DEEP: Notice of Regulation Public Hearing

Notice of Regulation Public Hearing

April 29, 2008

The DEP Marine Fisheries Division is holding a public hearing to take public comment on proposed amendments to regulations described below. The proposed amendments pertain to: (1) commercial trawl and fish pot fisheries and commercial fisheries for lobster, tautog and black sea bass; (2) recreational fisheries for scup, tautog, summer flounder and bluefish; and (3) all fisheries for sharks as well as any fisheries conducted under the Research Set-Aside program of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Written comments will be accepted through June 2, 2008. Based on the public comment received, the proposals may be revised. The public hearing will be held at:

7:00 PM, Monday May 19, 2008
Clinton Town Hall, Green Room
54 East Main St. (Route 1)
Clinton, CT 06413

Specifically, the regulations proposed to be amended: (1) modify the definition of a fly net and allow a small-mesh trawl fishery for butterfish and squid during the fall; (2) exempt eel pots from certain fish pot requirements, establish a trap limit for fish pots, a trap tagging requirement for fish pots and a prohibition on setting or tending the fish pots of another fisherman; (3) adjust the definition of a v-notch and prohibit the possession of lobsters taken from Lobster Management Area (LMA) 6 (Long Island Sound) that are greater than 5-1/4 inches carapace length; (4) generalize the language regarding the transfer of LMA 2 lobster trap allocations to include any LMA for which the American Lobster Fisheries Management Plan of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission authorizes such transfers; (5) prohibit the take, possession and sale of certain shark species in Connecticut; (6) change the recreational minimum length (for party/charter vessels), creel limit and season for scup, (7) change the recreational minimum length, creel limit and season for summer flounder; (8) change the recreational creel limit and season for tautog; (9) increase the possession limit for bluefish; (10) change the commercial season for tautog and the possession limit for tautog taken by trawl and eliminate the male tautog exemption during the closed season for the pound net fishery; (11) increase the commercial possession limit for black sea bass in the commercial hook, pound net, scallop dredge, gill net and lobster pot fisheries; (12) establish rules for notifying the department of fishing trips and landings conducted under the Research Set-Aside (RSA) program of the National Marine Fisheries Service and clarify that the RSA program is a federal waters program and that the RSA exemptions do not apply to fishing conducted in Connecticut waters; and (13) make various technical corrections and clarifications to the afore-mentioned regulations.

Further information, or copies of the proposed regulations can be obtained by writing the DEP Marine Fisheries Division, PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371, by calling 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday or by emailing dep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov.  (N08-13)

The DEP is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.  In conformance with the ADA, individuals with disabilities who need information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency's programs and services, should call TDD (860) 424-3000 and make their request to the receptionist.  Requests for accommodation to attend meetings and/or educational programs, sponsored by the DEP, must be made at least two weeks prior to the program date.  These requests may be made directly to Marcia Z. Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, via e-mail:  Marcia.Bonitto@ct.gov.