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Latest Bites - March 2018
Opening Day of Trout Season is April 14!!

2018 Fishing Licenses are available now:   Fishing licenses for 2018 are now available at many town clerks, bait and tackle shops, and online.

2017 Fish Stocking Report :   The annual fish stocking publication detailing the number and type of fish stocked by the Fisheries Division is now available. A handy resource to find out what fish species are stocked where!

Learn to Fish - FREE!  DEEP Fisheries offers basic introduction to fishing classes all across Connecticut.  Our classes, taught by state certified instructors, will give you the skills and confidence to take advantage of the great fishing CT has to offer.  Start your lifetime of family memories with one of our classes. Our schedule is changing weekly.  See you there!

Correction - 2018 Youth Fishing Passports:  Youth Fishing Passports are only available online (self-service only) and are NOT available at locations that sell fishing licenses.

2018 Regulations:  The proposed changes to INLAND regulations were approved by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee on February 27, 2018.  The new regulations are listed below and will be published in the forthcoming 2018 Angler's Guide.  The Fisheries regulations proposal that included a trout & salmon stamp was approved by the Legislature's Regulation Review Committee (LRRC) at their meeting on Tuesday, 2/27. The new regulations will become effective once they are published on the eRegulations system by the Secretary of State's office (SOTS). This will occur several days to a week or so after approval by LRRC as there are several additional steps required to formalize the regulations prior to posting by SOTS.

Trout and Salmon Stamp Approved:  The Trout and Salmon Stamp was formally approved by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee (LRRC) at their February 27, 2018 meeting.  The cost of the stamp will be $5.00 for anyone 18 or older, even those who are 65+, and $3.00 for those 16-17.  If you have already purchased your license, you will soon be able to add the trout stamp, should you desire.

If you have additional questions please see the special section below, visit our FAQ page, or contact us at deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov 
For Most Waters Trout Season Closed* 
on February 28, 2018
Opening Day is April 14, 2018
While the majority of waters are now closed (effective February 28) for trout fishing, when spring-like weather strikes, you can still fish for trout in our River and stream "Trout Management Areas" or "Wild Trout Management Areas (Class 1)"  or in one of our "Trout Management Lakes (until March 31, 2018)" and many other locations that are NOT stocked with trout.  Check out our CT is fishy interactive map (described below) for all your fishing needs.  As always check the Angler's Guide for any waterbody specific rules and regulations, including seasons.
2018 Fishing Regulation Update
New Inland Fishing Regulations for 2018

The following were approved by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee at their February 27, 2018 meeting.  The new regulations will become effective once they are published on the eRegulations system by the Secretary of State's office (SOTS). This will occur several days to a week or so after approval by LRRC as there are several additional steps required to formalize the regulations prior to posting by SOTS.

Farmington River:  A small portion of the West Branch Farmington River in the Riverton area (from the intersection of Hogback Road and Route 20 downstream to the gas pipeline crossing)  will now be closed to all fishing from April 1 until 6:00 am on Opening Day.

Mill River (Fairfield):  The Mill River Wild Trout Management Area (Class 1) is now extended downstream to the crossing with the Merritt Parkway.  The Mill River TMA below this crossing is now catch-and-release year round.

Catfish Daily Limits:  There is now a 6 fish per day limit on Channel Catfish and White Catfish in aggregate.  There is a 3 fish per day limit in places where the Fisheries Division stocks adult Channel Catfish.   Previously there was no daily limit. 

Common Carp:  There is now a daily limit of 5 fish per day with no more than 1 fish over 30 inches in length, except in the NEW Trophy Common Carp Waters.   Previously there was no daily limit or size limit.

Trophy Carp:  Several waters are now designated as "Trophy Carp Waters" with a 1 fish per day limit and a MAXIMUM size of 26 inches (all fish over 26 inches must be released without avoidable injury).  Previously there were no Trophy Carp Waters.

Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas:  The period when broodstock salmon gear restrictions (see Angler's Guide) are effective has been extended one month and is now September 1 to March 31 (inclusive). These gear restrictions apply to all angling for any species within the designated areas.

Tenkara Fishing:  Tenkara fishing is now allowed in all fly fishing areas.

Alexander Lake:   Is now open to fishing year round.

Pasture Pond (Quinebaug Hatchery Pond):    Is now designated as a Trout Park.

Baldwins Pond and Green Falls Reservoir:   Now open to fishing from 6:00 am on the Second Saturday of April through the last day of February.

Trout and Salmon Stamp:  see special section below.
Who Will Be On Our 2018 Angler's Guide?
The winner of the 2018 Angler's Guide Cover Contest will be  unveiled  LIVE on the  CTFishandWildlife Facebook Page  on Monday, March 12.  The winner was selected out of over 200 entries!  We are accepting your great fishing photos for the 2019 Angler's Guide now (contest rules).
The NEW Trout and Salmon Stamp
With approval by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee on February 27, 2018, Connecticut will now have a Trout and Salmon Stamp.  100% of the money invested in this stamp is guaranteed to go 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 places not stocked by 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.

The trout and salmon stamp requirement will be effective once published on the eRegulations system by the Secretary of State's office (SOTS). This will occur several days to a week or so after approval by LRRC as there are several additional steps required to formalize the regulations prior to posting by SOTS.
2018 Youth Fishing Passports Available NOW!
The Youth Fishing Passport program (FREE) is your ticket to great family memories.  Check out the two activities, the Fishing Challenge and Geo-Catching as well as the list of sponsors who graciously support our young anglers with discounts and/or free items.  Renew or join today using DEEP's sportsmen licensing system!
Youth Fishing Passport
Welcome to DEEP's Newest Fishing Instructors
Congratulations to our newest class of Certified Fishing Instructors.  These folks are passionate about fishing and now join the 250+ instructors who offer FREE basic of fishing classes near your home.  We offer new instructor training twice per year, our next class is forming for June.  Please call Tom at 860-663-1656 for an application (must pass a background check). 
This Month's Mystery Fish
Email your guess to DEEP.inland.fisheries@ct.gov 
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.
Mystery Fish Revealed
Last month's  Mystery Fish  was the Shorthorn Sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius).  A fish that prefers to be in very cold water, the shorthorn sculpin is not often encountered by anglers.  The fish has a reputation for being insatiable and eating just about everything it can find.  Sculpins are bottom-dwellers that prefer rocky habitat.  The fish in this picture was caught off of the coast of Massachusetts.  
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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