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Latest Bites - February 2017
WE NEED YOU:  Join our team of state certified fishing instructors.  Our next volunteer training class will be February 25th.  If you enjoy working with youth and families, have a strong passion for the outdoors, and would like to be part of sharing that passion and knowledge with others, we would love to hear from you!  Call Tom at 860-663-1656 or email Thomas.Bourret@ct.gov for more info.

Opening Day of Trout Season:  6:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2017. Save the date!

Winter Festival Summary:  We would like to thank everyone (over 600) who came out on Saturday, February 4 to enjoy wintertime activities as part of the No Child Left Inside Winter Festival.  One of the popular activities was "ice fishing" as captured in this short video.  

Trophy Fish Awards Ceremony:  The annual celebration and recognition of those who have caught a trophy fish during 2016 will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Hartford Convention Center as part of the Northeast Fishing and Hunting Show.

2017 Fishing Licenses:   Licenses for the 2017 season are now 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.

2017 Angler's Guide:   There will not be any changes to the INLAND fishing regulations for 2017.  All of the inland rules and regulations for 2016 will carry forward for 2017.  Changes to the MARINE fishing regulations are expected with final determination made in late February.  Stay tuned for MARINE updates. 

Last day of Trout Fishing Season:  The last day for fishing in most waters stocked with trout is February 28th.  Our fish hatchery staff will then be stocking in anticipation of opening day at 6:00 am on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Many locations remain open for fishing including Trout Management Areas, Trout Management Lakes (until March 31), and waters not stocked with trout. Check the Angler's guide for specific details on your favorite water.
All About "Brookies"
Conservation Connect LIVE: "Brook Trout Discovery"
February 15, 2017
2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time -- LiveStream Broadcast Link

Join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they dive in and learn about our Native Brook Trout. These beautiful fish are native to Connecticut and can be found in our state's coldest and purest streams. During the broadcast you will learn about trout behavior, research techniques and the technology of backpack electrofishing with Fish Biologist and brook trout expert Than Hitt, from the U.S. Geological Survey in Leetown, WV. 

Get your brook trout questions ready for the online chat room and join host Chelsea McKinney, from the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. It's all happening on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Connect LIVE! February 15 at 2 pm ET. For broadcast information, please visit: https://nctc.fws.gov/broadcasts

Here's a short preview! http://bit.ly/ccbrooktrout

2017 Cover Shot
Flyfishing Blues! Congratulations to Derek Angel who submitted the winning shot that was taken by Nick Walsh.  Derek was fishing the outgoing tide on the tombolo at Silver Sands State Park in Millford.  Derek said he was using a clouser minnow streamer when this Bluefish hit like a "hammer" and the fight was on.

If you think that you have the wining shot to be featured on the 2018 Angler's Guide, email your photo to deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov. We are accepting entries for next year's contest now!  All contest details can be found on our webpage.
Your Best of 2016
WOW! There were some incredible photos posted to our CTFishandWildlife Facebook page when we asked, "What was your best catch in 2016?" The collage above represents some of your best trout caught in 2016.  Next month we will feature your "best saltwater catches". Thank you for sharing!
Be Safe!
Check the thickness of the ice.   Be safe on the ice and always check ice thickness.  Ice thickness is not uniform and can vary greatly within a water body. When starting out onto the ice drill a hole about 3-6 feet from shore, if it is a safe thickness, continue drilling holes every 10-20 feet.  The ice thickness graphic below is from the Pennsylvania Angler and Boater Magazine (Jan/Feb 2017).  It is good practice to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return, and to always carry appropriate safety equipment.

Please note that while this graphic shows the thickness of ice to support a car or truck, it is strictly for illustrative purposes. It is illegal to drive a car or truck on the ice in Connecticut.
Marine Fish Regulation Process
Marine Fishing Regulations are developed by committee and based on the best available science.   The goal of regulating marine fisheries is to prevent overfishing and maintain over time abundant, self-sustaining fisheries based on the best scientific information while remaining fair and equitable to recreational and commercial fishermen.

As marine fishes more often than not cross state boundaries, stewardship of the resource is maintained by multi-state commissions and regional fishery management councils. In our case, fish are managed in state waters by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and in federal waters by the New England Fishery Management Council. Each individual state contributes to the process by submitting data, providing technical and advisory support, and compiling feedback from the public. Ultimately, states are responsible to implement a collective management decision made through a larger commission or council. 

To achieve this goal, an intensive process has been standardized to ensure that all stakeholders have input on the interpretation of the best available scientific data about a species. The process is multi-tiered and involves input from many people along the way. The final product is the implementation of a regulation at the state level to support a plan to address an identified issue for a particular species throughout its range.
 
The graphic above summarizes key steps in the process for the development or change in the regulation for a species through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

For more information about marine fisheries management please visit the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's web page at www.asmfc.org/fisheries-science/fisheries-science-101 .
Because of the process, marine regulations are often finalized after the start of the calendar year (which is why the Connecticut Angler's Guide is not ready for distribution on January 1).

This Month's Mystery Fish
Mystery Fish Revealed
Last month's  Mystery Fish was t he Brook Silverside (Labidesthes sicculus), a long, slender, translucent fish. The head is long and flattened above with a long snout that forms a pointed beak. These features make them well adapted to feeding just under the surface. Their overall coloration is pale green, sometimes olive, with a transparent body and a silvery lateral stripe along the sides. Although they can reach up to 4.5 inches long, they are usually just 2-3 inches.

Brook silversides are native to the Great Lakes, Northeastern Canada, and the Mississippi River drainage.  Only a few specimens have been observed in Connecticut through DEEP electrofishing.
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!



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