Fishing Announcements

February 16, 2024: 2024 Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations--Public Informational Meetings, February 26 and 28, 2024. The CT DEEP Marine Fisheries Program (MFP) is holding two Public Informational Meetings to provide information on the status of important recreational fisheries and planned recreational regulations for the 2024 fishing season, as well as to gather public input on 2024 regulation options for scup and summer flounder. The same information will be presented at both meetings. MFP is holding both an in-person and a virtual meeting with identical content in the interest of maximizing opportunities for public participation. Open the notice for details.

January 5, 2024: Request for Nominations to the New England Fishery Management Council--The State of Connecticut is seeking nominees for upcoming open seats on the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC). The NEFMC is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from 3 to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The MSA specifies that council nominees must be individuals "who, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, are knowledgeable regarding the conservation and management, or the commercial or recreational harvest, of the fishery resources of the geographical area concerned."  The NEFMC manages: sea scallops, monkfish, Atlantic herring, skates, red crab, spiny dogfish and groundfish. Two seats are open for nominations from Connecticut. Open the notice for details.

November 15, 2023:ASMFC Public Hearings on Striped Bass Addendum 2--The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has scheduled in-person public hearings for Connecticut on Thursday, November 16, 2023, in Old Lyme and Thursday, November 30, 2023, in Milford, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, to gather public input on Draft Addendum 2 to Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass. Open the notice for details.

November 13, 2023: Notice of Funds Available for Diesel Emissions Reduction--Up to $968,805.00 in new funds are available for the reduction of diesel emissions in our state. This funding presents an opportunity to replace older diesel engines and equipment. An informational webinar is being held Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 2:00 PM, for all interested parties. Open the notice for details.

September 11, 2023: Free First Aid and CPR Class for Fishermen--Fishing Partnership and Support Services is offering a free class at UCONN-Avery Point. Open the notice for details.

September 8, 2023: Notice to Pot Fishermen--In regard to the Long Island Sound Trawl Fishing Survey, September 14-29, 2023 and October 10-31, 2023. Open the notice for details.

August 31, 2023: Notice to Lobster Fishermen-- Lobster Season Closure Reminder. Open the notice for details. 

August 15, 2023: Changes to Recreational Groundfish Rules-- The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued new regulations for the recreational cod fishery in federal waters. Connecticut state waters recreational cod regulations, which recreational anglers must abide by when landing cod in Connecticut regardless of where the cod were caught, are specified to be identical to federal waters regulations. Therefore, recreational regulations for cod in Connecticut are now: Open Season: May 1 – May 31 and September 1 – April 30 (Closed June 1 – August 31). Possession Limit: 5 fish. Minimum Size: 23 inches. Open the notice for details.

May 19, 2023: Striped Bass Recreational Length Limit Change-- Effective 0001 hours, Friday, May 26, 2023, the length limit for striped bass in all Connecticut waters will be a 28-31 inch harvest slot limit, meaning recreational anglers may only retain a striped bass if it is greater than or equal to 28 inches and less than 31 inches in length. The striped bass recreational possession limit (one fish) and open season (year-round) will remain status quo. Open the notice for details.

May 11, 2023: ASMFC Atlantic Striped Bass Emergency Action--On May 2, 2023, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board took emergency action to reduce recreational striped bass harvest in 2023. The Board voted to implement a 31-inch maximum size for striped bass recreational fisheries, and mandated that coastal states must implement the new maximum size by July 2, 2023. Upon implementation of the emergency rule, Connecticut will have a 28-31” harvest slot limit in place for striped bass in all Connecticut waters. Connecticut DEEP plans to implement the new 28-31” striped bass slot limit as soon as practicable, and will provide public notice of the effective date for the new regulation once it has been determined. ASMFC is required to hold four public hearings within 30 days of any emergency action to provide information on the action and obtain public comment. ASMFC will hold these hearings virtually and has released a hearing schedule. Open the notice for details.

May 11, 2023: Notice to Pot Fishermen-- In regard to the Long Island Sound Trawl Fishing Survey, May 9-26, 2023 and June 6-30, 2023. Open the notice for details.

April 14, 2023: Council Establishes On-Demand Fishing Gear Conflict Working Group; Fishermen Encouraged to Apply for a Seat at the Table--The New England Fishery Management Council is looking for members of the mobile gear, gillnet, trap/pot, and recreational fishing communities, as well as other members of the public, to serve on its On-Demand Fishing Gear Conflict Working Group.  The application deadline is Monday, April 24, 2023. Open the notice for details.

