Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Environment/Energy: Fish and Game

G16 Department of Fish and Game

G17 Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

G18 Division of Marine Fisheries

G16 Department of Fish and Game
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114-2152
Tel: 617-626-1500
Fax: 617-626-1505

The Department Fish and Game is charged with stewardship responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants and natural communities. The Department, through its Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Division of Marine Fisheries, Division of Ecological Restoration and Office of Fishing and Boating Access maintains and improves the state's rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, coastal waters and wild lands through programs of research, restoration development and land acquisition. It also enforces all environmental laws relating to fishing, hunting, hazardous waste, illegal dumping, boating and recreational vehicles. The Department supports recreational uses of the state's wildlife lands consistent with the agency's mission.

G17 Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife)
Department of Fish and Game
One Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA 01581
Tel: 508-389-6300

Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
Tel: 508-389-6360

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is responsible for protecting and enhancing the state's inland fish, wildlife and plant resources for the benefit and enjoyment of its citizens. Among its many programs are the acquisition and management of more than 100 thousand acres of wildlife lands, research and regulatory authority over the use of the state’s renewable fish and wildlife resources, inventory, mapping and restoration of rare species and habitats, environmental review under the state Endangered Species and Wetlands Protection Act, propagation and stocking of more than 600 thousand trout annually, hunter education, information and outreach services and wildlife-oriented curriculums schools. MassWildlife’s five regional offices provide technical assistance to the public regarding wildlife questions and problems, outdoor recreation, and regional wildlife lands. The division is responsible for the issuance of rules and regulations pertaining to fishing, hunting, and sporting, and also issues state licenses and permits for these activities at its wildlife district offices. These licenses are also available at most local city or town halls, and many sporting goods stores. The division also issues special permits for research, salvage, exhibits, propagation, rehabilitation, problem animal control permits and taxidermy.

Regional Offices:

85 Fitchburg Road
Ayer, MA 01432
Tel: 978-772-2145

East Street
Belchertown, MA 01007
Tel: 413-323-7632

195 Bournedale Road
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532
Tel: 508-759-3406

88 Old Winsor Road
Dalton, MA 01226
Tel: 413-684-1646

211 Temple Street
West Boylston, MA 01583
Tel: 508-835-3607

G18 Division of Marine Fisheries
Department of Fish and Game
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114-2152
Tel:617 626-1520
Fax: 617-626-1509

The programs of this division include biological investigations and inventories of the state's marine resources, investigations into the causes and effects of fish kills and pollution, assessment of the impact of coastal alteration and power plant siting and generation, and the provision of basic information and guidelines for the effective management and development of marine resources and marine recreational fisheries in the Commonwealth. The division also has many biologists to aid recreational fishermen. Its Commercial Fisheries Bureau's activities encompass extensive services to commercial fishermen, processors, and dealers; technical assistance to those involved in shellfish propagation management and harvest; and the administration of state aid funds to municipalities for local shellfish management and enforcement programs. It issues licenses for lobstering, commercial shellfishing, and commercial finfishing; also, anyone engaged in the wholesale or retail trade of raw fish, shellfish, lobsters, and raw bait must obtain a dealer permit from the division. Non-commercial (family) lobster and crab permits are issued by the division. All licenses are issued at the Boston office and may be purchased by mail. Shellfish permits are required by each local jurisdiction. 

Regional Offices:

Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station
30 Emerson Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel: 978-282-0308

1213 Purchase St. - 3rd Floor
New Bedford, MA 02740
Tel: 508-990-2860

Shellfish Purification Plant
84 82nd Street
Newburyport, MA 01950-4323
Tel: 978-465-3553

Martha's Vineyard Field Station
Recreational Fisheries Information and Special Studies
Shirley Road
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Lobster Studies and Information Tel: 508-693-0060
P.O. Box 9
Recreational Fisheries Information
Tel: 508-693-4372
P.O. Box 68
(no permits at this location)

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