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Massachusetts Law About Recreational Hunting and Fishing

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Mass. Div. of Fish and Wildlife (MassWildlife). Primary resource for official information about freshwater fishing and hunting.

Mass. Div. of Marine Fisheries. Primary resource for official information about saltwater fishing, lobstering and crabbing.

2014 Massachusetts Guide to Hunting, Freshwater Fishing and Trapping. Comprehensive guide to licenses, permits and fees, species regulations, prohibitions and more, updated annually.

2014 Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide. Comprehensive guide to regulations, species, access sites, bait and tackle shops and more, updated annually.

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

Federal Regulations

50 CFR 32 Hunting and Fishing

Selected Case Law

Dapson v Daly 257 Mass. 195 (1926) "…the title to wild animals and game is in the Commonwealth in trust for the public, to be devoted to the common welfare…"

Other Web Sources

License types. Freshwater fishing and hunting license types and fees

MassFishHunt. Obtain licenses online here

License vendor locations. Walk-in locations to obtain licenses

Hunter course descriptions. Basic required course as well as advanced classes.

Massachusetts Crossbow Laws Still Intact, South Coast Today, June 9, 2013. Explains the state's extremely limited crossbow access law (MGL c.131, s.69) with link to the permit application form.

Take Me Fishing. Resource by state to all things fishing-related including regulations, licenses, places to fish, fishing reports, educational programs and events, species of fish, fishing techniques.

Print Sources

Massachusetts Environmental Law, edited by Gregor I. McGregor. 3d ed., MCLE, 2010. Chapter 8 – "Fisheries and Wildlife Law".

"The Economic Nature of Wildlife Law" by Dean Lueck, 18 J. Legal Stud 291 (June 1989)
(Available online to library card holders through Hein Online) Comprehensive review of the development of American wildlife law.


Mass. Gun Clubs. Alphabetical and county listings of rod and gun, hunting and fishing, fish and game, and sportsman's clubs.

Mass. Fishing Organizations. List of local clubs.