Tag Archives: Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

L.I. Sound lobstermen avoid regulatory pincers

Lobstermen working Long Island Sound dodged new limits on their fishery last week when federal regulators failed to adopt restrictions aimed at reversing a decades-long decline in the lobster population. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted down additional management measures, including a reduction in the size of lobster that could be harvested and a shorter season. “We are ecstatic,” said Mike Kalaman, a Norwalk lobstermen who believes the population is returning on its own, thanks to cleaner water and natural cycles. “We keep telling them that what’s in place is working,” Kalaman said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It’s fixing itself.” The decision by the American Lobster Management Board to defeat fishing restrictions was unusual; the board almost always adopts new management measures. The proposal on the table, developed by experts after months of research and deliberation, failed after numerous votes by a divided board. click here to read the story 08:20

RI And MA Lobstermen At Odds With Regulators Over Conservation Effortsclick here to read the story

Fishermen make waves after Scup limits are lowered

Most of the fish caught by the Stonington fleet is processed at Gambardella Wholesale Seafood and the talk there today is about the change in Scup regulations. Two boxes of Scup processed at the plant weigh about 120 pounds which is almost two thirds of what fisherman are now allowed to haul in a day. “Two hundred pounds. We clean the net we get 200 pounds,” said fisherman Bob Guzzo. “They’re so prevalent we’re catching them with six inch mesh which is unbelievable.” Guzzo says he ends up having to throw back perfectly good fish so he doesn’t go over the daily catch limits. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection lowered the Scup limits on Sunday because the summer quota which is a lot less than the winter quota is already at 72 percent. “Back in 2005 the fishery was overfished and it’s been rebuilt since then so they just want to keep it there,” said Mark Alexander with the DEEP. “I know the fishermen are frustrated because there are a lot of fish out there.” It’s not just Scup. Fishermen say Sea Bass are also thriving. Video, click here to read the story 22:03

New restrictions seek to save Long Island Sound lobsters

A multistate fisheries commission is poised to slap more restrictions on Long Island Sound lobster fishing in another effort to stabilize the numbers of crustaceans. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week agreed to change the rules in hopes of slowing the continuing decline of lobster in southern New England. The numbers have been falling due to warmer water caused by climate change. “The goal is to preserve what there is,” said Mark Alexander, assistant fisheries manager for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a voting member on the fisheries commission. “It’s a disgrace,” said Roger Frate, a veteran Darien lobsterman, referring to the commission’s proposed restrictions. Mike Kalaman, a Norwalk lobsterman, said fishermen prefer no additional restrictions. Still, he said the proposed 5 percent egg production goal is better than some of the commission’s more stringent proposals.  Click here to read the story 08:14

Fourth Amendment Issues Raised in Connecticut Clam-Poaching Dispute

conn deepAn odd dispute involving Long Island Sound clams has resulted in a criminal trial and a civil lawsuit challenging the authority of state environmental police officers. In December 2011, officers with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to a complaint made by Christopher Walston, who accused Nicholas Crismale and his boat, the Mighty Maxx, of trespassing on Walston’s leased shellfish beds. Crismale, who is president of the Lobsterman’s Association of Connecticut, claims he was merely turning his boat around. Walston, who used to work for Crismale, claims his former boss was illegally harvesting Walston’s clams. He reported Crismale to state authorities as well as the Guilford Fishing Commission. Read the article here 17:23

Specially Trained Environmental Conservation Dog Helps Catch Illegal Fishermen

Four men are facing illegal fishing charges after Environmental Conservation police, with the help of a K-9 team, located 38 illegally caught striped bass hidden along the banks of the Housatonic River. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said that EnCon police received an anonymous complaint Tuesday about four people fishing in the Housatonic River off River Road who may have been illegally catching fish. Read the rest, Click here 14:26

Atlantic Salmon Found Spawning In Farmington River Watershed For First Time in Centuries

State wildlife experts have now documented wild Atlantic salmon laying eggs in nests in their traditional Farmington River valley spawning grounds, possibly for the first time in centuries. “It’s the first time since probably the Revolutionary War,” said Peter Aarrestad, director of inland fisheries for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The three wild salmon nests, or “redds,” were discovered in November upstream of the Rainbow Dam fishway in Windsor, somewhere “within the Farmington River watershed,” Aarrestad said. Read the rest here 15:41

Connecticut DEEP to issue licenses to commercial whelk fishermen

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is taking over the licensing and regulation of the commercial whelk fishery. In an announcement Tuesday, DEEP said whelk fishermen could apply starting Dec. 1 for new licenses that would take effect Jan. 1. After that date, all previously issued licenses will be void, regardless of the expiration date. Many former lobstermen turned to whelk fishing after the collapse of the lobster population in Long Island Sound in the 1990s, he said. Both fisheries use similar gear. Read the rest here 12:29

Connecticut DEEP investigating large-scale fish kills of Atlantic Menhaden and other species

menhadenConnecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is investigating multiple natural fish kills affecting thousands of Atlantic menhaden in the past week, including in the Quinnipiac River, Clinton Harbor and the lower Connecticut River, according to a press release from the DEEP. Menhaden have also died off in the Thames River between Norwich and the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, the DEEP said. Small numbers of fish kills of other species have been reported in these areas as well, the release said. Read the rest here 14:37

Fishing prohibited in Long Island Sound due to Bridgeport fire

A foamy substance with a red tint was observed in the water, so the Coast Guard will fly a helicopter this morning over the harbor and along the shoreline to determine its spread. As a precaution, all commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited from Norwalk to Milford while tests are completed, according to Coast Guard Capt. Ed Cubanski. Read the rest here 13:36

Connecticut: Commercial Fisherman Sues State For False Prosecution

A prominent commercial fisherman from Guilford who was found not guilty earlier this year of poaching clams from another person’s state-leased shellfish bed is now suing the state inspectors who arrested him. Nicholas Crismale claims he was targeted by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection because of his criticism of that agency. Crismale is president of the Lobstermen’s Association of Connecticut and has accused the agency of failing to protect the Long Island Sound lobster fishery. Read the rest here 09:24

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission proposes new rules for American eel

The commission is considering 25 options for revising regulations for commercial fishing for glass, yellow and silver eels, from keeping the status quo to permitting aquaculture with permits to new catch limits. Read more here 11:09