Westport neighbors get crabby about nighttime crabbing

Sherwood Mill Pond in Westport is a popular crabbing spot in town, but neighbors who live there have complained about annoying lights when people are fishing for blue crabs at night.

Mark Sudol

Oct 3, 2023, 9:24 PM

Updated 291 days ago

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A certain kind of nighttime fishing in one local town is getting complaints from neighbors.
But experts say there's not much those neighbors can do about it.
Sherwood Mill Pond in Westport is a popular crabbing spot in town. But neighbors who live there have complained about annoying lights when people are fishing for blue crabs at night.
"I understand people wanting to go crabbing at night it's some food for them and everything and I understand that point of view, but I also understand that people don't want lights flashing in their homes at night," said Lynne Cloutier, from Westport.
Experts say crabbing is protected as a form of fishing under the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, so the town doesn't have local jurisdiction over fishing regulations. People don't need a license as long as they're following the rules.
"I'm not aware of any restriction of timing within the regulations for fishing. So we're following what the Connecticut guidelines give us," said Westport Conservation Director Colin Kelly.
Kelly says he's notified neighbors, who are getting crabby about the lights. He says there's really nothing they can do.
"We have taken these complaints and we have educated people about their regulations and what we're allowed to do," said Kelly.
People can fish for as many crabs as they want in Connecticut from May through November. There is a 5-inch limit on the size of the shell. Neighbors now have to grin and bear it.
Kelly also says the Westport Police Department has patrolled Sherwood Mill Pond more than 50 times this summer actively educating people who are crabbing.


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