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Species Regulations


Marine Recreational Fisheries Regulations for 2021

NEW Regulations Are in Red

Applicability of Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations

Marine recreational fishing regulations apply “while on the waters of this state or on any parcel of land, structure, or portion of a roadway abutting tidal waters of this state.” Consistent with this regulation, regardless where you caught your fish, (federal waters, another states’ waters) any fish in your possession must meet Connecticut regulations (size, season, possession limits) when you are in Connecticut waters. Any fish taken contrary to the minimum length, creel limit or open season regulations must, without avoidable injury, be returned immediately to the water from which taken.

Marine Recreational Fishing: Regulatory Terms and Additional Restrictions

Striped Bass Image

Striped Bass

Download or view the emergency regulation change requiring the use of an inline circle hook while using bait to fish for striped bass, as well as Use of Circle Hooks for Striped Bass.

"We're trying to help conserve a stock of fish that is in an overfished condition and needs help. By using circle hooks, people are pitching in to that effort."- Justin Davis, Assistant Director, Marine Fisheries Program

Effective December 1, 2020, anyone using any kind of natural bait (whether it be live, dead, or cut) on a hook with the intent to catch striped bass in Connecticut Waters MUST be using a Circle Hook. This applies in freshwater and saltwater.

A partir del 1 de diciembre de 2020, personas que usen cualquier tipo de cebo natural (ya sea vivo, muerto o cortado) en un anzuelo con la intención de atrapar robalo rayado en aguas de Connecticut DEBEN usar un anzuelo circular. Esto es aplicable en aguas dulces y saladas.

Striped Bass: No person shall possess any striped bass less than 28 inches or greater than or equal to 35 inches measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. Any striped bass less than 28” or greater than or equal to 35” shall, without avoidable injury, be returned immediately to the water from which taken.
Daily creel limit: 1 fish per angler
Open Season: Open Year Round
Bonus Striped Bass Fishing Program has been discontinued for 2020

Summer Flounder Image

Summer Flounder (Fluke)
Minimum length: 19 inches
Daily creel limit: 4 fish per angler
Open Season: May 4 - September 30

Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Sites the Minimum Length is 17 inches

Tautog (Blackfish) image

Tautog (Blackfish)
Minimum length: 16 inches
Open Season: April 1 - April 30, 2 fish per angler
Open Season: July 1 - August 31, 2 fish per angler
Open Season: October 10 - Nov. 28, 3 fish per angler

Scup (Porgy) Image

Scup (Porgy)
Minimum length: 9 inches
Daily creel limit: 30 fish per angler
Open Season: Open Year Round

Party/Charter Vessel Bonus Season:
For paying passengers only: 50 fish per angler from Sept. 1 - Oct. 31

Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Sites the Minimum Length is 8 inches  

Bluefish Image

Bluefish
Minimum length: None
Daily creel limit: 3 fish per angler (including "snappers")
Open Season: Open Year Round
Party/Charter Vessel Bonus Season: For paying passengers only - Daily creel limit, 5 fish per angler

Black Sea Bass Image

Black Sea Bass 
Minimum length: 15 inches**
Daily creel limit: 5 fish per angler
Open Season: May 19 - December 31
**Excluding tail fin filament (tendril)

Party/Charter Vessel Bonus Season:
For paying passengers only:
Daily creel limit: 7 fish per angler
Open Season: September 1 - December 31
Daily Logbook Catch Reporting required on trips taking Black Sea Bass

Weakfish Image

Weakfish (Sea Trout) 
Minimum length: 16 inches
Daily creel limit: 1 fish 
Open Season: Open Year Round

Winter Flounder Image

Winter Flounder Minimum length: 12 inches
Daily creel limit: 2 fish per angler
Open Season: Open April 1 - December 31

Hickory Shad Image

Hickory Shad
Minimum length: None
Daily creel limit: 6 fish per angler (American and Hickory Shad in aggregate)
Open Season: Open Year Round

American Shad image

American Shad***
Minimum length: None
Daily creel limit: 6 fish per angler (American  Hickory Shad in aggregate)
 Open Season:  Open Year Round
***American Shad: all state waters closed, 
      except the Connecticut River System

Alewife fish image     Blueback Herring fish image

River Herring: Alewife / Blueback Herring
The taking of anadromous alewife and blueback herring is prohibited from all Connecticut waters, including Long Island Sound.

White Perch Image

White Perch
Minimum length: 7 inches
Daily creel limit: 30 fish per angler 
Open Season: Open Year Round

American eel

American Eel
Minimum length: 9 inches
Daily creel limit: 25 fish per angler
Open Season: Open Year Round

Menhaden (Bunker) fish image

Atlantic Menhaden (Bunker)
Minimum length: None
Daily creel limit: 50 fish per angler or 5 gallons (whichever is the greater amount)
Open Season: Open Year Round

Atlantic cod

Atlantic Cod: Updated federal regulations

Haddock

Haddock: Updated federal regulations

Pollock

Pollock: Updated federal regulations

Blue Crab Image

Blue Crab No License Required
Minimum shell width (spike tip to spike tip)
  5 inches - Hard shell
  3 1/2 inches - Soft shell
Daily creel limit: None
Open Season: May 1 - November 30
Prohibition on egg-bearing females

Jonah Crab Illustration

Jonah Crab No License Required
Daily creel limit: 50 Crabs per Day
Prohibition on egg-bearing females

Squid Illustration

Squid No License Required

Smooth Dogfish Image    Spiny Dogfish Image

Smooth and Spiny Dogfish
Minimum length: None
Daily creel limit: None
Open Season: Open Year

Sandbar Shark Image

Coastal Shark Species

An Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit is required to take, possess, or land any shark species, other than smooth or spiny dogfish, in this state in either the sport or commercial fisheries. To obtain an HMS permit, visit: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/aps/permits/ or call NMFS Customer Service Center at 1-888-872-8862.

Red Drum Image

Red Drum (Redfish)
Maximum length: 27 inches
Daily creel limit: 1 fish per angler
Open Season: Open Year Round

 

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Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions.

Phone: 860-434-6043; E-mail: deep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov

Content last updated March 2021