Good afternoon everyone,
Here is the new regulation pertaining to striped bass and the use of circle hooks that went into effect on 12/1/2020. Encon Police will be utilizing an educational approach for enforcement for the time being to address this newly implemented law.

Statement of Purpose
This new subsection mandates the use of circle hooks by recreational anglers when fishing for striped bass with natural baits (as opposed to artificial lures). Atlantic striped bass populations are currently overfished and in need of conservation. Post-release or “discard” mortality of striped bass released by recreational anglers is a major contributing factor to the depleted state of striped bass populations. Use of circle hooks is a scientifically-proven method of minimizing hooking injury and thus increasing odds of post-release survival. To reduce discard mortality, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has added a provision to the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass requiring Atlantic coastal states to implement rules by January 1, 2021 mandating use of circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with bait. The Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act of 1993 mandates that Atlantic coastal states implement the provisions of ASMFC FMPs or face a federally-imposed fisheries moratorium. The proposed regulation will therefore provide conservation of economically-important striped bass populations, and ensure compliance with the ASMFC striped bass FMP.

Emergency Regulation of the
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Sport Fishing in the Marine
Emergency regulations adopted after October 1, 2016, become effective upon posting to the Connecticut eRegulations System.
Posted to the Connecticut eRegulations System on December 1, 2020
December 1, 2020
Approved by the Office of the Governor on
November 9, 2020
Approved by the Legislation Regulation Review Committee on
November 24, 2020
Electronic copy with agency head certification statement electronically submitted to and received by the Office of the Secretary of the State on
December 1, 2020

Electronic Copy Certification Statement
(Submitted in accordance with the provisions of section 4-172 of the Connecticut General Statutes)
Regulation of the
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Sport Fishing in the Marine District
Approved by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee: November 24, 2020
eRegulations System Tracking Number: ER 2020-024

I hereby certify that the electronic copy of the above-referenced regulation submitted herewith to the Secretary of the State is a true and accurate copy of the regulation approved in accordance with sections 4-169 and 4-170 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
And I further certify that in accordance with the approval of Legislative Regulation Review Committee, all required technical corrections, page substitutions and deletions, if any, have been incorporated into said regulation.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto
set my hand on December 1, 2020.

Katherine S. Dykes
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State of Connecticut Regulation
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Concerning Sport Fishing in the Marine District

Section 26-159a-2 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies is amended by adding subsection (h) as follows: (NEW)(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies, no person shall engage in angling for striped bass with whole, cut or live natural bait unless such person uses an inline circle hook. For purposes of this subsection, "inline circle hook" means a fishing hook on which the point and barb are not offset from the plane of the shank and bend of such hook and such point is perpendicular to such shank.
Connecticut eRegulations System — Tracking Number ER2020-024 — Posted 12/1/2020