CT Fishin' Tips
   Your source for Connecticut fishing news, pointers and tips

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Mystery Fish

Do you recognize this fish by the its skin?

Email your guess to DEEP.inland.fisheries@ct.gov

The March mystery fish was the Smallmouth Bass ( Micropterus dolomieu).

Smallmouth were one of the first recreational sport fish introduced to Connecticut by the Fish Commission.  The Commission's 1870 report provides an articulate argument for their introduction and first stocking locations. Some highlights include; "he is one of the finest fish known for the table", "he is exceedingly hardy", "he is a great breeder", "he is perhaps the only fish suitable to our waters able to defend himself against the ravenous pickerel" and "he is as game as the salmon."

The first waters stocked included; Middletown City Reservoir, Roger's Pond (Lyme), Job's Pond (Portland), Snipsic Lake (Rockville), West Hill Pond (New Hartford), Toby Pond (Norfolk), Hartland Pond (Hartland), Park Pond (Winchester), Preston Lake (Preston), South Coventry Pond, Cedar Lake (Chester), Hog Lake (Lyme), Cranberry Pond (Granby), Stonington Pond, West Hartford Reservoir, Collinsville Pond (Canton).  

Fish were provided by Mr. E. S. Woodford of West Winsted, who operated a private hatchery.

Smallmouth were stocked for the next several years until the Commission determined there were adequate self-sustaining populations.
License Fees Fund Fishing and Hunting Programs
100% of the fees collected from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, tags, permits, and stamps goes to support fish and wildlife conservation, preservation, and recreation programs administered by the Bureau of Natural Resources. 

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

So the next time you catch a Walleye, Brown Trout, or Striped Bass, see a Bald Eagle, harvest a white-tail, pheasant, or turkey, give yourself and your fellow sportsmen a pat on the back!

You are making a difference and we t hank you for your support!
150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut

Visit our special web page frequently throughout 2016 for new features and information related to 150 years of natural resource conservation in Connecticut. 
Are you 16-17 years old? 
Get 50% off fishing and hunting licenses
All 16 and 17 year old Connecticut residents can purchase 2016 fishing and hunting licenses, tags, permits, and/or stamps at 50% of the full resident cost. Get your license now!
Have a Tip or Photo You Would Like to See in CT Fishin' Tips?
Email your tip to DEEP.Inland.Fisheries@ct.gov 
Budding Angler in Your Family?
Youth Fishing Passport

Wondering what's new in fisheries?  
Get the latest in fisheries through our quarterly reports.

Connecticut Wildlife Magazine
Every issue of this bi-monthly publication includes great wildlife photography, in-depth feature articles written by DEEP biologists, information about hunting and fishing, and natural history articles.

Connecticut Wildlife Magazine is published six times each year. 

Subscriptions are $8 for one year, $15 for two, or $20 for three years.

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Report a Violation
Help to protect our natural resources for future outdoor sports enthusiasts.  Report suspected violations by calling DEEP Environmental Conservation Police at 1-800-842-HELP
Missed an Issue of CT Fishin' Tips?
Find every issue in our archives.
Latest Bites
2016 Angler's Guide is Now Available:
Stop by your favorite bait and tackle shop or your town hall to get a printed copy.  For your convenience, the electronic version can be found on our web site.
Opening Day of Trout Season : Where will you be on April 9th at 6:00 am (Opening Day)?  Our hatchery staff have distributed approximately 350,000 catchabable-size trout to your favorite trout stream and ponds. Only a few days left!

Free Learn To Fish Classes:  Our award-winning learn to fish program is being offered at many locations throughout the state.  Check our continually changing schedule on our website.

Rock Snot:   Heads up to those planning on fishing the West Branch Farmington River (Hartland downstream to Farmington); Especially within the village of Riverton. Please help prevent the spread of Rock Snot to other rivers and streams! Here are some tips to help stop the spread:

  • Fish other waters first -saving the Farmington River for last,
  • Dedicate a specific pair of boots/waders for use in the Farmington River only
  • Disinfect with a strong salt solution or mild bleach solution between fishing the Farmington River and other waters on the same day.  If time permits, freezing for 24 hours is a simple and effective way to destroy the microscopic cells (more info below).

2017 Angler's Guide Photo Contest:  Be sure to keep your cell phone, Go-Pro, or camera handy.  We have begun accepting your best fishing photos for next years cover.  Get all of the details on our web page and email your submissions to deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov (attn:  Angler's Guide Cover Contest).  Good Luck!
Help DEEP Stock Trout This Saturday

Come Stock With Us! Four designated Trout Parks will be stocked again on Opening Day (this Saturday, April 9), and families are invited to assist DEEP staff in putting the trout in the water. 

