2017 Commercial Fishery Possession Limits
August 18, 2017
Effective 0001 hours Sunday August 20, 2017, the Scup commercial fishery possession limit will be reduced to 0 pounds. The Department expects that 100% of the summer period quota (225,774 lbs.) will have been landed by Saturday August 19. The scup fishery reverts to coastwide quota management on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at a 12,000 pound possession limit (note: this possession limit will likely be revised upward due to a Winter I quota period carryover).
Summer Flounder: Summer Flounder License Endorsement required.
Effective 0001 hours Sunday August 20, 2017, the Summer Flounder commercial fishery possession limit will be reduced to 50 pounds. The department currently estimates 76.7% of the annual quota (127,734 lbs.) has been landed as of 08/16/2017. The possession limit is being adjusted to maintain a constant rate of landings for the remainder of the quota period, without exceeding the quota.
American lobster: The closed season for lobster is September 8 through November 28. The minimum length is 3-3/8 inches.
American eel: No possession limit. Minimum length is 9 inches.
Atlantic menhaden: 6,000 pound possession limit all year.
Black sea bass: 50 pound possession limit effective July 9. The Department adjusts limits periodically to maintain a steady monthly landings rate, to prevent in-season closure, and land 100% of the annual quota. The fishery will close when 100% of the annual quota has been landed. As of August 16, 2017, 67.1% of the 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. The Department adjust limits periodically to maintain a steady monthly landings rate, to prevent in-season closure, and land 100% of the annual quota. As of August 16, 2017, 9.2% of the quota has been landed. To prevent significant change in the character of the fishery, such as large scale targeted net fishing, the possession limit will not exceed 1,500 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. As of August 16, 2017, 49.8% 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. As of August 9, 2017, 21% of the regional quota has been landed.
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. The commercial minimum length is 16 inches.
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:
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