DEEP CT Marine Fishery News: Summer Flounder Limit Adjustment and Reminders

March 26, 2020

The following update is from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:

Commercial Fishery Possession Limit Adjustment

Effective 0001 hours Sunday, March 29, 2020, the possession limit for the commercial harvest of summer flounder will be reduced to 50 pounds. The Department estimates the commercial quota allocated to the ‘Winter 1’ fishery (25%) has been harvested.

Effective May 1, 2020 the possession limit will be 150 pounds.


American lobster: The minimum length is 3-3/8 inches.

American eel: No possession limit. Minimum length is 9 inches.

Atlantic menhaden:
• The possession limit for the harvest of menhaden in CT waters is 12,000 pounds.
• For the landing of menhaden taken from outside of CT waters the possession limit is 120,000 pounds
• Call-in required: To accurately monitor landings and manage the commercial quota, the Marine Fisheries Program and DEEP Environmental Conservation Police have developed a call-in system. When in possession of 6,000 pounds or more of menhaden and prior to departure and again prior to landing, fishermen must notify DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Dispatch by telephone at 860.424-3503.

Black sea bass: 60 pounds

Bluefish: 500 pounds

Jonah crab: In the commercial fishery no Jonah crab less than 4.75 inches carapace width may be possessed or sold. Possession of egg bearing Jonah crabs or crabs from which the eggs have been
removed is prohibited. Jonah crabs must also be landed whole. Landing claws only is prohibited.

Possession of more than two loose claws per body is prohibited. The possession limit in non-trap fisheries is 1,000 crabs. There is no possession limit in the lobster pot fishery. (Connecticut licensing
statutes do not allow crabs to be taken by pots other than lobster pots.)

Scup: 50,000 pounds

Smooth dogfish: 200 pounds. Commercial fishermen in state waters and in possession of a valid state commercial fishing license can eviscerate and remove the head and all shark fins of smooth
dogfish while at sea provided smooth dogfish make up at least 25 percent, by weight, of total catch on board at the time of landing. Such fishermen may retain other sharks on board provided the fins
of other shark species remain naturally attached to the carcass through offloading.

Spiny dogfish: 6,000 pounds. Spiny dogfish are managed under a regional annual quota. The fishery will close when 100% of the regional quota has been harvested.

Tautog: Closed. Will open April 1, 2020. 10 fish for Principal and General Commercial Fishing License holders and 3 fish for Restricted Commercial Fishing License holders. Tagging requirement
suspended until further notice.

Weakfish: 100 pounds all year.

Winter flounder: State waters closed to harvest through April 14. Federally permitted vessels are permitted to land the higher federal limits of fish taken from federal waters.

All of the possession limits listed above apply to the aggregate of all persons on board the vesselper trip or per day whichever is the longer period of time. Transfer of these species between vessels at sea is prohibited. In any instance where there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person when the catch is commingled, the violation shall be deemed
to have been committed by the owner of the vessel, or the operator of the vessel, if the owner is not on board. When any person on a vessel is commercial fishing, the commercial possession limit applies to the entire vessel and no person on that vessel may also possess fish under a recreational creel limit.

For current commercial fishery trip limits and quota status:
Call 860-434-6374 24/7 for a recorded message of current possession limits, or see:

The Department monitors landings and adjusts trip limits according to Department regulations in an attempt to provide fishing opportunity throughout the year for all participants in the commercial

In addition, the Department strives to provide advance notification of trip limit changes, although this may not always be possible due to rapidly escalating or unanticipated landings. In such circumstances, only a short notification period may be possible.

The information provided in this notice is a summary of possession limits and other general rules only. For complete information on commercial fishing regulations please see:, or contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Program by email at [email protected], by mail at PO 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.