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 2023 fishing season, as well as to gather public input on 2023 regulation options for black sea bass. 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.
The first meeting will be held in person on Monday, February 27th from 6:00-8:00 PM at:
UCONN Avery Point Campus
Lowell P. Weicker Building, Seminar Room 103
1084 Shennecossett Rd, Groton CT 06340
Parking is available in Lot D (Employee Parking). The Lowell P. Weicker Building (formerly the Marine Sciences Building) is located on the south end of the campus. A campus map showing the location of Lot D and the Weicker Building can be found at this link:
The second meeting will be held virtually via Zoom webinar on Tuesday, February 28th from 6:00-8:00 PM.
To register for the meeting, please use the link below. After registering, you will receive an e-mail with information on how to connect to the meeting:
Registration link for the webinar:
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC) jointly manage several fish species on the Atlantic coast, including scup and black sea bass. ASMFC and MAFMC have recently voted to implement coastwide changes in recreational regulations for these two species in 2023.
ASMFC and MAFMC have voted to implement a coastwide 10% reduction in scup recreational harvest for 2023 based on a finding that recreational harvest under “status quo” (i.e., same as 2022) regulations would exceed the 2023 Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL) for scup. The Commission and Council opted to reduce the federal waters (>3 miles from shore) possession limit from 50 to 40 scup and shorten the scup fishing season from year-round to May 1 – December 31, but because these federal waters regulation changes will not achieve the full required harvest reduction, states are required to modify their state waters (0-3 miles from shore) scup regulations to achieve the full reduction. The overwhelming majority of scup recreational harvest (>90%) occurs in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, and the states within this “northern region” have an informal agreement to implement uniform scup recreational regulations for the sake of interstate consistency. DEEP has worked with corresponding agencies in the northern region to develop the following uniform scup regulations for 2023:
|2023 Scup Recreational Regulations Boat||Shore||For-Hire|
|Minimum Length||10.5 inchesa||9.5 inchesb||10.5 inchesa|
|Bag Limit||30 fish||30 fish||30 fishc|
|Season||May 1 – Dec. 31d||May 1 – Dec. 31d||May 1 – Dec. 31d|
|aincrease from 10 inches in 2022; bdecrease from 10 inches in 2022; cwith exception of “bonus|
|season” bag limit of 40 fish from Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 (decrease from 50 fish in 2022); ddecrease|
|from year-round season in 2022.|
Black Sea Bass
ASMFC and MAFMC have voted to implement a coastwide 10% reduction in black sea bass recreational harvest for 2023 based on a finding that recreational harvest under status quo regulations would exceed the 2023 Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL) for black sea bass. As in recent years, the Commission and Council opted to allow states to develop state-specific black sea bass regulations to meet the 10% harvest reduction rather than implement uniform coastwide regulations. DEEP MFP staff have developed recreational regulation options to meet Connecticut’s required harvest reduction. These options, in addition to the 2022 regulations for purposes of comparison, are detailed below:
|2022 Sea Bass Recreational Regulations (for comparison to 2023 options) Boat||Shore||For-Hire|
|Minimum Length||16 inches||16 inches||16 inches|
|Bag Limit||5 fish||5 fish||5 fisha|
|Season||May 19 – Dec. 1||May 19 – Dec. 1||May 19 – Dec. 31|
|awith exception of “bonus season” bag limit of 7 fish from Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, daily logbook reporting of black sea bass harvest required for for-hire vessel operators|
2023 Sea Bass Recreational Regulation Options
- Option 1 – Minimum Length Increase: Increase minimum length to 16.5” for boat, shore, and for-hire. No other changes.
- Option 2a – Bag Limit Decrease: Decrease bag limit to 2 fish for boat, shore, and for-hire (eliminate for-hire fall bonus season). No other changes.
- Option 2b: same as Option 2a but for-hire bag limit remains status quo (including for-hire fall bonus season).
- Option 3a – Summer Season Closure: season closure from June 24 – July 7 for boat, shore, and for-hire. No other changes.
- Option 3b: same as Option 3a but for-hire season remains status quo.
- Option 4a – Fall Season Closure + Fall Bag Limit Decrease: last day of season moves to October 23 and bag limit decreases to 2 fish on October 1 for boat, shore, and for-hire. No other changes.
- Option 4b: Same as Option 4a but for-hire season/bag limit remains status quo.
At this time, DEEP anticipates no changes to recreational size limits, bag limits, or seasons for any species other than black sea bass and scup (porgy) in 2023. However, at this meeting, MFP will provide information on the status of striped bass, summer flounder (fluke), bluefish, and tautog (blackfish).
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. If you are seeking a communication aid or service, have limited proficiency in English, wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint, or require some other accommodation, including equipment to facilitate virtual participation, please contact us at 860-418-5910 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any person needing an accommodation for hearing impairment may call the State of Connecticut relay number – 711. In order to facilitate efforts to provide an accommodation, please request all accommodations as soon as possible following notice of any agency hearing, meeting, program or event.