DEEP: Notice to Recreational Fishermen

Notice to Recreational Fishermen
July 6, 2017


Black sea bass:
For paying passengers on party or charter fishing vessels the new measures are:
Open Season: May 1 – December 31
Minimum size: 15 inches
Creel Limit:
    May 1 – October 31: 8 fish
    November 1 – December 31: 5 fish (NEW)

For all others, the rules remain unchanged at: Open Season: May 1 to December 31, inclusive, Minimum Size: 15 inches, Creel Limit: 5 fish;

Note: Minimum lengths exclude the dorsal tail filament or tendril.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) 2017 management plan for black sea bass approved early in 2017 allowed the states of New Jersey through Massachusetts to maintain the same management measures that were implemented in 2016. However, final 2016 recreational harvest estimates for black sea bass for Wave 6 (November and December) greatly exceeded the preliminary estimates. In response, the ASFMC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea bass Management Board voted at the May Board meeting to impose a 5-fish possession limit for black sea bass for the months of November and December 2017 for the states of Rhode Island through New Jersey. To maintain compliance with the FMP, Connecticut must reduce the party/charter possession limit from 8 fish to 5 fish for those months.

Reminder - The 2017 regulations governing recreational fishing are as follows:

American eel:
Open Season: Year round
Minimum Size: 9 inches
Creel Limit: 25 fish

American shad:
Open Season: Year Round
Creel limit: 6 fish (in aggregate with hickory shad)
Note: American shad may only be harvested from the Connecticut River system, the southern boundary of which is a line extending between Griswold Point in Old Lyme and the outer light on the Old Saybrook breakwater. American shad fishing in all other waters is limited to catch and release only.

Atlantic menhaden (bunker):
Creel Limit: 50 fish or 5 gallons, whichever is the greater amount;
Open Season: May 1 to December 31, inclusive
Minimum Size: 10 inches*
Creel Limit: 30 fish
Note: the party or charter fishing vessel “bonus” season of 45 fish from September 1 through October 31 for paying passengers remains in place.
Striped Bass:
Open Season: Year round
Minimum Size: 28 inches
Creel Limit: 1 fish
Note: The bonus striped bass program will continue in 2017 with 3,018 fish allowed for harvest. Stripers harvested under the bonus program are required to be tagged. See the 2017 Angler’s Guide for more information.

Summer Flounder (fluke):
Open Season: May 17 to September 21, inclusive
Minimum Size: 19 inches*
Creel Limit: 3 fish

Minimum Size at all times: 16 inches.
Open Season: April 1 to April 30, inclusive, Creel Limit: 2 fish
Open Season: July 1 to August 31, inclusive, Creel Limit: 2 fish
Open Season: October 10 to December 6, inclusive, Creel Limit: 4 fish

Open Season: Year round
Minimum Size: 16 inches
Creel Limit: 1 fish

Winter Flounder:
Open Season April 1 to December 31, inclusive
Minimum Size: 12 inches
Creel Limit: 2 fish

* Enhanced Opportunity Shore Angler Program:
At 45 public shore fishing sites (visit: and select saltwater recreational), the minimum sizes are adjusted as follows (creel limits and open season dates remain as above):

      Summer flounder: Minimum Size: 17 inches;
      Scup: Minimum Size: 9 inches;

For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Program by email at, by mail at P.O. 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.