The four areas and approximate stocking times Saturday are:

* Wharton Brook State Park, Wallingford, 8 a.m.
* Black Rock State Park, Watertown -- 8:30 a.m.
* Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth, 10:30 a.m.
* Southford Falls State Park, Oxford, 10:30 a.m.

"Opening Day is an exciting time for Connecticut's many trout anglers, and they can look forward to a great fishing season," said Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner of DEEP. "The fish are in excellent condition, our trout waters are stocked and anglers can enjoy a wide range of fishing options. Additionally, Opening Day is a special time for many families, the traditional first time to get outdoors together after winter."

Favorite Trout Lures
Opening Day of trout season is a tradition for many of us that started when we were young children.  Other than major holidays, birthdays, and snow days - no other day can trigger such powerful anticipation!  Here are some of your tips for trout lures on opening day.

Michael K. - Mepps Thunder Bug Dressed either green or gold are very consistent producers of great catches.

Jay C. - A gold phoebe; actually just bought a new one cuz the old one was kinda rusty and about 10 years old.

Andrew N. -  If I had to choose from your photo, it'd be the blue/silver castmaster and the phoebe spoon.

Michael S. -  I have every one of those-surprisingly the smaller castmaster consistently produces when cast cross current and retrieved steadily downstream or perpendicular to the current in a river or stream- same tactic works great for spinners-try a small rapala or rebel minnow-type lure-that'll bring you a big trout!-fish on all!
Daily Fish Stocking Posts
Based on your feedback, we will continue posting our daily fish stocking reports on the CT FishandWildlife Facebook page. Watch between 2 pm and 5 pm each day to see the waterbody and town recently stocked. Good Luck!

An overwhelming majority indicated these stocking reports were very important in making a decision to go fishing (versus do other things life requires) or to take youth fishing.

These daily stocking posts cover 30% of the total number of waterbodies that we stock, keeping when we stock 70% of the waters a secret!
Stop the Snot
Rock Snot: Rock Snot is commonly used to refer to a group of diatoms (single cell microscopic algae), which under certain environmental conditions grow prolifically (bloom), forming thick mats that can cover large sections of the river bottom.  The majority of these species belong to the genera Didymosphenia or Cymbella.  

Rock Snot can survive for several weeks or months with only slightly moist conditions. As such, it is fairly easy for anglers to accidentally introduce living cells from one water to another.

The most effective way to reduce the potential for transferring rock snot is to practice Check, Clean, Dry.

CHECK: Before leaving the water, remove all obvious clumps of algae and plant material from fishing gear, waders, clothing and footwear, canoes and kayaks and anything else that has been in the water. Leave them at the site. If you find any later, clean your gear and dispose of all material in the trash.

CLEAN: Soak/spray and scrub boats and all other "hard" items for at least one minute in either very hot (140°F) water, a 2% bleach solution, or a 5% dishwashing detergent solution. A 20% salt solution for 30 seconds has also been shown to be effective. Absorbent materials such as clothes and felt soles on waders should be soaked for at least 40 minutes in very hot water (140°F), or 30 minutes in hot water (115°F) with 5% dishwashing detergent. Freezing will also kill the cells.

DRY: Drying will also kill the cells, but items must remain completely dry (inside and out) for at least 48 hours.

When outdoors, use only small quantities of cleaning agents such as bleach, dishwashing detergent, and other chemical compounds. Always avoid using cleaning agents streamside or in areas where they can drain into surface waters.   When possible, clean all gear, boots, boats and clothing at home.
Upcoming Fishing Events
2016 Save the Dates!
Fishing events you and your family will not want to miss. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016:   Trout season opens at 6:00 am.  Help us stock trout at 4 trout parks (schedule above).

Saturday, April 23, 2016:   Special Mom and Me Learn to Fish Class.  Moms, Grandmas, or Aunts - grab your kids and join Miss Judy and certified fishing Instructors from the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education program for a fun day of learning how to fish at the Winding Trails Outdoor Center in Farmington. This class is open to female caregivers and their children only (sorry guys but we have many classes open to everyone, just check out our class schedule on the website).

We will teach you the basics of fishing including what to use, how to tie a strong knot, proper bait selection, rules and regulations, how to identify your catch, and will conclude the day with a fishing trip (loaner fishing equipment will be provided FREE of charge).  

Classroom instruction will run from 9:30am to 11:30am and the fishing trip will follow from 12pm to 3pm.  Registration information can be found on our schedule of upcoming classes . So, pack a lunch and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Winding Trails.

Saturday, May 7, 2016:  Statewide Free Fishing Day (no license needed). No Child Left Inside Great Park Pursuit and CARE Family Fishing Day, Stratton Brook State Park, Simsbury will be held from 9:00am to 3:00pm!

