Important Information from the CT DEEP Fisheries Division Web Pages:
SOCIAL DISTANCING WHILE FISHING IS A MUST!
Fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors, reduce stress, and possibly catch a tasty meal. The Fisheries Division along with the CDC, State of CT DPH, and the DEEP strongly encourage social distancing and not fishing with anyone other than people living in the same space.
Public Comment is open for NEW Fishing Regulations: The Fisheries Division has proposed several changes to the Fishing Regulations. View them and provide comment until December 15, at 4:30 here.
Public comment is open until December 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm. Get additional details in the section below. Please take the opportunity to offer your opinion (pro and con) for these changes, which are scheduled to take effect in 2021. A Public Hearing will be held on December 1, 2020 at 6:30 pm via ZOOM. Register Now
SURPRISE!! The Fisheries Division has secured some really cool trout to stock into a handful of our lakes in the next week. Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for the announcement of their arrival.
Walleye Sharpies Needed! see below for details - you can help us to improve Walleye fishing.
Over 300 T-shirts have been sent out! Check out some of CT's "Tiger Tamers". Info on how you can tame a tiger below.
The annual fall stocking of our specially produced Atlantic salmon continues! Two lakes, Mount Tom Pond (Washington) and Crystal Lake (Ellington) were stocked earlier this fall, and now the very popular Atlantic Salmon Management Areas on the Naugatuck River and the Shetucket River have each been stocked on two separate occasions over the last few weeks. About 25% of these fish produced each fall are stocked into the lakes and 75% into the rivers. Stocking of more and bigger Atlantic Salmon will continue throughout November!
For more on this program please visit our Atlantic Salmon Management Area webpage.
It is important to understand that these fish are not part of any restoration effort, they are produced specifically to provide a unique recreational fishery. The Fisheries Division can only stock these fish in waters outside of the Connecticut River Watershed (it is illegal to fish for Atlantic salmon within the CT River Watershed).
In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, from September 1 through December 15, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only. From December 16, 2020, through March 31, 2021, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from September 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Areas” is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Area”, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. The salmon are typically stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls). From September 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
The regulations for Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2020 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
Public Comment for Proposed Inland Fishing Regulations
Connecticut's Fisheries Division has posted proposed changes to the inland fishing regulations and is seeking public comment until 4:00 pm on December 15, 2020. A public hearing will be held via the ZOOM virtual conference platform on December 1, 2020 at 6:30 pm.
View the changes on our web page or online via the eRegulations system on the Secretary of State’s website. The case number is PR2020-015.
Written comments should be submitted no later than 4:30 PM on December 15, 2020. Based on public comment, the proposed regulations may be adjusted to meet the objective of the proposal. Comments may be submitted using one of the following methods:
·Online via the eRegulations system on the Secretary of State’s website. Go to “Open for Public comment”, select this regulation and follow instructions for submitting comments.
·By mail or delivery service to Bill Foreman at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Fisheries Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106-5127.
Simple Summary of the Proposed Changes for additional documentation and detail please visit the eRegulations system on the Secretary of State’s website
2020 INLAND FISHERIES REGULATION PROPOSALS (as of 11-9-2020)
Sec. 1. Amends Section 26-112-43. Definitions and restrictions.
·Updates bow & arrow fishing regulations.
·Makes clarifying change to creel limit definition (change “angler” to “individual”).
Sec. 2. Amends Section 26-112-44. Closed seasons.
·Adds a closed season to Black Rock Pond and Walkers Reservoir.
·To conform with section 5, Black Pond (Woodstock) and Mohawk Pond are removed from the list of lakes & ponds with a closed season from the last day of February to Opening Day
Sec. 3. Amends Section 26-112-45. Species limitations.
·Revise Carp regulations as per legislative intent (see CGS sec. 26-128).
·Include tiger muskie with Northern Pike.
·Add Colony Pond (Ansonia), Crescent Lake (Southington) and Rogers Park Pond (Danbury) to the list of 3 catfish per day creel limit lakes & ponds.
Sec. 4. Amends Section 26-112-46. Special Management Areas.
·Under subsection (c). Trout Management Areas (TMA).Corrects spelling of Merriebrook Lane (currently spelled “Merrybrook”) in the Mianus River TMA listing.
·Under subsection (d). Trout Management Lakes.Black Pond (Woodstock) and Mohawk Pond are added to the list of Trout Management Lakes and managed for Brook Trout.
·Under subsection (g). Wild Trout Management Areas.The designation of the Session Woods Wild Trout Management Area (WTMA) is changed from class 3 to class 1 and the name of the stream in this WTMA is updated.
·Under subsection (h). Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas.Changes designation to “Atlantic Salmon Management Areas” to better reflect current management goals.
·Under subsection (l). Trophy Carp Waters.Revise per legislative intent.
Sec. 5. Repeals Sections 26-112-24 (Closed seasons) and 26-112-47 (State-controlled fishing areas).
·26-112-24: Eliminates outdated provisions concerning a statewide closed season.
·26-112-47: Eliminates outdated provisions concerning the now defunct Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery Public Fishing Ponds.
Annual Walleye Stocking Completed
Connecticut's Walleye fisheries are sustained through annual stocking of juvenile fish in the 4-8 inch range (it will take a few years for them to grow to trophy size). These fish are produced at a commercial hatchery in Minnesota and make the 1,000+ mile journey by tractor trailer. This year close to 30,000 fish were stocked into the various waters the Fisheries Division manages for Walleye.
Connecticut's Fisheries Division is looking for Walleye anglers to help us get data on catches from our Walleye waters. To participate all you have to do is fill out a short electronic form each time you fish for Walleye. Your information both what you catch and times you were "skunked" will help us to refine our management of this popular recreational fishery. Please email email@example.com if you would like to participate.
