DEEP: Notice to Commercial Fishermen

Notice to Commercial Fishermen

April 27, 2012

GEAR RESTRICTED AREAS TO PROTECT ATLANTIC STURGEON

Section 26-159a-6. Use of commercial fishing gear.

No person shall use, set or tend any otter trawl, beam trawl, sink or anchored gillnet in the following areas of Long Island Sound:

1. Falkner Island Gear Restricted Area. An area approximately 22.5 square miles within a rectangle whose four corners are:

      a. 41 12.5, -72 43.5 (northwest); b. 41 12.5, -72 36 (northeast)
      c. 41 09.5, -72 43.5 (southwest); d. 41 09.5, -72 36 (southeast)

2. Connecticut River Mouth Gear Restricted Area. An area approximately 9 square miles within a rectangle whose four corners are:
      a. 41 16, -72 23.5 (northwest); b. 41 16, -72 19 (northeast) 
      c. 41 14, -72 23.5 (southwest); d. 41 14, -72 19 (southeast)

These Gear Restricted Areas, totaling 31.5 square miles, have been created to protect known concentrations of Atlantic sturgeon, which were listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) effective April 6, 2012. The restriction on fishing in these areas applies only to trawl gear and "sink" or anchored gillnets as these gears have the greatest potential to cause serious injury or loss of an Atlantic sturgeon. These areas remain OPEN to hook and line fishing, surface drifting gillnets as may be used to take menhaden for bait, and all other permitted fishing gears and activity.

Additional information on the Atlantic Sturgeon Conservation Gear Restricted Areas is available on our web site: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing by clicking on "Commercial" on the left side of the page.

For more information on Atlantic sturgeon and ESA listing, please see the NOAA Protected Resources Division web site:

www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/atlanticsturgeon.htm

{Map of CT River Mouth Gear Restricted Area}

{Map of Falkner Island Gear Restricted Area}

For current commercial fishery trip limits see:
www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/fishing/commercial/connecticut_commercial_trip_limits.pdf

For further information, 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 requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person with a disability who may need information in an alternative format may contact the agency's ADA Coordinator at 860-424-3194, or at deep.hrmed@ct.gov. Any person with limited proficiency in English, who may need information in another language, may contact the agency's Title VI Coordinator at (860) 4234-3035, or at deep.aaoffice@ct.gov. Any person with a hearing impairment may call the State of Connecticut relay number - 711. Discrimination complaints may be filed with DEEP's Title VI Coordinator. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to any agency hearing, program or event.

(N12-15)