Sunday, June 19, 2016:  First Free Fishing License Day (free 1-day license is needed and will be available starting 3 weeks prior to the event).

Saturday, June 25, 2016:  Women can fish too! On this day, our basics of fishing class will be open to women only (16 and up).  Come to our class, held at our CARE education center in Killingworth (10 am to 3 pm), to get a leg up on your significant other - show them you can fish too! Call 860-663-1656 to reserve your place (FREE!).

Saturday, August 13, 2016:   Second Free Fishing License Day (free 1-day license is needed and will be available starting 3 weeks prior to the event).   The CARE saltwater fishing event and  No Child Left Inside Great Park Pursuit , Fort Trumbull State Park , New London from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Where To Fish For Trout
Planning for Opening Day- April 9, 2016 at 6:00 am.

Opening Day of trout season is a long standing tradition for many.  No matter where you will be casting your line at 6:00 am, consider the following to help make opening day a memory to last a lifetime.
* Trout Parks:  Small waters, mostly ponds, which are frequently stocked with plenty of trout.  These are excellent places for youth, mobility challenged, or someone new to the sport of fishing to catch a nice trout.  Please note, due to the popularity of these areas, the daily limit is 2 trout per angler. Get details on our webpage.  

* Community Fishing Waters:  Great fishing right in your own neighborhood.  These waters are mostly small ponds located within a municipal park.  There is good access along the shoreline and they are stocked with trout, Channel Catfish, or both.  Many are located on a bus route, so take the b-line to cast a line.  Get location details on our webpage.

Trout Management Areas:   Selected sections of some of our best trout streams.  Trout Management Areas have various regulations ranging from barbless hooks, fly-fishing only, catch and release only, or various daily limits and size limits.  Be sure to check the Angler's Guide and follow all posted signage.  Get details on our webpage.

* Wild Trout:  Some prefer to seek out the elusive wild trout, a fish hatched in the stream and has grown to catchable size.  Many of our smallest brooks and streams have wild trout, either Brook Trout, Brown Trout, or both.  Some of these waters, with good public access and a large population of wild fish, are considered to be Class 1 Wild Trout Management Areas.  In these waters, fishing is catch and release only.  

* Lakes and Ponds:  Over 100 lakes and ponds are stocked with trout.  Most have a state-owned or managed boat ramp for those who prefer to be out on the water.  Check the Angler's Guide for details (pages 32-41).
* Rivers and Streams:  Over 200 rivers and streams are stocked with trout.  Check our trout stocking maps on our webpage to find stocked segments for many of these waters.  Check the Angler's Guide for details (pages 44-51).

* Report Illegal Activity:  If you notice any illegal activity, please let our EnCon Officers know by calling 1-800-842-HELP (4357).  
Fishing Line Recycling
Help keep fishing line from harming birds!

Please recycle your old fishing line by either 1) placing it in one of the many conveniently located recycling receptacles or 2) bring it to your favorite bait and tackle shop. Information about recycling fishing line can be found on our web page (under "F" for fishing line).

Discarded fishing line is very attractive to nesting birds, but unfortunately often leads to injury or death.  Please do your part to keep fishing line and other fishing related debris where it belongs and not on the ground. 
Looking Back - 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation
Women, important anglers:

Beginning in April of 1933, Connecticut's women no longer had to battle with their male counterparts at their favorite fishing hole.  The State built and outfitted a "spacious" log cabin and "liberally" stocked the Branford River with trout for the "exclusive use of the fair sex".  

The river was patrolled by the first female game warden, Miss Edith Stoeher, who was hired the same year (she beat out 4 other women in a fly-fishing casting contest to earn the job).

In 1941, this river made national headlines being published in many newspapers across the country.  Some of the text read, "Remember when men used to be able to get away from women for a spell by going fishing?  Well, now women anglers who don't want men around can get their wish on the Branford River, reputed to be the only stream of its kind in New England and one of three in the country, where fishing is exclusively for women."

This year, for the first time, our CARE Learn to Fish program is experimenting with offering two courses specifically designed to encourage women to take up the sport of fishing (without male counterparts around).  The first is a "Mom-and-Me" course where female caregivers can attend with their children.  The second is for any female (16 and older) who would like to learn or sharpen their skills.  Additional info about both FREE courses can be found in the "upcoming fishing events" section above.

Trout fishing has been and continues to be a very important part of many people's lives.  We are honored and privileged to continue this tradition for generations to come.  See you out on the water come April 9th.

Join us as we celebrate 150 years of natural resource conservation in Connecticut throughout 2016! Visit our special web page dedicated to our past, present, and future. Including our 150th video .
By purchasing a fishing license, you help to support conservation and improvement of Connecticut's fisheries.  Thank you!