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Latest Bites - July 2017
20,000 Likes and Growing

Thanks to you the CTFishAndWildlife Facebook page crossed a significant milestone on June 27, 2017, 20,000 likes. Nicole Haynes was our 20,000th like - Thanks Nicole we appreciate your support.  Check out our new Facebook Page cover video.
Know Where and When to Go by subscribing to the Weekly Fishing Report,  which is delivered right to your fingertips each week.   Subscribe for electronic delivery through the DEEP e-newsletter subscription. 

Tautog (Blackfish) season opens July 1 and closes on August 31.  The daily limit is two (2) fish per angler and each fish must be at least 16 inches in length. 

Trout Stocking Update:  The West Branch Farmington River (Hogsback Dam to old bridge abutments south of Riverton) will have 2,000 large (greater then 12 inches!) Brown Trout added in time for the long weekend.  Good luck!

Thermal Refuges: Anglers are reminded that the thermal refuge areas on the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are now closed to fishing (as of June 15). These areas will reopen on September 15. There is no fishing within 100 feet of signs indicating such closure at or near the mouths of tributaries to these rivers. 

2017 MARINE FISH: Regulations  for Black Sea Bass, as they apply to recreational anglers, WILL NOT change in 2017.   The regulation for recreational anglers of 5 fish per angler per day with a minimum size of 15 inches (Season of May 1 to December 31) will remain in effect. Good luck!

The regulation for Summer Flounder (Fluke) is now a daily limit of 3 fish and a minimum size of 19 inches (changed from 2016).  

2017 Fishing Licenses:   Licenses for the 2017 season are available through our on-line system   (mobile friendly).  100% of your investment in the license goes to support Connecticut's fish and wildlife.  A great way for you to show your support for CT's natural resources!

Save the Date!  DEEP's annual celebration of Hunting and Fishing will be hosted at Cabela's in East Hartford on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Lots of great activities and fun for experts and newbies alike.  See you there!
'TOG Time
With the season open (July 1 -August 31) for Blackfish (Tautog) it offers a good opportunity for shore anglers to catch this very tasty fish.  The "togs" will be feeding in shallow water as they have finished spawning. Blackfish are very keyed in on structure, so try fishing around shellfish beds, pilings with mussels on them, and areas with a rocky bottom.  

One of the Tautog's favorite foods are crabs.  The green, Asian shore, or hermit crab are easy to find (or buy) and make a perfect bait.  Tautog prefer to spend their time in and among rocky structures (like a jetty or breakwater) and are very powerful, so landing them can be difficult (when they take off into the rocks). Use heavy gear and line to increase your chances of landing a giant "white chin"!

The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches. 
Youth Fishing Passport - Fishing Challenge is ON!
Great catches are streaming in: Congratulations to all of the Youth Fishing Passport holders who have sent a photo of their fantastic catches this spring - keep them coming!  As the school year is winding down, the fishing is heating up so make your plans to get out and fish.

It is not too late to get started.   Passport holders are challenged to fish all year long and with every catch, check off the different species on their  Fishing Challenge Score Card . Email a photo of your successful catch with your conservation ID to

Need your FREE Youth Fishing Passport?  Now is the time to get or renew Youth Fishing Passports for your budding young angler.  The Passport is free and available online through our mobile friendly sportsmen licensing system. 
And the answers are.....
Answers to "
Who is Who and From Where" (last month's challenge)

Native: Connecticut is part of the original range/distribution for these species: Brook Trout, Pumpkinseed, Yellow Perch, Sea Lamprey, Chain Pickerel, Brown Bullhead, and American Eel. 

Introduced: these were moved into Connecticut by humans either on purpose or by accident. Connecticut was not part of the original range/distribution for these species:  Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Calico Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Common Carp, Channel Catfish, and Bowfin.

Invasive:  a species introduced to Connecticut that has a negative impact on the survival of one or more of Connecticut's native species.  We do not currently have any fish species considered to be "invasive".

Stocked:  Species stocked as either fry, juveniles, or adult fish include:
Walleye, Brook Trout, Northern Pike, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Channel Catfish. 

Wild:  EXCEPT FOR THE WALLEYE and RAINBOW TROUT -  All of the species in the image above reproduce successfully on their own in CT without human intervention.
This Month's Mystery Fish
Email your guess to 
Some Like it Hot But Not Trout
To help trout survive the sometimes lethal water temperatures that occur in summer, DEEP has posted areas around key coldwater tributaries as "No Fishing Zones".  When the water temperatures in the main channel become too warm (usually June - September) trout will seek out much cooler water entering from smaller tributaries.  During this time in these locations the trout are congregated in large numbers.  Please report any illegal activity within these areas to EnCon Police immediately at 860-424-3333.
Mystery Fish Revealed
Last month's  Mystery Fish was a hybrid between a Bluegill and a Redbreast Sunfish.  Hybridization can occur in sunfish that belong to the genus Lepomis  (Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Green and Redbreast).  These sunfish commonly co-occur in many of Connecticut's lakes and ponds and spawn in similar habitat around the same time frame.  The various combinations of Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Green and Redbreast can make for some very interesting looking fish with striking color patterns.  Hybrid sunfish are marginally productive and can spawn with a "pure" strain to make identification even more difficult (but very interesting to fish biologists).  

Hybrid sunfish are more aggressive and grow larger than the two parental species.  The next time you catch a whopper of a sunfish, take a close look, it may be a very unique and interesting catch.
Learn to Fish for FREE

The Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program has a schedule of our free learn to fish classes on our web site.  Classes are open to families and kids ages 9 and up who are interested in learning the basics of fishing.  Classes are continually being added to the schedule so check back often.

Are You Cover Material?

Have you got the next cover shot?  We are accepting high quality and high resolution photos for the 2018 Angler's Guide Cover Contest (details).  Email your entries to and good luck!

Join Us on FishBrain

We are pleased to be on FishBrain, the most popular social media app for anglers. FishBrain is a free download for iphone and android. Users take advantage of the free angling support features (or elect to subscribe for premium features).  Follow CTDEEPFish and we will follow you back!

License Fees Fund Hunting and Fishing Programs

100%  of the fees collected from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, tags, permits, and stamps goes to support fish and wildlife conservation, preservation, and recreation programs administered by the Bureau of Natural Resources (Connecticut General Statutes 26-15, 20-15(a), 26-15 (b)). 

Each time you purchase a license your contribution goes to support hunting, fishing, and open space right here in CT. 

So, the next time you see a bald eagle, harvest a white-tail, pheasant, or turkey, or catch a brown trout or striped bass, give yourself and your fellow sportsmen a pat on the back!

You are making a difference and we thank you for your support!
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