DEEP: Commercial Fishery Possession Limits

Commercial Fishery Possession Limits

April 24, 2014

ADJUSTMENT

SUMMER FLOUNDER

Effective May 1: the possession limit is 100 pounds.

Once 50% of the commercial summer flounder quota allocated to Connecticut has been landed, the possession limit will be periodically adjusted to achieve a summer period landing target of 95% of Connecticut’s quota by October 31. The objective of periodic adjustments is to maintain a constant rate of landings month to month that will achieve the 95% landings target, without going over or requiring an in-season closure.

Sunday Closure: No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land summer flounder between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday during the period between May 24 and September 1, both dates inclusive.

SCUP (porgy)
Between May 1 and October 31:
· In the pound net and gillnet fisheries, the possession limit is 300 pounds;
· In the commercial hook, bottom trawl and fish pot fisheries, the possession limit is 600 pounds;
· In the lobster pot fishery when in possession of lobsters, the possession limit is 10 fish.

Between June 1 and October 31, the department will monitor weekly landings and periodically adjust the possession limit if less than or more than 100% of the Connecticut scup quota specified in the plan is projected to be landed in Connecticut by October 31. The objective of periodic adjustments is to maintain a constant rate of landings month to month that will achieve the 100% landings target, without going over or requiring an in-season closure.

Sunday Closure: No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land scup between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday during the period between May 24 and September 1, both dates inclusive.

BLACK SEA BASS
Between May 1 and October 31:
· In the trawl and fish pot fisheries, the possession limit is 50 pounds;
· In the commercial hook, pound net, scallop dredge and gillnet fisheries, the possession limit is 25 pounds;
· In the lobster pot fishery when in possession of lobsters, the possession limit is 10 fish.

Between November 1 and December 31:
· In the trawl and fish pot fisheries, the possession limit is 50 pounds;
· In the commercial hook, pound net, scallop dredge and gillnet fisheries, the possession limit is 25 pounds;
· In the lobster pot fishery when in possession of lobsters, the possession limit is 10 fish.

Between May 1 and December 31, the department will monitor weekly landings and periodically adjust the possession limit if less than or more than 100% of the Connecticut black sea bass quota specified in the plan is projected to be landed in Connecticut by December 31. The objective of periodic adjustments is to maintain a constant rate of landings month to month that will achieve the 100% landings target, without going over or requiring an in-season closure.

Sunday Closure: No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land black sea bass between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday during the period between May 24 and September 1, both dates inclusive.

AMERICAN EEL
Effective May 1:
The minimum length is 9 inches. Note that effective no later than January 1, 2017, Addendum III of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission American Eel Fishery Management Plan requires an escape panel in eel pots used in commercial fishing of at least 4 inches by 4 inches constructed of at least ˝ inch by ˝ inch mesh.

REMINDERS

American lobster
The minimum carapace length is 3 3/8" and the closed season in Long Island Sound (LMA 6) is September 8 through November 28. These rules apply in both the commercial and recreational fisheries.

Atlantic menhaden
No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land Atlantic menhaden in excess of 6,000 pounds. Transfer of more than 6,000 pounds between vessels is prohibited.

American shad
Taking American shad outside the Connecticut River and its tributaries is prohibited. For the purposes of this regulation the seaward limit of the Connecticut River exception area is a line extending between the eastern extremity of Griswold Point at latitude 41 degrees 16.69 minutes north, longitude 72 degrees 18.84 minutes west, and the Saybrook Breakwater light at latitude 41 degrees 15.79 minutes north, longitude 72 degrees 20.56 minutes west. All American shad caught outside the Connecticut River exception area as described above shall be immediately returned, without avoidable injury, to the waters from which taken.

American Shad Gillnet Fishery
Gillnets used to take American shad on the Connecticut River shall not be fished in excess of the following soak times:
(1) four (4) hours when water temperature is less than 68° F (20° C);
(2) two (2) hours when water temperature is between 68° F (20° C) and 77° F (25° C); and
(3) when water temperature exceeds 77° F (25° C) the use of gillnets to take American shad shall be prohibited.
For the purposes of this regulation soak time means the time elapsed between the onset of net deployment from the boat into the water and the complete retrieval of the net from the water into the boat.

Bluefish
The possession limit is 500 pounds.

Northeast multispecies (cod, yellowtail flounder, haddock, pollock, witch flounder, American plaice, redfish): minimum lengths are as specified in federal regulations: 50 CFR Section 648.83(a).

River herring (Alewife, Blueback herring)
Taking river herring is prohibited. All river herring caught must be immediately returned to the waters from which taken.

Sandbar shark
Possession is prohibited.

Spiny dogfish
The possession limit is 4,000 pounds.

Tautog
Minimum size remains 16", possession limit is 10 fish and the open seasons are April 1 – April 30, July 1 – August 31, October 8 – December 24, all dates inclusive.

Weakfish
No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land weakfish in excess of 100 pounds.

Winter flounder
The possession limit is 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.

Use of Commercial Fishing Gear – Atlantic sturgeon conservation
No person shall use, set or tend any otter trawl, beam trawl, sink gillnet or anchored gillnet in the following areas of Long Island Sound:
(1) Falkner Island Gear Restricted Area. An area approximately 22.5 sq.mi.within a rectangle bounded by:
   (A) 41 degrees 12.5 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 43.5 minutes longitude at the northwest corner; 
   (B) 41 degrees 12.5 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 36 minutes longitude at the northeast corner; 
   (C) 41 degrees 09.5 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 43.5 minutes longitude at the southwest corner; and
   (D) 41 degrees 09.5 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 36 minutes longitude at the southeast corner.
(2) Connecticut River Mouth Gear Restricted Area. An area approximately 9 sq.mi. within a rectangle bounded by:
   (A) 41 degrees 16 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 23.5 minutes longitude at the northwest corner;
   (B) 41 degrees 16 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 19 minutes longitude at the northeast corner; 
   (C) 41 degrees 14 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 23.5 minutes longitude at the southwest corner; 
   (D) 41 degrees 14 minutes latitude, -72 degrees 19 minutes longitude at the southeast corner.

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

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.

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 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.

(N14-03)