Jeffrey's Ledge (NH)

About New Hamsphire Coastal Waters

See all hotspots at New Hamsphire Coastal Waters

The New Hampshire Coastal Waters extend from New Castle on the border with Maine to Seabrook on the border with Massachusetts.

For pelagic trips, familiarize yourself with eBird's pelagic protocol and use the appropriate personal locations or eBird hotspots

The eBird pelagic protocol applies to checklists that are made farther than two miles offshore on oceans, seas, or large lakes. Choose the Pelagic Protocol option from the ‘Other’ menu of Observation Types. Please note that we still have much to learn about seabird distribution, so we encourage you to add photos and notes to document your sightings on your checklists! 

If you’re moving: Count for up to 60 minutes on each checklist; stopping at the 1-hour mark. Record the distance traveled (ideally with eBird Mobile Tracks), adjust the distance estimate for backtracking as you would a traveling checklist, and choose a location on the map for where you started that checklist period. Repeat this process throughout the trip until you return to within two miles of shore.

If you’re anchored: Keep a checklist for as long as you’re anchored, and then follow the above instructions once you start to move again.

About Jeffrey's Ledge

See all hotspots at Jeffrey's Ledge

Jeffreys Ledge, a large glacial remnant, is located ~35 km off the New Hampshire coast. It is a long (60 km), linear bank extending from Cape Ann, Massachusetts to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Typical of glaciated features, the shallower regions of Jeffreys Ledge (~50-75 m) are composed of coarse sediments (mostly gravels with numerous cobble and boulder fields). Adjacent to Jeffreys Ledge are muddy basins that are over 200 meters in depth.

Historically, Jeffreys Ledge has been an important fishing ground of the Gulf of Maine with high yields of cod, haddock, hake, and flounder. However, in 1998, the Western Gulf Of Maine Closure Area was established by New England Fisheries Management Council, closing a large area of Jeffreys Ledge to ground fishing in hopes of restoring stocks.

In 2002, the University of New Hampshire initiated an interdisciplinary study of Jeffreys Ledge in order to better understand the physical and biological processes influencing this important ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of the closure.

Last updated March 6, 2023