2024 N.L. Recreational Groundfish Fishery Opens June 29

DFO advises that the recreational groundfish fishery opens this weekend, and will be open for a total of 39 days. There are no requirements for licences or tags this season.

Summer season dates:

  • Saturday, June 29, 2024 to Monday, July 01, 2024
  • Saturday, July 06, 2024 to Monday, July 08, 2024
  • Saturday, July 13, 2024 to Monday, July 15, 2024
  • Saturday, July 20, 2024 to Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Saturday, July 27, 2024 to Monday, July 29, 2024
  • Saturday, August 03, 2024 to Monday, August 05, 2024
  • Saturday, August 10, 2024 to Monday, August 12, 2024
  • Saturday, August 17, 2024 to Monday, August 19, 2024
  • Saturday, August 24, 2024 to Monday, August 26, 2024
  • Saturday, August 31, 2024 to Monday, September 02, 2024

Fall season dates: Saturday, September 21, 2024 to Sunday, September 29, 2024

The recreational groundfish fishery will occur in all NAFO areas/subareas around Newfoundland and Labrador, which include:

  • 2GH
  • 2J3KL
  • 3Ps
  • 3Pn
  • 4R

Exceptions are the Eastport, Gilbert Bay and Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Areas (MPA), where recreational groundfish fishing is not permitted.

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

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


Management measures and regulations

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

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.

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 makes determination 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.

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.

For 2024, tour boat operators will be eligible to apply for a licence to seek an increased trip limit. This licence will have harvest reporting requirements. To apply for this licence, please contact DFO.ExperimentalLicensing-Experimental.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca


Disability designations

Provisions will continue that allow persons with a disability to designate a person to catch their daily limit of groundfish. First time applicants must complete the Disability Form and have their doctor/ophthalmologist complete the required section.

If you wish to apply for a Disability Designation for the recreational groundfish fishery in 2024, please visit: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/decisions/fm-2024-gp/atl-29-eng.html

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