Connecticut DEEP Begins Fall Trout Stocking
Trout Parks and TMA’s among the areas being stocked
October 8th will be a “Free Fishing” Day- no fishing license required
The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced the beginning of its 2011 autumn trout stockings. From now through mid October, DEEP will release nearly 30,000 trophy and adult sized trout into selected waters throughout the state. Among the areas stocked this fall are twenty-one lakes and ponds, eighteen rivers and streams including thirteen of the Trout Management Areas (TMA), and seven Trout Parks. DEEP will also be stocking 33,000 “yearling” trout into selected waters throughout the state.
“Trophy” size brown trout - Among the trout being stocked this fall are 14,000 “trophy” size brown trout.
DEEP is stocking seven of the designated Trout Parks this fall. These areas are managed to enhance fishing opportunities for families and novice anglers and are easily accessible with picnic areas and other amenities nearby. “Our Trout Parks are great places for family fishing outings,” said Susan Frechette, Deputy Commissioner of the DEEP. “A family can get outdoors before winter sets in and enjoy a day of fishing and picnicking in the late fall weather.”
This year DEEP is designating Saturday, October 8th as a “Free Fishing Day” where no license is required to fish. “We view this as a great opportunity both for experienced anglers to introduce a family member, friend or acquaintance to the sport of fishing, and for visitors to our state to try the many fishing opportunities Connecticut has to offer,” said Deputy Commissioner Frechette. “We thought that the Saturday of what is for many a three day weekend would be a good choice to offer a free chance to fish. It will also be the prime fall foliage viewing time throughout the state, and a number of great trout fishing areas will have just been stocked.”
Occasions such as the upcoming “Free Fishing” Day scheduled for October 8th provide avid anglers an excellent opportunity to share their passion for fishing by introducing new participants to the relaxing and stress-free experience of fishing.
DEEP has received a number of inquiries from anglers concerned about possible impacts to fall stocking from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. Although high flows did lead to postponement of the annual stocking of the Farmington River for the Labor Day weekend, flows in most areas throughout the state have dropped sufficiently to be suitable for stocking. DEEP expects to stock all areas scheduled for stocking this fall.
The three state fish hatcheries (Quinebaug, Burlington, Kensington) were relatively unscathed by Tropical Storm Irene. “Thanks to the hard work of our hatchery staff, there were only very minor losses in fish production at our three hatcheries as a result of Tropical Storm Irene,” said Peter Aarrestad, Director of the Inland Fisheries Division. “Two of our hatcheries lost power and operated on backup diesel generators for extended periods, but experienced no structural damage or fish losses. The Burlington Hatchery did not lose power, but experienced minor flood damage and a minimal loss of fish. All three hatcheries are operating as usual this fall.”
Approximately 29,000 adult trout will be released this fall, of which 14,000 will be trophy size brown trout (all greater than 12 inches in length). The remaining 15,000 adults are standard size (9-10 inch) rainbow trout. Additionally, 3,000 “yearling” brown trout (6-9 inch fish) will be stocked into the Housatonic River and another 30,000 will be stocked into selected streams to enhance wild trout populations.
Among the Trout Management Areas (TMA) to be stocked this fall are the two areas on the Housatonic River. A total of 9,000 trout (1,000 large brown trout, 5,000 rainbow trout, 3,000 “yearling” brown trout) will be released into the Housatonic River TMA and 2,500 rainbow trout into the Bull’s Bridge TMA. The large brown trout are intended to augment the population of holdover trout in the river this fall, while the rainbow trout and “yearling” browns should enhance the holdover population for next spring.
Fishing in all sixteen Trout Management Areas during the fall is catch-and-release only. Trout Parks have a two-fish per day creel limit. Regulations vary on many of the other waters being stocked this fall. The DEEP advises anglers to check fishing regulations in their 2011 Connecticut Angler’s Guide. Guides are available from many Town Clerks and bait & tackle stores, or by contacting DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH). The Angler’s Guide and Weekly Fishing Reports can be found on the DEEP web site at: www.ct.gov/dep/fishing.