DEEP: Notice to Recreational Fishermen

Notice to Recreational Fishermen
 
March 24, 2018
 
 
2018 MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHING MEASURES

Most of the recreational fish species sought by Connecticut anglers are managed by fishery management plans developed and implemented by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC). The Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act requires that states comply with mandatory provisions of these plans. Upon consideration of public comment obtained at an ASFMC Public Hearing for tautog on June 26, 2017, an ASFMC Public Hearing for black sea bass on January 10, 2018, a DEEP Public Meeting regarding tautog, summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass on March 5, 2018, written comment, and comment from the Marine Advisory Group at a meeting on March 12, 2018, the management measures for tautog, summer flounder, scup and black sea bass have been amended as indicated below.

The 2018 regulations governing recreational fishing are as follows:
 
American eel:
Minimum Size: 9 inches, Creel Limit: 25 fish;
 
American shad:
Open Season: Year Round. Creel limit: 6 fish (in aggregate with hickory shad). 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:
Creel Limit: 50 fish or 5 gallons, whichever is the greater amount;
 
Black sea bass:
Minimum Size: 15 inches
Open Season: May 19 to July 17, inclusive, Creel Limit: 3 fish
Open Season: August 7 to December 31, inclusive, Creel Limit: 5 fish
Minimum lengths exclude the dorsal tail filament or tendril.
Note: there is no longer a “bonus” creel limit for paying passengers on party or charter fishing vessels.
 
Scup:
Open Season: May 1 to December 31, Minimum Size: 9 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 2018 with 3,018 fish allowed for harvest. Stripers harvested under the bonus program are required to be tagged. Tags and accompanying catch report cards will be available at agency offices beginning in late April. The bonus program season runs from May 1 through December 31. This year there will be one tag available per angler. See the 2018 Angler’s Guide for more information.
 
Summer Flounder: 
Open Season: May 4 to September 30, inclusive, Minimum Size: 19 inches*, Creel Limit: 4 fish;
 
Tautog:
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 November 28, inclusive, Creel Limit: 3 fish;
 
Weakfish: Open Season: Year Round, Minimum Size: 16 inches, Creel Limit: 1 fish;
 
Winter Flounder: Open Season: April 1 to December 31, Minimum Size: 12 inches, Creel Limit: 2 fish;
 
*Enhanced Opportunity Shore Angler Program:
At 45 public shore fishing sites (visit:
www.ct.gov/deep/fishing 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: 8 inches;
 
For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Program by email at deep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, 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
deep.accommodations@ct.gov 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.

(N18-05)