DEEP: Notice of Public Meeting

Notice of Public Meeting
 
February 24, 2018
 
 
Recreational Fishery Measures for Tautog, Summer Flounder
Scup and Black Sea Bass

Commercial Fishery Measures for Tautog
 

The CT DEEP Marine Fisheries Program is holding a Public Informational Meeting to get input on potential 2018 management measures to comply with the joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) fishery management plans (FMPs) for summer flounder, black sea bass and scup, and the ASFMC FMP for tautog.
The meeting will be held at:
 
7:00 PM, Monday, March 5, 2018
CT DEEP Marine Headquarters
Boating Education Center (rear building)
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme CT

Tautog
In October 2017, the ASMFC Tautog Management Board approved Amendment 1 to the Tautog Fishery Management Plan that responded to the 2016 stock assessment that, in part, indicated the tautog stock in Long Island Sound was overfished and that overfishing was occurring. The assessment and draft amendment prescribed a 47.2% reduction in harvest, but a proposal by Connecticut and New York to implement a compromise harvest reduction of 20.3% was adopted by the Board. In the recreational fishery, the measures approved included reducing the possession limit from four fish to three fish in the Fall season and shortening the Fall season from 58 days to 50 days. The minimum size will remain at 16 inches. The Department is looking for input on the opening and closing days of the revised 50-day Fall season. The Department is also looking for input on approaches for making the same 20.3% harvest reduction in the commercial fishery.
 
Summer Flounder
In December 2017, the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board approved the continuation of Addendum XXVIII for 2018 and specified that states could propose recreational measures to liberalize harvest up to 17% above what was previously projected for 2017. This was due to data that indicated the projected 2017 recreational harvest would be less than the established 2018 recreational harvest limit. The board approved four options proposed by Connecticut and New York that includes either a one-fish increase in the bag limit, an increase in the season length or a half-inch reduction in the minimum size.
 
Scup
In response to information indicating the 2017 projected recreational scup harvest will be substantially less than the 2018 recreational harvest limit, the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board considered and approved a proposal by the northern region of Massachusetts through New York to adjust their 2018 recreational management measures. The proposal provided for a reduction in the minimum size from 10 inches to 9 inches. It also provided for a reduction in minimum size from 9 inches to 8 inches at the Connecticut and Rhode Island Enhanced Shore fishing sites.
 
Black Sea Bass
At the February Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board meeting, the board approved Addendum XXX to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. Using a combination of exploitable biomass distribution and historical harvest, the addendum established recreational harvest allocations for three regions: Massachusetts through New York, New Jersey as a stand-alone region, and Delaware through North Carolina. The respective allocations are 61.35%, 30.24% and 8.41% of the recreational harvest limit. Although the northern region has the highest allocation, the region will be required to craft management measures to reduce harvest for 2018. While the exact management measure details are still being developed, for Connecticut this will mean a significant reduction in season length, and consideration of a split season.
 
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 860-424-3035, 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.
 
(N18-02)