish daily limit.
Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and their hybrids January 1 - October 15 5 fish or 5 pounds daily limit, whichever is reached first; no length limit. "Trout" include Brook, Brown, Rainbow, Golden, Loch Leven trout, and all their hybrids.
Lake Trout January 1 - September 30 2 fish daily limit for lake trout and salmon combined (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each); minimum length 18 inches. Combined daily limit applies only during salmon season, April 1 – Sept. 30.
Landlocked Salmon April 1 - September 30 2 fish daily limit for lake trout and salmon combined (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each); minimum length 15 inches. Salmon may not be taken in any water body after September 30 and before April 1. Salmon may not be taken through the ice.
Chain Pickerel January 1 - October 15 10 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits. See illustration on Fish Identification.
Northern Pike January 1 - October 15 1 fish daily limit; minimum length 28 inches. See illustration on Fish Identification.
Walleye January 1 - October 15 2 fish daily limit; minimum length 18 inches; no weight limit. Special regulations in the Connecticut River — see Interstate Waters.
White & Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Sunfish, Horned Pout January 1 - October 15 25 fish each species daily limit; no more than 50 fish total combined; no length or weight limits.
Rock Bass January 1 - October 15 No daily limit; no length or weight limits.
Carp January 1 - October 15 No daily limit; no length or weight limits. Carp may be taken in the Connecticut River, Merrimack River, and Mascoma Lake by bow and arrow with cord attached.
Cusk January 1 - October 15 No daily limit; no length or weight limits.
River Herring No open season
American Shad January 1 - October 15 Catch and release only.
Lake Whitefish January 1 - October 15 2 fish daily limit; no length or weight limits.
Round Whitefish No open season All Round Whitefish must be immediately released.
Freshwater Smelt For smelt angling rules and water bodies open to the taking of this species by dip net, see Freshwater Smelt.
Suckers January 1 - October 15 No daily limits; no length or weight limits. Suckers may be taken for personal use with two traps, not more than 50 inches long, 30 inches wide, with an opening no smaller than 3½ inches in diameter.
March 1 - May 31 No daily limits; no length or weight limits. Suckers may be taken by hand dip nets not over 18 inches in diameter, drop nets not over 48 inches in diameter, spears or bow and arrow with cord attached.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.