DEEP: 2016 Commercial Fishery Management Plan

2016 Commercial Fishery Management Plan
 
January 7, 2016
 
 
JANUARY APRIL

Summer flounder: Initially 750 pounds per week, adjusting limits periodically to maintain a steady weekly landings rate, landing not more than 33% of the annual quota. Summer flounder license endorsement required to land fluke.

Scup (porgy): Follow federal winter 1 rules: initially 50,000 pound possession limit, dropping to 1,000 pounds when 80% of the period quota has been harvested. No scup license endorsement is required during this period or during winter 2. Note during federal winter 2 (Nov-Dec) the initial possession limit is 12,000 pounds. This limit may be adjusted (increased) based on winter 1 fishery performance. 
 
MAY - OCTOBER

Summer flounder: Initially 100 pound possession limit, adjusting limits periodically to maintain a steady weekly landings rate, landing not more than 95% of the annual quota, cumulatively. A summer flounder license endorsement is required to land fluke.

Scup (porgy): Initially 1,500 pound possession limit, adjusting limits periodically to maintain a steady weekly landings rate, prevent a fishery closure and land 100% of the summer quota by October 31. A scup license endorsement is required to land scup, except under a restricted commercial fishing license when the possession limit is 60 scup without a scup license endorsement. Commercial lobster pot fishermen may, when in possession of lobsters, possess 10 scup. The 60 fish limit may also be adjusted (lowered) in-season in approximate proportion to any adjustment in the primary possession limit.  The lower limit will not exceed 10% of the primary limit.
 
ANNUAL

American lobster: The closed season for lobster is September 8 through November 28.

Atlantic menhaden: Initially, 6,000 pound possession limit.

Black sea bass: 10 fish possession limit. A black sea bass license endorsement is required to land sea bass, including from lobster pots. The fishery will close when 100% of the annual quota has been landed.

Bluefish: Initially 1,000 pound possession limit, adjusting limits periodically to maintain a steady monthly landings rate, to prevent in-season closure and land 100% of the annual quota. To prevent significant change in the character of the fishery, such as large scale targeted net fishing, the possession limit will not exceed 1,000 pounds. 

NEW Jonah crab: ASMFC approved a Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan effective January 2015. Consequently, effective January 15, 2016 in the commercial fishery no Jonah crab less than 4.75 inches carapace width may be possessed or sold. Possession of egg bearing Jonah crabs or crabs from which the eggs have been removed is prohibited. Jonah crabs must also be landed whole. Landing claws only is prohibited. Possession of more than two loose claws per body is prohibited. The possession limit in non-trap fisheries is 200 crabs per day or 500 crabs per trip. There is no possession limit in the lobster pot fishery. (Connecticut licensing statutes do not allow crabs to be taken by pots other than lobster pots.) Please note the non-trap limit is under reconsideration by the Lobster Board (which oversees Jonah crab management) and may be eliminated as a management provision in 2016. In the recreational fishery, there is a 50 crab daily possession limit and possession of egg bearing crabs or crabs from which the eggs have been removed is prohibited. There is no minimum size limit in the recreational fishery.

Spiny dogfish: Initially, 5,000 pounds. Spiny dogfish are managed under a regional annual quota.

Tautog: 10 fish possession limit when fishing under a limited access (moratorium) license, and 4 fish when fishing under the new restricted commercial fishing license.

Weakfish: 100 pounds.

Winter flounder: 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. When any person on a vessel is commercial fishing, the commercial possession limit applies to the entire vessel and no person on that vessel may also possess fish under a recreational creel limit.

For current commercial fishery trip limits and quota status:

Call 860-434-6374 24/7 for a recorded message of current possession limits, or see: www.ct.gov/deep/TL.

Please refer to the Quick Guide to 2016 Connecticut Commercial Fishing Licenses for more information concerning changes to commercial fishery licensing effective January 1, 2016 including both new requirements for license renewal and new opportunities. 

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.

The information provided in this notice is a summary of possession limits and other general rules only. For complete information on commercial fishing regulations please see: www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/fishing/saltwater/marinecirc.pdf, or 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.
(N16-01)