Marine Catch & Release Regulations

April 2, 2005

Marine Recreational Anglers Notice

The most recent communication from the DEP Marine Fisheries Division discussed and clarified the practices of Culling, Highgrading and Catch and Release by marine recreational anglers. The following are clarifications of those practices.

Catch and Release During Closed Seasons -- Connecticut regulations prohibit fishing directed for species during their closed season. Unintentional catching of fish and releasing them immediately is not a violation.

Catch and Release During Open Seasons After the Creel Limit has Been Reached -- Once the creel limit has been reached, anglers may continue to fish for and catch those species provided that every fish caught after attaining the limit is released immediately. Every effort should be made to .release the fish unharmed.

Culling or Highgrading -- Usually these terms apply to the practice of discarding fish caught (usually smaller fish) from an angler's catch after the creel limit had been reached and replacing them with more desirable fish. Connecticut regulations prohibit that practice, even if the fish that had been creeled are released alive.

For further information contact the DEP Marine Fisheries Division at 860-434-6043 or dep.marine.fisheries@po.state.ct.us.

All of us fisherman have witnessed those practices in marine and inland waters. They are detrimental to the fish and anglers. Every angler has the obligation and responsibility of managing and protecting our fisheries.