DEEP: Notice to Conch (Whelk) Fishermen

Notice to Conch (Whelk) Fishermen

October 21, 2015



Public Act 15-52, An Act Concerning Certain Commercial Fishery Licensure Reforms, transfers conch (whelk) licensing and management authority from the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) effective January 1, 2016. Any person harvesting more than one-half bushel of conch (whelk) daily on or after January 1, 2016 must obtain a whelk license from DEEP. As part of this transition, all DOA conch licenses issued in 2015 will expire on December 31, 2015, regardless of what expiration date may be indicated on the license.

The license fee remains $100. DEEP issued whelk licenses are valid for one calendar year (Jan 1 – December 31). A whelk license may be purchased at any time during the year prior to the time you wish to begin harvesting whelk (there is no application deadline). The whelk license remains “open access” meaning anyone may purchase this license and begin harvesting whelk in excess of one-half bushel daily for personal use or for sale. No license is required to take up to one-half bushel daily, including from whelk pots. The use of other gears will require a separate (additional) license from DEEP (e.g. lobster pots, otter trawls) or DOA (e.g. oyster or clam dredge) depending on the gear being deployed.

We apologize for any inconvenience the transition from 12 month licensing to calendar year licensing may cause. We expect most fishermen have been buying their conch/whelk license just before they start fishing each season and they will continue to do so in 2016. These fishermen will not feel any difference. Individuals considering getting into whelk fishing for the first time this fall may want to wait a couple more months until DEEP begins issuing licenses for 2016.

Applications for the whelk license will be available beginning December 1, 2015 by contacting DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at, 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 application will also be available on our web site: under “Permits & Licenses.”

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 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.