March 24, 2023: Notice to Recreational Anglers: NEW SCUP AND BLACK SEA BASS RECREATIONAL FISHING REGULATIONS FOR 2023--Open the notice for details.

March 16, 2023: Free First Aid and CPR Class for Fishermen --Fishing Partnership Support Services is Offering a Free First Aid and CPR Class for Fishermen. Open the notice for details.

March 2, 2023: Notice of Aquaculture Proposal within Long Island Sound Blue Plan Policy Area--DEEP Fisheries has been notified of a project proposed within the Long Island Sound Blue Plan policy area. The proposal is for the establishment of a dedicated seaweed aquaculture farm located in Western Long Island Sound, south of the Norwalk Islands. Open the notice for details.

January 27, 2023: Nine Atlantic Coast States Release Request for Information to Inform Establishment of a Regional Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Fund Administrator Deadline Extension--Open the notice for details.

January 19, 2023: Request for Nominations to the New England Fishery Management Council-- The State of Connecticut is seeking nominees for upcoming open seats on the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC). Open the notice for details.

January 13, 2023: Nine Atlantic Coast States Release Request for Information to Inform Establishment of a Regional Fisheries Compensatory Mitigation Fund Administrator--Nine coastal states (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia) have been advancing an initiative to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation which would provide financial compensation for impacts from offshore wind development in the Atlantic Coast region. Recognizing the importance of sustaining a vibrant fishing community that can coexist and thrive alongside offshore wind energy development, the States have released a Request for Information (RFI) aimed at receiving input from impacted members of the fishing industry, offshore wind developers, corporate and financial management entities, as well as interested members of the public, to inform efforts to establish a regional fisheries compensatory mitigation fund administrator. Open the notice for details.

November 25, 2022: Notice to Fishermen: 2023 License Applications--Please use the link included in the notice to locate your permit applications for fishing year 2023.

November 18, 2022: Offshore Wind Fisheries Compensation Administrator Informational Webinars--Nine coastal states (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia) have been advancing an initiative to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation which would provide financial compensation for impacts from offshore wind development in the Atlantic Coast region. This effort focuses on supporting the BOEM Draft Fisheries Mitigation Framework by working to advance the establishment of an administrator that would collect, hold, and dispense funds to impacted members of the fishing community while creating a process that is fair, equitable, and transparent across the region and engages with the fishing and offshore wind industries. The states have developed a scoping document and will be releasing a Request for Information (RFI) soon to solicit feedback on the design of the fund administrator. To support the states’ work, the Consensus Building Institute and the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind will be hosting two webinars to help share information about the forthcoming RFI, on November 30 from 6-8pm ET and December 1 from 4-6pm ET. We hope you can participate to learn more about this initiative. Open the notice for details and Zoom links.

October 3, 2022: Notice to Pot Fishermen--In regard to the Long Island Sound Trawl Survey, October 11-31, 2022. 

September 7, 2022: Notice to Pot Fishermen--In regard to the Long Island Sound Trawl Fishing Survey, September 8-30, 2022.

June 3, 2022:  Notice to Pot Fishermen--In regard to the Long Island Sound Trawl Fishing Survey, June 7-30, 2022.

April 29, 2022:  New Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Regulations for 2022 See attached notice for details.

April 21, 2022: Proposed Federal Waters Recreational Scup Closure--NOAA Fisheries is proposing a closure of recreational fishing for scup in federal waters in 2022. In December 2021, in response to a determination that prevailing recreational regulations would not be sufficient to constrain 2022 coastwide scup recreational harvest to the 2022 scup Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL), the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which jointly manage scup, voted to adopt a 1-inch increase in recreational scup minimum size in coastwide state and federal waters for 2022 (generally an increase from 9-inch to 10-inch minimum size). The increased minimum length was projected to reduce scup recreational harvest by 33% in 2022, relative to 2021. ASMFC and MAFMC did not choose to adopt a more substantial regulatory change, despite projections indicating that a 56% recreational harvest reduction would be required to ensure the 2022 RHL would not be exceeded, due to a) concerns over the socio-economic impact of imposing such a substantial harvest reduction in one year, b) recognition of the negligible probability of the scup stock becoming overfished in the near-term given the robust state of the stock (over 200% of target biomass according to 2021 stock assessment), and c) the high likelihood that, as in most recent years, commercial scup harvest in 2022 will be substantially lower than the 2022 coastwide commercial quota, further reducing the likelihood of overfishing.

