DEEP: Commercial Fishery Possession Limits

Commercial Fishery Possession Limits
April 29, 2016
Effective 0001 hours Sunday May 1, 2016 the following possession limits will be in effect for Connecticut’s commercial fisheries. The possession limits will be periodically adjusted, if needed, to achieve 100% of the annual / summer period quota being landed by the end of the quota period. The objective of periodic adjustments is to maintain a constant rate of landings for the remainder of the quota period, without exceeding the quota.

• For holders of Scup License Endorsements: 1,500 pounds for all gears except lobster pots which is 10 fish
• For Restricted Commercial Fishing License Holders: 60 fish
Black Sea Bass: 10 fish – Black Sea Bass License Endorsement required
Summer Flounder: 100 pounds – Summer Flounder License Endorsement required
Tautog: Closed
All of the possession limits 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.

American lobster
Reminder: The closed season for lobster is September 8 through November 28. This closure applies to all gears, recreational and commercial in Lobster Management Area 6 (Long Island Sound).

Atlantic menhaden
No person engaged in commercial fishing shall possess or land Atlantic menhaden in excess of 6,000 pounds.

The possession limit for the commercial harvest of bluefish remains at 1,000 pounds.

Horseshoe crab
Horseshoe crab season is closed. Opens May 22.

Spiny dogfish
The possession limit will remain at 5,000 pounds.

The possession limit will remain at 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.

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.

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:

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 only. For complete information on commercial fishing regulations please see:, or contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at, 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 if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have a limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.