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Latest Bites - December 2017
Atlantic Salmon:   Later this month, approximately 150 very large broodstock will be stocked into the designated Broodstock salmon areas on the Naugatuck River (Upper and Lower sections) and in the Shetucket River. These whoppers are in addition to the hundreds of 2-5 pound fish that have already been stocked this fall!  See details below.  Anglers are allowed to harvest one salmon per day - see gear restrictions on page 28 of our Angler's Guide.

Blackfish (Tautog):   One of Connecticut's perennial fall favorite fisheries is Blackfish (Tautog).  The fall season opened on October 10 and runs until December 6, 2017.  The minimum size is 16 inches and each angler is allowed to keep 4 fish per day.

Holiday Gift Ideas:  DEEP would like to suggest a variety of gift-giving ideas for the outdoor fanatic on your upcoming holiday list (see below).  Please note that our bookstore has transitioned to online sales only.  

FREE - Learn to Ice Fish:  A super fun activity to beat down the winter doldrums.  Free classes are starting in January!  The list of classes is updated weekly and is available online.

2018 Fishing Licenses are available now:  Fishing licenses, including the free YOUth Fishing Passport (ages 15 and under) for 2018 are now available at many town clerks, bait and tackle shops, and online.

2018 Regulations:  The proposed changes to INLAND regulations will not take effect on January 1, 2018.  The proposed changes must first be approved by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee (scheduled for the January Meeting).  Stay tuned - we will keep you informed.

Trout Stamp:  CT DEEP has proposed the establishment of a $5.00 Trout Stamp.  Currently, the formal adoption process is almost complete.  The final step is approval by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee (expected in January 2018).  We will keep you up to date.  In the meantime, if you have some questions, visit our FAQ page or download our Trout Stamp brochure.
CT's Unique Atlantic Salmon Fishery
Each fall since the early 1990's the Connecticut Fisheries Division has stocked Atlantic Salmon into the Naugatuck River and Shetucket River "Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas" as well as a few select lakes and ponds.  To support the unique Atlantic Salmon recreational fishery that has been established in the state, the Fisheries Division is specifically producing (at our Kensington State Fish Hatchery) 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 number of large (average weight of 10-15 pounds) broodstock Atlantic salmon are produced each year and are stocked for recreational fishing after being spawned. These "whopper" Salmon are stocked into sections of the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers each fall. Harvest is allowed in these areas, but please refer to page 28 in the 2017 Connecticut Angler's Guide for details. 

For up to date stocking information please see our current stocking report or watch for stocking posts on Facebook, Twitter, and FishBrain.
Holiday Gift Giving Ideas
Looking for that perfect gift?  Check out our DEEP store (online only).  May we suggest the following publications

- A Pictorial Guide to the Fishes of Connecticut

- A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut 

- Connecticut Wildlife Magazine: You'll find each issue packed with ideas and information about natural resource-related issues in Connecticut. At only $8.00 a year, Connecticut Wildlife is truly a magnificent value. Don't let another issue pass you by. Place your order today!  

Other gift ideas

- Youth Fishing Passport (FREE):  Perfect for the young fisher in your family.  Customized with the angler's name and a lifetime conservation id, the downloadable passport is your ticket to many great fishing memories.  Passport holders are eligible to receive free products and discounts from sponsors as well as take part in two activities, the fishing challenge and GEO- Catching.  A unique way to foster the perfect lifelong hobby.  Available wherever fishing licenses are sold or online.

- Fishing License:  All of your investment in a fishing license goes to support the programs of the Bureau of Natural Resources (protected by CGS 26-15).  Even if you do not fish, this investment provides funding for the conservation and restoration of resident and migratory fish species as well as foster protection of the natural world. 
Youth Fishing Passport
This Month's Mystery Fish
Email your guess to 
All Things Fishing 
We have fishing covered in the new "Connecticut is Fishy" application. Within a 60 minute drive you can be fly fishing the famed Housatonic River or Farmington River, catching monster Northern Pike in Bantam Lake, jumbo Common Carp from the Connecticut River, or on Long Island Sound fishing for tasty favorites like fluke, porgy, sea bass, and bluefish.
The "Connecticut is Fishy" application is a cross between an atlas, our Angler's Guide, our fishing web pages, and interactive maps. We know you will be hooked.
We Need You to Build "Fishing Buddies"
A Spotlight on Fishing Partners
The fisheries division's Facebook feature, "Fishing Buddies", serves to spotlight those who are "all in" when it comes to supporting anglers in Connecticut. The purpose of "Fishing Buddies" is to help foster the passion in novice and expert alike.

If you own a business, are a guide, sporting club, or fishing group we would like to post about you. Our new campaign, "Fishing Buddies" is open to all of you who help to keep CT anglers going.

If you are interested, email with the following:
  • Name
  • Website link
  • Email
  • Social media tags
  • Physical address
  • Description of what you have to offer to the fishing community
  • Any specialties you may have
  • 2-4 photos or a 30-60 second video clip

Thank you and Fish ON!
Mystery Fish Revealed
Last month's  Mystery Fish  was a Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).  The Ictaluridae family of fish  contain some very recognizable members (by their whiskers).  Within the family are two subgroups, the bullheads and catfish.  An easy way to determine if you have caught a bullhead or a catfish is the shape of the tail.  Catfish, as below, have a deeply forked (V-shaped) tail (caudal fin).  The caudal fin of a bullhead is rounded and not V-shaped.

Channel catfish are a very popular fish to catch as they have a delicious and firm meat that is great served Cajun style, blackened, fried, or broiled.  Each May, DEEP Fisheries stocks both adults (14-20 inches) and juveniles (5-8 inches) into selected Catfish Management Lakes and Community Fishing Waters in order to add diversity to our fishing opportunities.  One of the best kept secrets is the quality fishing for Channel Catfish in the Connecticut River - lots of really big ones can be caught (over 10 pounds)!

Catfish are a bottom-feeding nocturnal predator, so best to fish for catfish ( fishing tips) after dark using chunks of smelly bait (the smellier the better). Catfish can also be caught anytime using live bait like minnows and worms, dead cut bait, plastic swimming lures, and occasionally a top water lure or fly.
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.

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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