NEW Invader to CT's Rivers
Now Connecticut has a potentially very destructive fish species that has been introduced into the Pomperaug River watershed and has exploded in numbers. This invader is the Knobfin Sculpin (Cottus immaculatus). First seen in 2002, fisheries biologists thought it was our native Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus), but then with the massive numbers of fish observed in subsequent years (2012), figured that something was not right. We do not know how this small fish made its way to CT, but now that it is here, it seems like it is here to stay.
All importation and liberation of live fish or fish eggs require a permit from the Fisheries Division. Should you have questions about these permits, please contact us via email or by phone at 860-424-3474.
It is illegal to fish for or to take any type of freshwater sculpin. Please do not take these fish from the waters where they are currently found.
This fall the Fisheries Division has stocked a series of water bodies across the state with Tiger Trout (3,500 total fish). Should you be one of the lucky ones to "Tame A Tiger", fill out our Google form and after we confirm your catch, we will send you a FREE tiger tamer t-shirt.
Now is your chance to catch a trophy brook trout in a remote setting while enjoying the beautiful fall colors and weather! Brook trout are the only native trout to Connecticut and prized for their vibrant colors, markings and patterns. Each fall the Fisheries Division provides a unique opportunity by stocking hundreds of very large brook trout (many over 15 inches long) into two lakes in Connecticut 1) Mohawk Pond, Goshen and 2) Black Pond, Woodstock! Both of these lakes are small, spring fed ponds in very secluded settings giving the sense of fishing a remote “brookie lake” in northern Maine or the Adirondacks. These fish are best caught by casting and retrieving lures - good luck we hope you enjoy!
TROUT FISHING CHECKLIST
November is a fantastic time to get out and target trout in Connecticut! The trout are waiting for you, as Fisheries Division has loaded up your favorite waters over the past month. Here is a quick checklist to help you catch that tiger trout, trophy brook trout, or Atlantic salmon that you have been dreaming of!
2)KNOW THE RULES - regulations vary depending on where you are fishing. Make sure to check the 2020 Fishing Guide for site specific regulations before you go. Make sure to have a trout and salmon stamp where needed or if you plan to harvest fish.
3) BE STEALTHY - Trout are a wary fish by nature. To increase your chances of success, move slowly when approaching trout waters and wear drab clothing. Be sure to spool your reel with light line (2 to 8 pound test).
4) TROUT FISHING TIPS - Worms, meal worms, and live shiners make excellent live bait for trout. When bottom fishing, add just enough split shots to bounce along the bottom of a stream or hold bottom in a lake or pond. If fishing a slow moving pool, add a small bobber to keep your bait suspended just off of the bottom and moving with the current. Keep your hook size small (size 6, 8, or 10) when using bait. If catch and release fishing, pinch the barbs on your hook down to increase chances of survival after release.There are an endless variety of artificial lures that are all very effective for catching trout - see photo below for some classic trout catching lures! Ask your local bait and tackle shot what lures they suggest for trout. What is important is to keep trout lures small. Lures should be retrieved as soon as the lure hits the water.
Take A Friend Fishing - Win Great Prizes
This is a great time to enter our Take A Friend Fishing contest. All you need to do is find a friend who has not been fishing (or has not for a very long time), take them out, and send us a short blurb on your fishing experience. You could be our next winning pair. Here are the official rules and good luck!!!
Learn to Fish Videos on YouTube
Let's Go Fishing YouTube playlist: To enhance our very popular "Let's Go Fishing" workbook, we have created a short series of instructional fishing videos on DEEP's YouTube channel. These videos are a DIY way to get the instruction delivered during our Introduction to Fishing classes, which have been suspended indefinitely due to the Corona Virus Pandemic.
Marine Regulations for 2020
Striped Bass: Connecticut along with almost all other coastal states has implemented a 28-35" slot limit for striped bass in 2020. This regulation was adopted in response to the overfished condition of the stock, and is intended to protect older, larger female fish from harvest. This means that 1 Striped Bass that is 28.0 to 34.9 inches may be kept per day. Any fish less than 28 inches must be released. Any fish 35 inches or larger must be released. This regulation applies in the marine and inland districts.
Note there was a typo on page 21 of the print version of the 2020 fishing guide. It should read slot limit of 28-35 inches, not 28 inches as printed.
Bluefish: Connecticut along with all other coastal states has implemented a reduced bag limit for bluefish in 2020: 3-fish for private anglers, 5-fish for party/charter boat anglers. The reduced bag limit was adopted in response to the overfished condition of the stock(no size limit or closed season).
Sea Bass, Summer Flounder (Fluke), Scup (Porgy), Tautog (Blackfish) and all other marine recreational fisheries, no changes from 2019 to 2020.
Fishing Challenge - For YOUth
Fishing is the perfect family activity during this time of "distance learning" and being "socially distant". CT's FREE Youth Fishing Passport is your child's ticket to all of the amazing outdoor discoveries fishing has to offer. Fishing involves knowing about habitat, environmental quality, food webs, life history of species, and so much more. You can get a Youth Fishing Passport, for those 15 or younger, using our online licensing system. Register your child as a new user. If you have questions please contact us.
Fishing Challenge Scorecard
The Youth Fishing Passport Fishing Challenge is a year long fishing scavenger hunt. To have your catch count, simple snap a photo of your fish (from our scorecard) and email it to us. The top four anglers (who catch the most different types on our list) receive a prize pack full of fishing swag.
2020 Fishing Guide - Access Online Anytime
The 2020 Fishing Guide is available in English and Spanish. The best and fastest way to get your copy is online. We have a couple of options for you: