The Commonwealth’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission met on April 7 and approved proposed regulations for commercial and recreational scup, black sea bass, and fluke management in 2011. The recreational black sea bass regulations also required approval by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which was granted on April 20. Due to the late timing of the action, MarineFisheries is enacting emergency regulations for the upcoming season. These regulations will allow Massachusetts to remain in compliance with the interstate plans and in some cases to capitalize on more liberal catch limits allowed under the plans.

The following changes are in effect for 2011:

Commercial Scup: An increase of 50,000 pounds to the quota set-aside for the weir fishery; a doubling of the trip limits for all other authorized gears; replacement of Thursday with Wednesday as an open fishing day for the May fish pot and hook-and-line fishery; and a one-month earlier season opening for the summer directed fishery, with the addition of Sunday as a fishing day for the fish pot and hook-and-line fishery.

Commercial Scup


(quota dependent)

Gear TypeOpen Fishing DaysPossession Limit (lbs)Size Limit
May - OctoberFish WeirAll275,000 in aggregate9"
April 23 – June 9Trawlers during squid and fluke seasonsAll800
June 10 – October 31Sunday - Thursday800
May 1 – May 31Fish pot and hook-and-lineSunday, Tuesday, Wednesday400
July 1 – October 31Sunday - Thursday800

Commercial Black Sea Bass: For the spring fishery, extension of the season by seven days, replacement of Thursday with Wednesday as an open fishing day, and a 60 percent reduction to the daily trip limit for all gears. For the summer fishery, alignment of the possession limits with the spring fishery.

Commercial Black Sea BassSeasonGear TypeOpen Fishing DaysPossession Limit (lbs)Size Limit
January - AprilAll authorizedAll10012"
May 1 - May 31Fish pot & weirSunday, Tuesday and Wednesday200
All others authorized80
August 1 - QuotaFish potSunday - Thursday200
All others authorized80

Commercial Fluke: No changes from 2010 management.

Commercial Fluke

GearSeasonMinimum SizeTrip Limits (lbs)
NetsFebruary 1 – April 2214"

w/o LOA: 500

w/ LOA: 2,000

NetsApril 23 – June 9100
LonglinesApril 23 – June 9100
NetsJune 10 – Quota300
LonglinesJune 10 – Quota200
Handlines/Rod & ReelJune 10 – Quota200

(LOA = letter of authorization)

Recreational Scup: No changes from 2010 management.

Recreational Scup

Trip TypeSeasonPossession LimitSize Limit
PrivateMay 24 - September 2610 fish (with 50 fish vessel limit)10.5"
For-hireMay 15 - June 1840 fish11"
June 19 - September 1710 fish

Recreational Black Sea Bass: A shortening of the season by 61 days (no November and December fishery), a decrease in the possession limit by 10 fish, and an increase in the minimum size limit by 1.5 inches.

Recreational Black Sea BassSeasonPossession LimitSize Limit
May 22 - October 1110 fish14"

Recreational Fluke: A lengthening of the season by 24 days in September, and a decrease in the minimum size limit of one inch.

Recreational FlukeSeasonPossession LimitSize Limit
May 22 - September 305 fish17.5"