Substitute Senate Bill No. 1229

Public Act No. 99-169

An Act Concerning Shellfishing by Nonresidents.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 26-212 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No person shall take or gather for commercial purposes oysters, clams, mussels or other molluscan shellfish from any natural shellfish bed in the state in any boat or vessel unless it is licensed and numbered in the manner provided in this section. Any person desiring to use any boat or vessel for such purpose may make written application to the Commissioner of Agriculture, stating the name, owner, rig, general description and tonnage of such boat or vessel and the place where it is owned, and the commissioner shall issue to the owner of such boat or vessel a license to take and gather for commercial purposes oysters, clams, mussels or other molluscan shellfish from the natural shellfish beds in the state for the term expiring on the next succeeding twentieth day of July, unless sooner revoked, upon the payment of fifteen dollars; provided, before such license is granted, the owner or master shall prove to the satisfaction of the commissioner that such boat or vessel may legally be used on work on the public beds of the state [, that the captain and crew of the boat or vessel have been residents of this state for one year next preceding the date of such license] and that the dredges and other contrivances do not weigh more than thirty pounds. Each boat or vessel so licensed shall, while at work upon any of the natural shellfish beds of the state, display the number of such license in black figures not less than one foot in length. [When any boat or vessel so licensed is sold to a resident of this state, the license shall be transferred at the office of the commissioner. Any license granted to any person who, during the period for which such license is granted, removes from the state shall be revoked.] No such license may be transferred. The sale [to a nonresident] of any boat so licensed shall operate as a forfeiture and revocation of the license, and the license certificate shall be surrendered to the commissioner.

Sec. 2. Section 26-219 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any [resident of this state who has resided in this state for at least one year next preceding] person may apply to the Commissioner of Agriculture for a license to take conchs in excess of one-half bushel daily. Such license shall not apply to any area lawfully designated as oyster, clam or mussel beds under town or state jurisdiction. Such application shall state the name, residence and post-office address of the applicant and such other information as said commissioner requires. Such license shall be valid for one year from the date of its issuance, and a fee of fifty dollars shall be charged therefor. Any person who takes any conchs in excess of one-half bushel daily without having obtained such a license shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both.

Sec. 3. Section 26-235 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No person [who has not been an actual inhabitant or resident of this state for at least thirty days next preceding shall dig or take any clams from the shores or waters thereof, nor shall any person] shall take any long clams less than one and one-half inches in length, provided the Waterford-East Lyme shellfish commission may make such residency requirements for digging or taking clams from the shores or waters of the Niantic River as it deems reasonable and in the best public interest of the Waterford-East Lyme area. Unless otherwise provided by statute, regulation or local ordinance, the recreational harvest limit of clams shall not exceed one-half bushel per person daily. The Commissioner of Agriculture may designate by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 shores and waters for the exclusive recreational harvesting of clams. For the purposes of this section, recreational harvest of clams means the collection of clams by an individual for his own or his family's consumption.

(b) The common council of any consolidated town and city and the selectmen of any other town may determine the quantity of clams to be taken therein by a person during one day and may prohibit, for a period not exceeding one year, the taking of clams from any waters or beaches they may designate within the territorial limits of such town, if they deem such prohibition necessary for the protection of the natural clam areas, by posting notices on such designated territorial limits stating that the taking of clams within such areas is prohibited.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall have committed an infraction.

Sec. 4. Section 26-280 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No person shall take, remove or carry away shellfish of any kind from the shores, beaches and flats at "Saugatuck Shores", so called, in the town of Westport, between June first and October first in each year, except under a written permit issued by the selectmen of said town or as authorized by the shellfish commission of the town of Westport, provided residents of the towns of Westport, Weston and Wilton may take, remove or carry away shellfish from the shores, beaches and flats between the westerly boundary of Sherwood Island Park and the mouth of the Saugatuck River without obtaining such a permit. Any other person [, who has been a resident of this state for more than one year continuously,] desiring to take shellfish from said shores, beaches and flats shall make application to the police department of Westport on a form similar to that provided in connection with licenses or permits for fishing and such police department shall issue such number of permits and to such applicants as appear suitable and proper, and each permittee or licensee shall pay the sum of one dollar for such permit or license when issued to him and such license or permit, unless revoked for cause, shall continue in effect for the balance of the calendar year in which the same is issued. Any person who takes shellfish from said shores, beaches and flats in violation of the provisions hereof shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to extend the jurisdiction of the selectmen or the shellfish commission of the town of Westport to any shores, beaches, or flats not within the jurisdiction of such selectmen or commission on or before October 1, 1983.

Sec. 5. Section 26-288 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No person shall have in his possession any escallops other than adult escallops. For the purpose of this section, an adult escallop is defined as an escallop having a well-defined growth line. All seed escallops taken shall be immediately returned alive to waters having a depth of at least three feet at mean low tide, except that the selectmen of any town bordering on Long Island Sound may, on application, authorize such escallops to be removed and transplanted in waters along the sound. No person shall take any escallops from the first day of April to the first day of October or from sunset to sunrise, except that in the waters of Little Narragansett Bay no person shall take any escallops from the first day of April to the fifteenth day of September or from sunset to sunrise. No person shall use any rake, dredge, drag or other device which may be drawn along the surface of the bottom, except a device such as a scoop net which is attached to a pole and has an opening not more than sixteen inches wide and is used manually by the person engaged in taking escallops. No person shall open and return to the water the shell and entrails of any escallops after the eye or muscle has been removed, nor shall any starfish taken from the waters be returned thereto. [No person not a citizen and a resident of this state for the year next preceding shall take any escallops from the waters of this state.] Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than sixty days or both.

Sec. 6. (a) Section 26-214 of the general statutes is repealed.

(b) In codifying the provisions of this act, the Legislative Commissioners shall delete the reference to section 26-214 of the general statutes which appears in section 26-194 of the general statutes.

Sec. 7. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved June 23, 1999

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