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Latest Bites - January 2019
Ice Fishing  is just around the corner-we hope (view our ice fishing video). Ice fishing is a great way to spend time outside during the cold winter months getting fresh air, exercise, and maybe even a meal or two! Get started ice fishing safely and successfully at one of our FREE Learn to Ice Fish Classes.  View out our schedule for a class near you (schedule is updated frequently, so check back often).

Atlantic Salmon stocking is completed.  Fish have been stocked into the Naugatuck River Broodstock Area and Shetucket River Broodstock Area.  Please provide your  opinion about the length of the catch and release season via our Broodstock Atlantic Salmon Survey (survey will close on January 11, 2019).

2019 Fishing licenses are on sale now.  100% of your investment in licenses, tags, permits, and stamps comes to the Bureau of Natural Resources in support of Fisheries and Wildlife programs.  
  BUY NOW
DEEP's Annual Winterfest
Atlantic Salmon Stocking
Please provide your  opinion about the length of the catch and release season via our Broodstock Atlantic Salmon  survey  (survey will close on January 11, 2019).
photo courtesy Phil Sheffield
Backstory: 
From 1992 to 2013, the CT DEEP Fisheries Division (FD) annually stocked over one million juvenile salmon (fry, parr, and smolts) as part of a multi-state and Federal effort to restore Atlantic Salmon to the Connecticut River watershed. The Federal effort concluded in 2013, however, the FD still maintains salmon at the Kensington State Fish Hatchery to preserve the genetic integrity of the Connecticut River strain.

What we do: 
The FD plans to stock approximately one hundred thousand newly hatched salmon fry annually into selected streams within the Farmington and Salmon River watersheds as part of a Legacy Program to ensure the continued presence of Atlantic Salmon in Connecticut. It is important to note that any juvenile or adult salmon captured within the Farmington River, Salmon River, or anywhere else in the Connecticut River watershed are a result of these stockings. All salmon caught in these waters must be released immediately without avoidable injury.

Beginning in the early 1990's, the FD created specially designated Broodstock Fisheries on the Naugatuck River and Shetucket River. To support the unique Atlantic Salmon recreational fishery the FD is specifically producing about 1,000-1,200, 2-3 year old fish (average weight of 2-5 pounds) to stock in Atlantic Salmon Broodstock areas. These fish are stocked before they ever produce eggs. An additional 200-250 large (average weight of 10-15 pounds) broodstock Atlantic salmon are produced each year and are stocked after being spawned for recreational fishing.

Currently: 
Atlantic Salmon are stocked into sections of the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers each fall. Harvest is allowed in these areas; refer to the Connecticut Angler's Guide for details. Starting in 2007, Atlantic Salmon were also stocked into some lakes. Lakes that have received Atlantic Salmon in prior years include, Beach Pond (Voluntown), Crystal Lake (Ellington/Stafford), Mount Tom Pond (Washington), Nell's Rock Reservoir (Shelton), and Mashapaug Lake (Union).

Please note:
- These fish are stocked for recreational fishing purposes (catch and release or harvest is a personal choice within the appropriate seasons).
- These fish are not stocked with any intention or expectation of restoring Atlantic Salmon to CT waters.
- These fish are stocked (not wild). They have lived in the hatchery their entire life.
- Some of these fish will stick around into early summer, some may migrate out to sea, some will die of natural causes (including predation).
- Not all of the fish that are released will survive to be caught again (catch and release technique is critical); This is the gear is restricted to artificial lure or fly only - single free swinging hook.
- Illegal fishing must be reported immediately to EnCon at 860-424-3333. If you do not call who will? There are not enough staff to be permanently stationed in these areas, but your call can let us know what is going on.

Details of our Broodstock Atlantic Salmon Fishery can be found on page 28 of the 2018 Anglers Guide .
2019 Angler's Guide Finalists 
Thank you to everyone who submitted their best shot! We have selected the following finalists from the over  200 photos submitted.  Please join us in congratulating the following finalists.  Stay tuned as the details for announcing the winner are still being finalized.  

For 2020 we want to see your best "family fishing" shots.  Email your entry to deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov and get details on our photo contest  webpage.
2019 Finalists  
1. Allie holds a nice Largemouth Bass from Tyler Lake.
2. A beauty of a Brook Trout fooled by a fly tossed by Demian.
2019 Finalists  
3. Stacy with a nice Black Point "Tog".
4. Andrea jigged up this hefty Brown Trout.
2019 Finalists  
5. A perfect evening to fish, submitted by Grace.
6. Carp are so huggable, just ask Andre.
This Month's Mystery Fish 
Email your guess to DEEP.inland.fisheries@ct.gov 
The Trout and Salmon Stamp
With approval by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee on February 27, 2018, Connecticut now has a Trout and Salmon Stamp.  100% of the money invested in this stamp is guaranteed to support fisheries programs.  Please visit our FAQ page or email deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov with questions.  A summary is provided below.

Anyone age 16 or older including everyone who is age 65 or older who chooses to do one or both of the following must purchase a trout and salmon stamp:

1. FISH in one of the following areas:  Trout Park, Trout Management Area, Wild Trout Management Area, or a Broodstock Atlantic Salmon Area.

2. HARVEST (keep) trout, Kokanee Salmon, or Atlantic Salmon anywhere in the state (except for waters stocked at no expense to the state).

The fee is $5.00 for age 18 and older and $3.00 for those 16-17.  The stamp is good for the calendar year (expires on December 31).

The Trout and Salmon Stamp will print on your fishing license as an additional privilege.
Mystery Fish Revealed
Last month's  Mystery Fish  were bullheads, the Yellow Bullhead (Ameiurus natalis) on the left and the Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) on the right.  The easiest way to tell the two apart is the color of the chin whiskers (barbels).  Yellow Bullheads have light colored (white or yellow) and the Brown Bullheads have dark (black or brown).  Yellow Bullheads can also have a yellow tint to the body, abdomen, and head.

Brown Bullheads are the only native members of the catfish family.  All others including the Channel Catfish, White Catfish, Black Bullhead, and Yellow Bullhead were introduced.  Brown Bullhead are very common and widespread across Connecticut, while Yellow Bullhead are mostly found in eastern Connecticut.  Check out the distribution of these two fish, as well as many others by using the fish community viewer.
License Fees Fund Hunting & 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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