DEEP: 2017 Commercial Fishery Management Plan

2017 Commercial Fishery Management Plan
 
December 29, 2016
 
 
JANUARY – APRIL

Summer flounder: Initially 500 pound biweekly (per two week period) landing limit. Adjust limits periodically to maintain a steady biweekly landings rate, landing not more than 25% of the annual quota through March 31. Reduce to 50 pounds per trip once 25% of annual landings is reached or on April 1st, whichever occurs first. The first biweekly period begins Sunday January 1st and ends Saturday January 14th. Each subsequent biweekly period will similarly begin on Sunday and end the second Saturday following. Call-in / Call-out required under biweekly landing limits – Prior to departure and again prior to offloading call EnCon Police at 860.424.3503 24/7 and provide vessel name, Captain’s name, departure date, return date, port of landing and prior to offloading, the hail weight of fluke onboard.  Summer flounder license endorsement required to land fluke.

Scup (porgy): Follow federal winter 1 rules: initially 50,000 pound possession limit, dropping to 1,000 pounds when 80% of the period quota has been harvested. No scup license endorsement is required during this period or during winter 2. Note during federal winter 2 (Nov-Dec) the initial possession limit is 12,000 pounds. This limit may be adjusted (increased) based on winter 1 fishery performance. 
 
MAY - OCTOBER

Summer flounder: Initially 75 pound possession limit, adjusting limits periodically to maintain a steady weekly landings rate, landing not more than 95% of the annual quota, cumulatively by October 31. A summer flounder license endorsement is required to land fluke.

Scup (porgy): From May 1 through May 6 a 100 pound possession limit. Thereafter, the possession limit increases to 1,200 pounds. Adjust limits periodically to maintain a steady weekly landings rate, prevent a fishery closure and land 100% of the summer quota by October 31. A scup license endorsement is required to land scup, except under a restricted commercial fishing license when the possession limit is 60 scup without a scup license endorsement. Commercial lobster pot fishermen may, when in possession of lobsters, possess 10 scup. The 60 fish limit may also be adjusted (lowered) in-season in approximate proportion to any adjustment in the primary possession limit.  The lower limit will not exceed 10% of the primary limit.
 
ANNUAL

American lobster: The closed season for lobster is September 8 through November 28.

Atlantic menhaden: 6,000 pound possession limit all year.

Black sea bass: 10 fish possession limit effective Jan 1. The fishery will close when 100% of the annual quota has been landed. A black sea bass license endorsement is required to land sea bass, including from lobster pots.

Bluefish: 1,200 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. Adjust limits periodically to maintain a steady monthly landings rate, to prevent in-season closure and land 100% of the annual quota. To prevent significant change in the character of the fishery, such as large scale targeted net fishing, the possession limit will not exceed 1,200 pounds. 

Jonah crab: In the commercial fishery no Jonah crab less than 4.75 inches carapace width may be possessed or sold. Possession of egg bearing Jonah crabs or crabs from which the eggs have been removed is prohibited. Jonah crabs must also be landed whole. Landing claws only is prohibited. Possession of more than two loose claws per body is prohibited. The possession limit in non-trap fisheries is 1,000 crabs. There is no possession limit in the lobster pot fishery. (Connecticut licensing statutes do not allow crabs to be taken by pots other than lobster pots.) In the recreational fishery, there is a 50 crab daily possession limit and possession of egg bearing crabs or crabs from which the eggs have been removed is prohibited. There is no minimum size limit in the recreational fishery.

Smooth dogfish: 200 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. The fishery will close when 100% of the quota has been landed.

Spiny dogfish: 6,000 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. Spiny dogfish are managed under a regional annual quota. The fishery will close when 100% of the regional quota has been harvested.

Tautog: 10 fish possession limit when fishing under a limited access (moratorium) license, and 4 fish when fishing under the new restricted commercial fishing license. Open seasons are the months of April, July, August, and between Oct 8 and Dec 24.

Weakfish: 100 pounds all year.

Winter flounder: 50 pounds or 38 fish unless the fish were taken in federal waters under a federal groundfish permit.

All of the possession limits listed above apply to the aggregate of all persons on board the vessel per trip or per day whichever is the longer period of time. Transfer of these species between vessels at sea is prohibited. In any instance where there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person when the catch is commingled, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner of the vessel, or the operator of the vessel, if the owner is not on board. When any person on a vessel is commercial fishing, the commercial possession limit applies to the entire vessel and no person on that vessel may also possess fish under a recreational creel limit.

For current commercial fishery trip limits and quota status:
Call 860-434-6374 24/7 for a recorded message of current possession limits, or see:
www.ct.gov/deep/TL.

Please refer to the Quick Guide to 2016 Connecticut Commercial Fishing Licenses for more information concerning changes to commercial fishery licensing effective January 1, 2016 including both new requirements for license renewal and new opportunities. 

The Department monitors landings and adjusts trip limits according to Department regulations in an attempt to provide fishing opportunity throughout the year for all participants in the commercial fishery. In addition, the Department strives to provide advance notification of trip limit changes, although this may not always be possible due to rapidly escalating or unanticipated landings. In such circumstances, only a short notification period may be possible.

The information provided in this notice is a summary of possession limits and other general rules only. For complete information on commercial fishing regulations please see:
www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/fishing/saltwater/marinecirc.pdf, or contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at deep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, by mail at PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact us at (860) 418-5910 or
deep.accommodations@ct.gov if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.
 
(N17-01)