DEEP: Notice to Recreational Fishermen

Notice to Recreational Fishermen

April 1, 2014

2014 MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHING MEASURES

Under authority of Section 26-25 of the Connecticut General Statutes the commissioner may, when he finds that the harvest level for a species exceeds or fails to meet the harvest level for efficient management of such species, declare a closed season or extend the open season for the sport fishing of such species. Under the authority of CGS Section 26-102 the commissioner may establish fish spawning areas and refuges on any waters. In addition, under the authority of 26-159a of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 26-159a-22 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the Commissioner of Energy and 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 comply with interstate fishery management plans adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Regulations governing recreational fishing are amended as follows:

American eel:
Minimum Size: 9 inches, Creel Limit: 25 fish;

American shad:
Open Season: April 1 – June 30. Creel limit: 6 fish (in aggregate with hickory shad). American shad may only be harvested from the Connecticut River system, the southern boundary of which is a line extending between Griswold Point in Old Lyme and the outer light on the Old Saybrook breakwater. American shad fishing in all other waters is limited to catch and release only;

Atlantic menhaden:
Creel Limit: 50 fish or 5 gallons, whichever is the greater amount;

Black Sea Bass:
Open Season: June 21 to August 31, Creel Limit: 3 fish;
Open Season: September 1 to December 31, Creel Limit: 8 fish;
Minimum Size: 13 inches, excluding the tendril;
Except that paying passengers on vessels holding a party/charter registration may possess 8 fish per angler from June 21 to August 31, inclusive, provided the vessel is enrolled in the black sea bass data collection program and the operator reports daily black sea bass fishing activity pursuant to section 26-157b(i) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;

Scup:
Open Season: May 1 to December 31, Minimum Size: 10.5 inches, Creel Limit: 20 fish;
Except that on vessels holding a party/charter registration with DEEP, the minimum size is 11 inches and from September 1 to October 31 the possession limit for paying passengers is 45 fish.

Summer Flounder:
Open Season: May 17 to September 21, inclusive, Minimum Size: 18 inches, Creel Limit: 5 fish;

Tautog:
Minimum Size at all times: 16 inches.
Open Season: April 1 to April 30, inclusive, Creel Limit: 2 fish;
Open Season: July 1 to August 31, inclusive, Creel Limit: 2 fish;
Open Season: October 10 to December 6, inclusive, Creel Limit: 4 fish;

Weakfish: Open Season: Year Round, Minimum Size: 16 inches, Creel Limit: 1 fish;

Winter Flounder: Open Season April 1 to December 31, Minimum Size: 12 inches, Creel Limit: 2 fish;

Enhanced Opportunity Shore Angler Program:
At 45 public shore fishing sites (visit: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing and select saltwater recreational), the minimum sizes are adjusted as follows (creel limits and open season dates remain as above):

Summer flounder: Minimum Size: 16 inches;

Scup: Minimum Size: 9 inches;

Striped Bass Bonus Fishery Program:
In addition to the creel limit specified in Section 26-159a-7 (2 fish at least 28 inches total length) one striped bass at least 22 inches but less than 28 inches total length may be possessed daily between May 1 and December 31, inclusive, provided the person in possession of such fish also has in their possession a valid 2014 Bonus Striped Bass Voucher issued by the department for such fish. To validate the voucher the angler harvesting the fish shall:
(1) complete and sign the voucher in ink immediately upon retention of a qualifying fish including recording the date of harvest, the total length of the fish harvested, the conservation ID number of the angler harvesting the fish if such angler is required to have a Connecticut fishing license; and
(2) retain the completed voucher with the fish until such fish is taken to the home or other location where the fish is to be consumed.

The voucher must be mailed back to Marine Fisheries within 48 hours of harvesting a fish (the vouchers are pre-addressed and postage paid on the reverse side). Vouchers will be distributed at selected DEEP facilities, by EnCon Officers, Marine Angler Survey creel agents. Further details on this program, including when vouchers will be available, will be announced in a subsequent notice. A limited number of vouchers will be reserved for programs such as the Take a Kid Fishing, Take a Veteran Fishing, Municipal youth and urban angler programs. If you or your organization sponsor such a program and would like to receive vouchers, please contact the Marine Fisheries Division.

Refer to the 2014 Angler’s Guide for complete Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations.

For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at deep.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 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.

(N14-01)