DEEP: Declaration of Regulation Change

DEP Marine Fisheries News

Declaration of Regulation Change

December 30, 2010

Under authority of Section 26-159a of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 26-159a-22 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection is authorized to establish or adjust, by declaration, closed seasons, length limits, creel limits, trip limits and trip limit adjustment values in order to meet the harvest level for efficient management and to comply with interstate fishery management plans adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).

In accordance with the aforementioned authority, the following changes in Department COMMERCIAL FISHING regulations will be effective in 2011:

NEW

26-159a-10. SUMMER FLOUNDER (Paralichthys dentatus)

COMMERCIAL FISHERY POSSESSION LIMIT.

Between January 1 and January 21, inclusive, 1,000 pounds;

Between January 22 through April 30, inclusive, 1,000 pounds, until a total of 45% of the Connecticut quota specified in the plan has been landed in Connecticut, at which time the limit shall be 100 pounds until a total of 50% of said quota has been landed, at which time the limit shall be zero pounds;

When the possession limit is 1,000 pounds or greater, no commercial vessel shall possess or land summer flounder on more than two trips per weekly period that begins Sunday morning at 0000 hours and ends the following Saturday night at 2400 hours.

26-159a-15. SCUP (PORGY) (Stenotomus chrysops)

COMMERCIAL FISHERY POSSESSION AND LANDING LIMITS.

Between January 1 and April 30, the landing limit shall be 30,000 pounds per one-week period, aggregated over all ports landed, until 80% of said coastwide quota has been landed, at which time the possession limit shall be 1,000 pounds until 100% of said coastwide quota has been landed, at which time the limit shall be zero pounds. During any such one-week period, no license holder shall land scup at any other port once that license holder’s aggregate landings for that one-week period total 30,000 pounds. For the purposes of this subsection, a one-week period means from Sunday morning at 0000 hours to the subsequent Saturday night at 2400 hours. For the purposes of quota-monitoring, the beginning of the first one-week period of a year shall be consistent with that established by the National Marine Fisheries Service or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

26-159a-16. BLACK SEA BASS (Centropristis striata)

COMMERCIAL FISHERY POSSESSION LIMIT.

Between January 1 and April 30, inclusive:

In the commercial trawl fishery, 200 pounds until 45% of the Connecticut quota specified in the plan has been landed, at which time the limit shall be zero pounds;

REMINDERS

AMERICAN LOBSTER MINIMUM CARAPACE LENGTH
A minimum carapace length of 3-3/8 inches is required for all lobsters taken from Lobster Management Area 6 (Long Island Sound and western Block Island Sound). Effective July 1, 2010 the escape vent size will increase to 2 inches by 5-3/4 inches rectangular or 2-5/8 inches circular. Note that the ASMFC extended the deadline for complying with the vent size increase from June 1 to July 1.

RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING FOR SMOOTH DOGFISH SHARK PROHIBITED

No person, while on the waters of this state or on any parcel of land, structure, or portion of a roadway abutting tidal waters of this state shall possess or land smooth dogfish, regardless of where taken.

26-159a-7 RECREATIONAL FISHERY CREEL LIMIT

Weakfish (Cynoscion regalis): 1 fish

WEAKFISH COMMERCIAL FISHERY POSSESSION LIMIT
100 pounds. This possession limit shall 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 weakfish between vessels at sea is prohibited.

WINTER FLOUNDER COMMERCIAL FISHERY POSSESSION LIMIT
50
pounds or 38 fish. This possession limit shall 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 winter flounder between vessels at sea is prohibited. Exemptions apply to federally permitted vessels fishing outside the southern New England stock area. Contact Marine Fisheries for details.

These adjustments comply with the requirements of the interstate/federal Fishery Management Plans for these species. Black sea bass, scup (summer period) and summer flounder are under state specific quota management. Measures for these species are crafted in cooperation with participants in those fisheries and in consideration of the diversity of interests within the fleet, the seasonal value of landed catch, and the need to minimize discards. Black sea bass and scup stocks are fully rebuilt, while summer flounder are projected to be fully rebuilt by the end of 2010. The American lobster (southern New England) stock is in a "poor state" and in immediate need of rebuilding according to the most recent peer review of stock status provided to guide management of this species. Weakfish (coastwide) and winter flounder (southern New England) stocks are both at low levels. The low trip limits (weakfish 100 lb, winter flounder 50 lb) are intended to prevent a directed fishery, but also avoid waste of incidental bycatch in other fisheries.

For further information, contact the DEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at dep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, by mail at P.O. 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 Department of Environmental Protection is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider. In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, DEP makes every effort to provide equally effective services for persons with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities who need this information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency’s programs and services, should call 860-424-3051 or 860-418-5937 or e-mail Marcia Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, at Marcia.Bonitto@ct.gov.  Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to the program date.

(N11-01)