Westport Conservation Director Colin Kelly provided the following response regarding recent complaints about crabbing at Sherwood Mill Pond.
The Shellfish Commission invited the Westport Police Department Marine Division to give a summary report of this year’s summer activities at their regular scheduled meeting on September 6, 2023.
As many have seen in local social media and news sites, the Sherwood Mill Pond has become a popular location for crabbing. The Westport Conservation Department reminds Westport residents that the act of crabbing is allowed and is covered by CT DEEP fishing regulations. (https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/CT-Fishing)
People have the legal right to access state waters and fish for Blue Crab. The taking of Blue Crab requires no license, and there is no daily limit during the open season from May1 – November 30. The Conservation Office does not regulate the taking of crabs from the pond. The Sherwood Mill Pond Advisory Committee and the Shellfish Commission do not have authority to restrict the crabbing either.
To clarify, this does not mean the Town has ignored the public requests for checking the crabbing. In fact, the Westport Police Department have conducted more than fifty (50) patrols of Sherwood Mill Pond this summer. They have interacted with the individuals who are crabbing, they have actively provided education, and they have checked the catches to ensure proper measurements are being followed. The officers have used Infrared cameras to confirm that individuals were taking crabs and that any clams they have seen were dumped. They have worked individually and in conjunction with CT DEEP Encon Police. Officers have been proactive in responding to calls and will continue to provide our Town with this response. We want to inform the public that over seventy (70) parking tickets have been issued along Hillspoint Road and the Old Mill parking lot in the last few weeks. One night alone had over thirty (30) parking tickets issued. The Police Department will continue their oversight, including adding additional tactics in the future, to ensure that the laws are followed.
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