DEEP: Important Reminder Notice to Fishermen

 Important Reminder Notice to Fishermen
March 18, 2016
Important changes in commercial fishery licensing for 2016:
A number of important changes to commercial and personal use fishery licensing have taken place for 2016 under Public Act 15-52. Notice of these changes was mailed to current and former license holders (1995-2015) in late December 2015 and a reminder notice was mailed out early this month. A DEEP Marine Fisheries News Notice of Public Meetings held on January 5th and 7th concerning these changes was sent out December 23, 2015.

The changes include both some new requirements for current license holders and some limited new opportunities to diversify or enter commercial fisheries for the first time. A summary of the major changes is provided below. The “Quick Guide to 2016 Connecticut Commercial Fishing Licenses” table provides additional detail license by license and includes links to license applications and the Marine Fisheries Information Circular. Key changes to be aware of:

  • Commercial Limited Access (Moratorium) licenses must now be renewed annually by March 31st. License applications received or post marked after March 31st will not be renewed and your license(s) will be permanently retired.

  • A Commercial Fishing Vessel Permit must also be purchased for the “primary vessel for this license” you identify on your Limited Access (Moratorium) license application.

  • Quota Managed Species Endorsements – for fluke, scup, black sea bass and hand harvest of horseshoe crabs – remain under moratorium and now also require annual renewal by March 31 or your species endorsement(s) will be permanently retired. Fee $15 per species. 

  • The fee for Personal Use Lobster Licenses has been reduced from $120 to $60.

  • DEEP now issues the Whelk (Conch) Fishing License instead of DOA/Aquaculture. Fee $100.

  • There are two new Open Access commercial fishing licenses available:
    • Restricted Commercial Fishing: allows 1) commercial hook & line fishing and 2) use of a 200 foot gill net to take menhaden only. The gill net must be manually set/retrieved and tended at all times. Species endorsements are required to take fluke, scup or black sea bass. $125 residents/$250 nonresidents.

    • Restricted Commercial Lobster Pot Fishing: allows up to 50 pots to be fished. Applicants must already have a lobster pot allocation. Fee $125 residents / $250 nonresidents.

For further information:
Please refer to the 2016 Marine Fisheries Information Circular for complete details on each license. Contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by mail at PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371-0719, by email at, or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
Staying Informed:
Regulation changes, notices of public meetings and other important and relevant information are disseminated via the DEEP Marine Fisheries News, our periodic email notice to fishermen. If you haven’t already, you can join our email distribution list by sending an email to In the body of the email, type subscribe DEP-marine-fisheries then leave a space and type your full name. Also, leave the subject line blank and remove any signature blocks or any other text in the message body. Call our 24/7 phone line: 860.434.6374 for a recorded message detailing current commercial possession limits and other timely commercial fisheries related news.  Visit: for all current commercial fishery possession limits, notices to fishermen and other useful information concerning commercial and recreational fishing in Connecticut. NOTE: We do not use email addresses provided through the licensing system for commercial fishery or personal use lobster / gillnet related communication.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer 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 need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.