Bait Species, Crab, Lobster, Shellfish Regulations
Recreational Fishing for Bait Species, Lobster, Crab, and Shellfish
- Recreational marine fishing license required to take bait within the marine district.
- Species that may be taken:
- Menhaden (see Menhaden below)
- Striped Killifish and Banded Killifish
- Atlantic Silverside
- Tidewater Silverside
- Sea Herring (Atlantic Herring)
- Sand Lances (Sand Eels)
- American Eel
- Sea Lamprey
- Bay Anchovy
- Mullet Species
- Sheepshead Minnow
- Shrimp Species
- Green, Fiddler, Asian Shore and Hermit Crabs
- Net and traps which may be used in the marine district to catch bait species:
- Cast Nets.
- Minnow Traps: no larger than 20″ long by 15″ in diameter.
- Umbrella Nets: not more than 4 ft. in length by 4 ft. in width.
- Scoop or Scap Nets: no larger than 36″ in diameter.
- Seines: no longer than 30 feet in length.
- Up to two eel pots.
- Hook and line.
- By hand.
- Personal Use Gillnet License required ($100.00)
- Annual Report of Catch
- See Personal Use Gillnet License Guidelines for a complete list of requirements.
- Information: call 860-434-6043, ask for the Personal Use Menhaden Gillnet License Guidelines.
- Legal Menhaden Capture Methods
- Use of a single gillnet, not more than 60 feet in length and 3 inch minimum mesh size.
- The taking of any species other than menhaden.
- Personal Use Lobster License required ($60.00).
- Annual Report of Catch required.
- See Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing for a list of requirements.
- Information: call 860-434-6043, ask for the Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing in Connecticut.
- Lobster Gauges can be purchased ($4) at the Marine Fisheries office in Old Lyme or from DEEP Licensing at: 79 Elm Street, 1st Floor, Hartford, CT 06106-5127; 860-424-3105.
- Legal Lobster Capture Methods:
- Ten pots or less (pot tags required)
- Skin Diving
- SCUBA Diving
- Hand Capturing
- Blue Crab Fact Sheet
- No license required.
- All devices must be attended at all times.
- Legal Blue Crab Capture Methods:
- Scoop Net, Hand Line, Dip Net, Trot Line.
- Star Crab Trap (or similar device).
- Circular Topless Trap (not exceeding 26″ in diameter).
- Semi-Circular Cylindrical Trap (12″ or less in diameter)
- Open Season
- May 1 – November 30.
- Minimum Shell Width: (spike tip to spike tip)
- 5″ hard shell crabs
- 3½” soft shell crabs
- Possession of uncooked blue crab meat without the body shell attached.
- Possession of more than 2 claws per body.
- Possession of egg bearing females.
- Chesapeake-style crabs traps.
- No license required.
- For personal use only; not for sale.
- 50 crabs per day.
- Possession of egg bearing females prohibited.
- No license required if taken using a squid jig.
- For personal use only.
- Not for sale.
- DEEP does not issue shellfish licenses.
- Town Shellfishing License required.
- Contact the town where you plan to harvest shellfish for permit information.
- Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture Shellfishing information at 203-874-0696. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Species Include:
Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions.
Content last updated January 2021