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Do your part to assist in better management of the Long Island Sound blackfish population.
By Toby Lapinski  |  August 21, 2018
Whether you seek them by boat or from shore, tautog provide action and enjoyment from spring through late fall.

I am a striped bass fanatic, but in recent years the homely blackfish or tautog has quickly climbed up the ladder of my favorite target species. From late-April trips to dust off my gear at the first signs of spring, to summertime freediving in warm, shallow waters, to late-fall outings as I try to steal a few last boat trips out of a long season, the blackfish provides a unique set of challenges that are unrivaled in local waters. While I have experienced some exceptional days on the water, having only come into this game in the last 10 or so years means that I missed what many refer to as the heyday of the Sound fishery. Recent years have seen more restrictive bag limits and shortened seasons placed upon both commercial and recreational anglers alike, but so far the fish have not responded as well as managers would have hoped. While there are many factors at play here, the work continues to find both and answer to the “why” as well as well as a solution that best benefits all user groups.

The next step in the process towards returning the Long Island Sound blackfish population to its former glory takes place on the night of Thursday, September 6, 2018 in Old Lyme, Connecticut at the Marine Fisheries Headquarters and Boating Division building through the Long Island Sound Tautog Fishing Study. This is your chance to have your opinion heard as a multidisciplinary team of UConn scientists led by Pengfei Liu of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Steven Swallow of the same department and Eric Schultz of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will investigate how fishermen’s behavior changes in response to new regulations on size limits, season length and numbers of fish that can be caught. The researchers will engage focus groups and survey anglers to learn how fishermen respond to restrictions on tautog (blackfish). Ultimately, they hope to determine the effectiveness of different management strategies intended to rebuild depleted fish populations.

Participation in the study allows you to express your opinion on the current recreational fishing in the state of Connecticut. Please reply to eric.schultz@uconn.edu to participate in the study.


Marine Fisheries Headquarters and Boating Division
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT

September 6, 2018
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM