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Region 3 Office

Serving Southeastern New Hampshire and the Seacoast

By Doug Grout


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department serves southeastern New Hampshire and the seacoast through its Region 3 Office in Durham and the Great Bay Estuary Research Reserve in Greenland. Regional fisheries, wildlife and Fish and Game law enforcement staff are vital to the management and protection of marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats in this area.


The continued abundance of fish and wildlife to provide recreational and commercial opportunities for the seacoast -- and income for related businesses -- is dependent on the services currently provided by the NH Fish and Game Department. Following a sampling of the many services and benefits we provide in the region:


Fish and Game Department activities in southeastern New Hampshire support the local economy. Hundreds of thousands of people journey to New Hampshire's seacoast each year to participate in marine recreational fishing, wildlife watching and other outdoor activities, bringing in tens of millions of dollars for local businesses. Regional Fish and Game efforts also sustain a thriving lobster fishery and support other commercial fisheries in the area.


Southeastern New Hampshire has the state's greatest density of people, containing twelve of the thirteen of its largest towns and cities. The region also has the state's highest densities of most fish and wildlife populations, as well as the greatest diversity of wild species in New Hampshire. People in southeastern New Hampshire are living with fish and wildlife populations not seen in over 200 years!


The presence of abundant wildlife populations sometimes leads to the need to manage conflicts between wildlife and people. Fish and Game's regional staff in southeastern New Hampshire are literally wildlife referees! We've had to relocate moose, deer and even bears regularly from cities in the region. The balancing act between humans, fish and wildlife becomes more complex by the year, and Fish and Game staff constantly monitor and adjust the "balance of nature" -- including monitoring for Avian Influenza and controlling the region's abundant deer population (and associated risks of Lyme disease and vehicle collisions). Who will maintain this balance if Fish and Game cannot?


The Fish and Game regional office in Durham houses the Department's entire Marine Fisheries Division. On New Hampshire's seacoast, Marine Division staff work cooperatively with other coastal states and the federal government in the scientific study and management of marine fish for recreational and commercial uses. As a result, striped bass, cod and haddock are numerous once again after years of depletion.


Fish and Game's regional law enforcement staff, along with their other enforcement and search and rescue duties, constantly monitor both recreational and commercial fishermen. This continued oversight supports ongoing efforts to rebuild fish populations.


Fish and Game marine biologists operate and maintain seven coastal fish ladders, resulting in the restoration of shad and alewives. Hundreds of thousands of alewives returning to our coastal rivers each spring has enabled the return in the last decade of a dozen pairs of nesting ospreys, the first in a century. Without the operation of the fish ladders, food for these ospreys and fish such as striped bass will dwindle.


The Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve is a part of the NH Fish and Game Department, as well. The Reserve's Discovery Center and the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center on Great Bay in Greenland provide educational programs for students of all ages. Nearly 15,000 people visit the Reserve and participate in its programs each year. These programs provide opportunities to learn the importance of estuaries to fish and wildlife, encouraging future stewards of the environment. To find out more about the Reserve, visit


The real New Hampshire advantage is our abundant natural resources -- the wildlife and wild lands that contribute so much to our high quality of life. Through the efforts of the NH Fish and Game Department and its conservation partners, more than 100 coastal properties totaling over 7,700 acres of natural area have been purchased or placed in conservation easements. The success of these cooperative conservation programs has protected these lands from development -- preserving waterfowl habitat and vital nursery areas for marine species, as well as maintaining open space for surrounding communities. These efforts ensure that current and future licensed sportsmen and women, as well as kayakers, canoeists and wildlife watchers, can enjoy access to the natural unspoiled beauty of the lands and waterways in this corner of the state, especially the Great Bay Estuary.


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, a complex organization with an ever-expanding set of duties and mandates that benefit all New Hampshire's citizens, is an important steward of the natural resources and wild places that enhance the quality of life throughout southeastern New Hampshire and the seacoast.


Region 3 (Southeast NH/Seacoast) contact information:

225 Main Street, Durham NH 03824 (fishing only)
Phone: (603) 868-1095
Fax: (603) 868-3305



Doug Grout is the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Division Chief, based in the Department's Region 3 Office in Durham, NH.