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Author Topic: Trot Lining in Rhode Island Waters  (Read 5271 times)
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mickyyy
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« on: December 13, 2011, 12:47:18 PM »

I am interested in giving trot lining a try but have not heard or read about it being done this far north. I am looking for a little feedback. Also, if the water is relatively clear, I assume that the catch rate would be lower since they have a better chance of seeing you coming.
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jefftoleft
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 07:34:36 PM »

Have you checked your laws to see how much line you can use if any?
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You will always catch more crabs with a DOT.NET than a DOT.COM
masspi
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 08:49:43 AM »

You should check further, but I believe that RI allows trot line usage, but like MA, you are limited in the daily catch limit.  In the case of RI, I think it is 25 crabs.   Not worth the effort in my opinion.
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mickyyy
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 12:52:56 PM »

These are the RI regulations cut and pasted from the RIDEM web site:

Blue Crabs: Harvesting by residents only, by crab net, dip net, scoop net, handline and trot line only. It is illegal to harvest crabs from sunset to sunrise. All blue crabs measuring less than the legal minimum size of five inches (5") from spike-end to spike-end must be returned immediately to the water from which taken. No person shall possess, take, or attempt to take more than twenty-five (25) blue crabs from any of the waters of Rhode Island except when taken by a scoop or crab net, trot, or hand line. Measuring: A direct line measured from the end of one spike across the body shell to the end of the opposite spike must be no less than five inches (5")

Maybe it's me, but the wording is a bit confusing. I once spoke with a RIDEM official about the use of traps, which are not mentioned. He told me that I can use traps, but must limit the catch to 25. Using this as a guide, I interpret that trot lining is acceptable, and that there is no stated limit. Since they include trot lines in the reg's, one could assume that it has been done in RI in the past. I've just never seen it done around here.
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njjoe_II
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 01:20:14 PM »

micky-

That is very interesting that traps are not mentioned one way or the other.  It is also confusing that they limit the catch to 25 when using a dip net only.   Huh

-Joe 
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KI Crabber
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 04:14:13 PM »

These are the RI regulations cut and pasted from the RIDEM web site:

Blue Crabs: Harvesting by residents only, by crab net, dip net, scoop net, handline and trot line only. It is illegal to harvest crabs from sunset to sunrise. All blue crabs measuring less than the legal minimum size of five inches (5") from spike-end to spike-end must be returned immediately to the water from which taken. No person shall possess, take, or attempt to take more than twenty-five (25) blue crabs from any of the waters of Rhode Island except when taken by a scoop or crab net, trot, or hand line. Measuring: A direct line measured from the end of one spike across the body shell to the end of the opposite spike must be no less than five inches (5")

Maybe it's me, but the wording is a bit confusing. I once spoke with a RIDEM official about the use of traps, which are not mentioned. He told me that I can use traps, but must limit the catch to 25. Using this as a guide, I interpret that trot lining is acceptable, and that there is no stated limit. Since they include trot lines in the reg's, one could assume that it has been done in RI in the past. I've just never seen it done around here.
Wow!!! It looks like they took "regulation writing 101" from Maryland's DNR...That's clear as mud!! Huh Roll Eyes Shocked
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mickyyy
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 06:01:21 PM »

Here is how I think it goes:

Crab net, dip net, scoop net, hand lines and trot lines - OK to use, without a limit.........

Traps or any other means - limit of 25 per person
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njjoe_II
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 06:29:27 PM »

micky-

I don't see traps mentioned anywhere in those regs.  Have you seen others using them?

-Joe
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jefftoleft
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 09:05:58 PM »

The way it looks to me is your allowed 25 crabs a day and if so that is not worth building a trotline. But you should call the place and get them to explain it to you.
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You will always catch more crabs with a DOT.NET than a DOT.COM
masspi
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2011, 09:21:27 PM »

Always remember..................The rules and laws are always interpreted by the person on the scene with the rule book tucked under their arm.  If you try to make the law as written fit your needs, do so at your own peril.  The fines in Rhode Island are very steep.  Call RIDEM and try to talk to someone who will explain the law to you.  Make sure you talk to an enforcement officer, not a clerk !!!!!
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mickyyy
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2011, 12:33:51 PM »

I'll give them a call and, hopefully, clear this up.
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MistyBlue
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2011, 02:15:55 PM »

That's Rhode Island for you, confuse the heck out of you.
For fear of coming across a DEM agent who was trying to "make a name for himself", I avoid using traps and trot lines. And just to be safe, I don't take more than the 25 limit.
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masspi
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 03:06:28 PM »

SMART !!!!
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mickyyy
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 09:24:24 PM »

I spoke with an official from RI Fish & Wildlife today. There is no limit (for RI residents) provided you use either a crab net, dip net, scoop net, hand line or trot line. Using any other method, you are limited to 25. Since the crab population here is historically light compared to the more southern states, they have always considered crabbing in this area to be strictly for catch-and-eat (recreational ) purposes, and have not felt that there is a need to regulate catch limits in a commercial sense. They continue to monitor the  Blue Crab population year to year,and will revise the reg's only if the average annual population increases to the point where catching Blue Crabs becomes commercially viable up here. May we have that problem!
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Ron
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 06:53:52 AM »

Sounds like it's time for a road trip to Rhode Island to fill a couple of bushel baskets.

Who is hosting the southern BCA contingent when we come up?
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masspi
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 07:45:31 AM »

Too bad Ron...........crabbing is for Rhode Island residents only.............
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