2017 Commercial Fishery Possession Limits
June 8, 2017
Black Sea Bass: Effective 0001 hours Sunday, June 11, 2017 the possession limit for the commercial license holders will be 80 pounds (Black Sea Bass License Endorsement required) except for lobster pots which remains at 10 fish. The 2017 black sea bass coastwide commercial quota was increased by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Board and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council at their joint meeting in February 2017. The Board and Council moved to increase the 2017 coastwide quota and recreational harvest limit based on the results of the 2016 Benchmark Stock Assessment. Determining final state shares of the 2017 commercial quota were delayed due to finalizing 2015 commercial landings.
American lobster: The closed season for lobster is September 8 through November 28. The minimum length is 3-3/8 inches.
American eel: No possession limit. Minimum length is 9 inches.
Atlantic menhaden: 6,000 pound possession limit all year.
Bluefish: 1,200 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. Adjust 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 1,200 pounds.
Jonah crab: 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 1,000 crabs. 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.) 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.
• For holders of Scup License Endorsements: 1,200 pounds for all gears except lobster pots which is 10 fish.
• For Restricted Commercial Fishing License Holders: 60 fish.
Smooth dogfish: 200 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. The fishery will close when 100% of the quota has been landed.
Spiny dogfish: 6,000 pound possession limit effective Jan 1. Spiny dogfish are managed under a regional annual quota. The fishery will close when 100% of the regional quota has been harvested.
Summer Flounder: 75 pounds – Summer Flounder License Endorsement required.
Weakfish: 100 pounds all year
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. In any instance where there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person when the catch is commingled, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner of the vessel, or the operator of the vessel, if the owner is not on board. 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 Program by email at email@example.com, 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.
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