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Recreational Fishing for Bait Species, Blue Crab & Lobster


For personal use/not for sale: License required in marine district.

Fishing gear which may be used 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 & Line.
  • By hand.

Legal Bait Species

  • Menhaden (license required for gillnetting, see below)
  • Striped Killifish and Banded Killifish
  • Atlantic Silverside
  • Tidewater Silverside
  • Mummichogs
  • 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
  • Other fish of legal length may be used, if taken by Hook & Line only!


For personal use/not for sale: License required.

Legal Menhaden Capture Methods

Use of a single gillnet, not more than 60 feet in length.


The taking of any species other than menhaden.


  • All gillnets must have a tag, provided with the license number.
  • A minimum mesh size of 3″ stretched.


  • Call 860-434-6043, ask for the Personal Use Menhaden Gillnet License Guidelines.
  • Please submit daily catch record at the end of the year to:
    DEEP Marine Fisheries Division
    P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371


For personal use/not for sale: License required.

Species Include

  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Scallops

Contact the town where you plan to harvest shellfish for permit information, or the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture Division at 203-874-0696. email:


Recreational harvest/not for sale: License required.

Legal Lobster Capture Methods:

  • Ten pots or less (pot tags required)
  • Skin Diving
  • SCUBA Diving
  • Hand Capturing

No closed season.

Minimum Shell Length: 3-38” (eye socket to end of carapace).


  • Use of spears or hooks. Possession of speared lobsters.
  • Possession of egg bearing females or female lobsters with a 18” or deeper V-shaped notch in the tail flipper.
  • Tending pots from one half hour past sunset to one half hour before sunrise.


  • Catch compartments (parlor) escape vents — either one 2″ by 5-34” rectangular or two 2-58” circular escape vents.
  • Maximum trap size is 22,950 cubic inches.


  • Call 860-434-6043, ask for the Guidelines for Personal Use Lobster Fishing in Connecticut.
  • Lobster Gauges can be purchased at the Marine Fisheries office in Old Lyme or from DEEP Licensing at:
    79 Elm Street, 1st Floor,
    Hartford, CT 06106-5127
  • Please submit daily catch record at the end of the year to:
    DEEP Marine Fisheries Division
    P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371


For personal use/not for sale: No license required.

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 1November 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.


All devices must be attended at all times.


For additional information, refer to the Marine Fisheries Information Circular by visiting the or call the Marine Fisheries Division at: 860-434-6043.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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