DEEP: Commercial Fishery Possession Limits

Commercial Fishery Possession Limits
December 2, 2016


Summer flounder
Effective 0001 hours, Sunday December 4, 2016 the commercial landing limit for summer flounder will be 600 pounds per week (0001 hours on Sunday through 2359 hours on Saturday). The State of Maine generously approved a request for transfer of their unused 3,800 pound summer flounder quota to Connecticut. To facilitate management and enforcement of the weekly landing limit, vessel operators fishing for summer flounder must call DEEP (860-424-3503) (anytime 24/7) prior to departure and provide: 1) vessel name, 2) captain’s name, 3) date of departure and 4) anticipated return date, and 5) anticipated port of landing. Prior to offloading summer flounder, the vessel operator must call again and provide: 1) vessel name, 2) captain’s name, 3) port of landing and 4) the estimated weight of summer flounder onboard.

Black sea bass
Effective 0001 hours, Sunday December 4, 2016, the commercial landing limit for black sea bass will be 300 pounds per week (0001 hours on Sunday through 2359 hours on Saturday).
At the current rate of landings, the current commercial landing limits for summer flounder and black sea bass will not allow for the harvest of the full quota allocated to Connecticut. Landing limits will be adjusted periodically with the goal of allowing for full harvest of the quota and minimizing closures.

Smooth dogfish

Effective 0001 hours, Sunday December 4, 2016, the commercial fishery for smooth dogfish reopens.
This reopening was made possible because the department was able to secure a 10,000 pound generous quota transfer from the Commonwealth of Virginia.


All commercial fishery 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.

Scup: 18,000 pounds. No Quota Managed Species License Endorsement required.

Tautog: Open October 8 – December 24
• 10 fish – Under a Limited Access License (Principal Commercial Fishing or General Commercial Fishing Licenses);
• 4 fish – Under either a Restricted Commercial Fishing License, or Restricted Commercial Lobster Pot Fishing License.

Atlantic menhaden: 6,000 pounds

Bluefish: 1,000 pounds

Spiny dogfish: 6,000 pounds

Weakfish: 100 pounds

Winter flounder: 50 pounds or 38 fish unless the fish were taken in federal waters under a federal groundfish permit.

Jonah crab: 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 was revisited by the ASFMC Lobster Board (which oversees Jonah crab management) in Addendum I this spring. Through that Addendum, the non-trap possession limit will increase to 1,000 crabs effective January 2017.

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 limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.