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has subsequently determined that the 2022 scup recreational regulations proposed by MAFMC and ASMFC are not conservative enough to ensure the 2022 scup RHL will not be exceeded, and in adherence to federal regulations, has proposed to close federal waters to scup recreational harvest in 2022 to further reduce scup recreational harvest (on average, 5% of annual coastwide scup harvest comes from federal waters). This closure would apply to all recreational vessels fishing in federal waters (outside of Long Island Sound and greater than three nautical miles from shore) and all federally permitted for-hire vessels fishing in either state or federal waters. Given the anticipated social and economic impacts of this closure, NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on alternative approaches that would achieve the objective of reducing scup catch and preventing overfishing while also minimizing, to the extent possible, social and economic impacts.

You can submit comments to NOAA Fisheries through the e-rulemaking portal.

NOAA Fisheries is not proposing to change 2022 summer flounder or black sea bass recreational regulations from those regulations already selected by states. Please see notice linked above.

March 21, 2022: 2022 Mandatory Commercial Tautog Tagging Program--The commercial tautog fishery in Connecticut opens on April 1. Please be advised that all commercially-harvested tautog offloaded and/or landed in Connecticut must be tagged by the commercial harvester prior to offload and/or landing with a 2022 tag issued by CT DEEP.

March 18, 2022: ASMFC Virtual Public Hearing on the Draft Addenda on Recreational Harvest Control Rule--The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has scheduled a virtual public hearing for Connecticut on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM to gather public input on the Draft Addenda on Recreational Harvest Control Rule.

March 16, 2022: Reminder: ASMFC Public Hearing on Striped Bass Draft Amendment 7--This is a reminder that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has scheduled a virtual public hearing for Connecticut on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM to gather public input on the Striped Bass Draft Addendum 7. This notice also corrects the hearing dates in the table on pages 2 and 3.

March 15, 2022: Commercial Fishery Black Sea Bass Possession Limit Increase --Effective 0001 hours, Thursday, March 17, 2022, the landing limit for the commercial harvest of black sea bass will be 5,000 pounds per two-week period. Commercial Fishery Summer Flounder Possession Limit Increase--Effective 0001 hours, Thursday, March 17, 2022, the landing limit for the Winter I period commercial harvest of summer flounder will be 7,000 pounds per two-week period. Please see attached notices for details.

March 14, 2022: Connecticut CARES Act Assistance to Fishery Participants II Update--Aid disbursements mailed March 10, 2022. See attached notice for details.

March 4, 2022: ASMFC Public Hearing on Striped Bass Draft Amendment 7--The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has scheduled a virtual public hearing for Connecticut on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM to gather public input on the Striped Bass Draft Addendum 7. Select link above for additional details and information on how to register for the public hearing.

March 3, 2022: Status update on proposed regulations concerning Whelks, American Lobsters, Striped Bass Circle Hooks and Horseshoe Crabs

February 25, 2022: 2022 Marine Recreational Fishery Regulations Public Informational Meeting--The CT DEEP Marine Fisheries Program is holding a Public Informational Meeting to provide information on the status of important recreational species and planned recreational regulations for the 2022 fishing season, and to gather public input on potential 2022 regulation options for black sea bass and summer flounder (fluke). The meeting will be held virtually using Zoom webinar on the evening of Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 PM. (Select link for meeting and registration information.)

December 29, 2021: 2022 Commercial Fishery Management Plan--See attached notice for details.

March 29, 2021: ASMFC and NAFMC Bluefish Hearing Reminder--The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council have scheduled a virtual public hearing for Connecticut and New York on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM to gather public input on the joint Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment. Select the link for instructions on how to register for the hearing and for links to the hearing documents. 

January 4, 2021: Summer Flounder Commercial Quota Meeting--A meeting of seafood dealers and commercial fishermen who harvest summer flounder has been scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2021. **Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be conducted via a Zoom webinar. The purpose of this meeting is to receive input on strategies to manage Connecticut's increased 2021 summer flounder quota as a result of NOAA’s implementation of Amendment 21 to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan on January 1, 2021.

December 24, 2020: 2021 Commercial Fishery Management Plan See attached notice for details.

October 14, 2020: CARES Aid Application Notice--The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020 created an aid program (CARES Act Aid to Fishery Participants, or CAAFP) for marine fishery participants in U.S. coastal states to offset losses incurred in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecticut has been allocated $1,835,424 of CAAFP aid funds to distribute to qualified recipients in the commercial fishing, for-hire fishing, seafood dealing/wholesaling/processing, and aquaculture sectors.