Opening Day of trout season is Saturday, April 21st
Pre-season angling opportunities abound in Trout Management Areas
Find your rods, dust off your lures, check your waders, and get ready for opening day of trout fishing season! T he Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is also gearing up for the 2012 season. DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division began its annual spring trout stocking early this year, on February 17th, and expects to have 376,000 trout stocked throughout the state by Opening Day on April 21, 2012.
“For many Connecticut families, Opening Day is a tradition rich in memories, and the first opportunity of the season to get outdoors and go trout fishing,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the DEP. “Fishing can be a great outdoor adventure for the entire family and is one of the many outdoor activities that we encourage people to take part in.
“Connecticut’s anglers can look forward to exceptional trout fishing this spring,” added Commissioner Esty. “Our hatchery staff has worked hard to get another excellent crop of trout ready for Opening Day and with the favorable conditions this past winter, the quality of the trout stocked this spring will be truly outstanding.”
Over 200 truckloads of trout will be distributed throughout the state in preparation for Opening Day. These trout will be released into 101 lakes and ponds and 203 rivers and streams throughout Connecticut. The following species & sizes will be stocked prior to Opening Day:
|61,800||brook trout||(10-11 inch)|
|192,600||brown trout ||(10-11 inch)|
|6,500||brown trout ||(12 inch)|
|1,100||tiger trout ||(10-12 inch brook/brown hybrid)|
|96,100||rainbow trout ||(10-12 inch)|
|16,000||rainbow trout||(12-14 inch)|
|1,900||surplus broodstock ||(3-10 pound trout – all species)|
|700||Atlantic salmon broodstock ||(1-2 pound salmon) |
Among the fish released prior to Opening Day will be 700 surplus Atlantic salmon broodstock. These fish will be stocked into four lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state; Long Pond (Ledyard/North Stonington) Crystal Lake (Ellington), Mount Tom Pond (Morris/Litchfield/Washington) and Nells Rock Reservoir (Shelton). Regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked in lakes and ponds are the same as for trout, except the creel limit is one fish per day. Anglers should be aware that the salmon being released this spring are smaller (1-2 pounds each) than the broodstock salmon typically stocked in the fall (3-20 pounds each) and thus may more easily be confused with brown trout.
Trout anglers looking for an early start to the fishing season can visit one of the state’s fifteen Trout Management Areas (TMA). All these popular areas have been stocked this year and are open for pre-season catch-and-release fishing. TMA’s are located on the Farmington River, Hammonasset River, Hockanum River, Housatonic River (two TMA’s), Mianus River, Mill River (Fairfield), Mill River (Hamden), Moosup River, Pequabuck River (including Coppermine Brook), Naugatuck River, Salmon River, Saugatuck River, Willimantic River and Yantic River.
This year, eleven of these TMA’s will be stocked again in April prior to Opening Day. Class I Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA) are also open year-round for catch-and-release fishing, and are located on Deep Brook, Eightmile River, Hawleys Brook, Beaver Brook/Merrick Brook, Macedonia Brook, Mill River (in Easton), Quinnipiac River, Tankerhoosen River, and Wachocastinook (Riga) Brook. Additionally, downstream portions of six of the designated Sea-run Trout Streams (Eightmile River, Farm River, Hammonasset River, Latimer Brook, Saugatuck River, and Whitford Brook) are open year-round with a two trout per day creel limit and a fifteen-inch minimum length.
Anglers fishing the Farmington River Trout Management Area are reminded that the invasive freshwater alga Didymosphenia geminata, known as “didymo” or “rock snot”, was found in the West Branch Farmington River in March, 2011. Although monitoring this spring has not yet found didymo in the river, anglers are asked to take proper cleaning precautions to avoid spreading these and other invasive plants and animals to new waters. Anglers will find information specific to didymo on signs posted along the West Branch Farmington and Farmington Rivers. Additional information about didymo and other invasive species can also be found on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies
Anglers should consult the 2012 CT Angler’s Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. Currently, electronic versions of the 2012 Guide (available in both digital-book and pdf formats) can be found on the DEEP website at (www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide
). Printed versions of the 2012 Angler’s Guide will become available at more than 350 locations statewide, including town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds next week.
DEEP continues to move forward with several projects to provide additional information to anglers electronically. Since spring 2011, trout anglers have been able to access maps of some of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points. Just in time for Opening Day, 2012, maps of many more of the areas stocked will be made available on the DEEP website. Additionally, bathymetric maps of a number of the state’s lakes and ponds will soon be available online.
Anglers can purchase their 2012 fishing licenses directly online, or at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. For a complete list of vendors, visit the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing
) or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).