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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


For Release:

April 17, 2000

Contact:

Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO MARINE FISHERIES REGULATIONS

RI Marine Fisheries Council to Hold Hearing May 2 on Other Proposed Changes

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management today filed regulations concerning seasons, minimum sizes, possession limits, and quotas for several marine fish species. The new regulations reflect actions taken by the RI Marine Fisheries Council at its March 28 meeting.

For recreational fisheries, the following seasons, sizes, and catch limits have been adopted:

    • Tautog: The season opens on May 1 and runs through December 31. The minimum size is 16 inches. From May 1 through October 14, the possession limit is three fish. From October 15 through December 31, the limit is 10 fish.
    • Striped bass: The season opens on April 23 and runs through November 30. The minimum size is 29 inches and the possession limit is two fish.
    • Black sea bass: The 20 fish possession limit for recreational fishermen is no longer in effect.
    • Summer flounder: The season opens on May 10 and runs through October 2. The minimum size is 15.5 inches, and the possession limit is eight fish.

For commercial fisheries, the following quotas, sizes, seasons and catch limits have been adopted:

    • Striped bass: For other than fish traps, the quota is 81,390 pounds, the minimum size is 36 inches total length, and the limit is three fish per person. The season is closed through May 31 and again from July 1 through August 31.
    • Striped bass: For floating fish traps, the quota is 52,502 pounds, with a minimum size of 24 inches total length and a maximum size of 40 inches. There is no seasonal restriction.
    • Black sea bass: Possession limits are 3,000 pounds from April through June, 2,000 pounds from July through September, and 3,000 pounds from October through December.

The RI Marine Fisheries Council also voted at the March 28 meeting to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, May 2 on tautog advisory panel recommendations and scup management recommendations for commercial fishing. The advisory panel has recommended a 51,000-pound quota for tautog, divided into three seasons with 17,000 pound quotas. The scup management recommendations include reducing the mesh implementation threshold for the winter period to 200 pounds, and for the summer period to 100 pounds, to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) fishery management plan. Proposed lobster tag trap regulations to comply with the ASMFC lobster management plan and complimentary Rhode Island law will also be heard. The regulations mirror lobster trap tag requirements for federal waters.

The May 2 hearing will take place at 6 p.m. in the third floor cafeteria at DEM Headquarters at 235 Promenade Street in Providence.


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