Boating and Fishing

Keeping our lakes, rivers and coastal waters clean is vital for both the environment and our recreational use.

Boating and fishing are not only enjoyable pastimes; they are also extremely important contributors to the New Hampshire economy. These activities have the potential to negatively impact the environment (such as the dumping of sewage) and to be negatively affected by adverse environmental conditions (such as the presence of milfoil or harmful bacteria). NHDES helps regulate certain boating and fishing activities and provides guidance for people who enjoy the pastime.

Boat Pumpouts

boats docked at a marinaUsing boat wastewater pumpouts keeps our lakes and estuaries clean. Discharge from toilets, sinks and showers may cause algal blooms, aquatic life die-off events, shellfish closures and unsafe swimming conditions. The NHDES Clean Vessel Act program promotes the use of boat wastewater pumpouts through education, grants and two mobile pumpout boats.

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Invasive Species

a piece of equipment removes invasive plant speciesNew Hampshire has been actively involved in protecting our freshwater resources from aquatic invasive species since they were first identified in the state in the 1960s. Today, nearly 100 waterbodies across the state are impacted by growths of aquatic exotic/invasive species.The NHDES Invasive Species Program focuses on activities related to aquatic invasive species that are a threat to New Hampshire’s freshwater systems.

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Fish Consumption

a boy stands next to a pond fishingFish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. They are a good source of low-fat protein and contain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, a key nutrient for brain development. However, there are potential health risks in consuming fish and shellfish with elevated levels of contaminants. The State of New Hampshire has statewide and waterbody-specific fish consumption advisories that provide recommendations for safer portions of certain species.

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Harvesting Shellfish

a woman surrounded by harvested shellfishRecreational molluscan shellfish harvesting is a popular activity for many New Hampshire residents, and New Hampshire has a small but growing commercial shellfish industry. The New Hampshire Shellfish Program works to ensure public health protection for consumers of both recreationally and commercially harvested molluscan shellfish, and to help facilitate the development of a commercial shellfish industry in the state.

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