Opening Day for fishing is Saturday, April 20th and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) expects to have over 378,000 trout stocked throughout the state in time for Opening Day.
Late February into early March historically marks the beginning of the trout stocking for the DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. This year, highly variable winter conditions have made the task even more challenging.
“Stocking nearly four hundred thousand fish prior to Opening Day is a monumental task in the best weather,” said Pete Aarrestad, director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “Despite challenges we faced, we still plan to stock all water bodies that have been scheduled by Opening Day.”
Over 200 truckloads of trout are scheduled to be distributed throughout the state in preparation for Opening Day. These trout will be released into 102 lakes and ponds and 200 rivers and streams.. The following species & sizes will be stocked:
|62,500||brook trout||(10-11 inch)|
|194,500||brown trout||(10-11 inch)|
|6,600||brown trout||(12 inch)|
|2,000||tiger trout||(10-12 inch brook/brown hybrid)|
|95,900||rainbow trout||(10-12 inch)|
|15,900||rainbow trout||(12-14 inch)|
|1,350||surplus broodstock||(3-10 pound trout – all species)|
Trout anglers looking for an early start to the fishing season can visit one of the state’s fifteen Trout Management Areas (TMA), all open for pre-season catch-and-release fishing. TMA’s are located on the Farmington River, Hammonasset River, Hockanum River, Housatonic River (two TMA’s), Mianus River, Mill River (Fairfield), Mill River (Hamden), Moosup River, Pequabuck River (including Coppermine Brook), Naugatuck River, Salmon River, Saugatuck River, Willimantic River and Yantic River.
This year, nine of these TMA’s will be stocked again in April prior to Opening Day. Class I Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA) are also open year-round for catch-and-release fishing, and are located on Deep Brook, Eightmile River, Hawleys Brook, Beaver Brook/Merrick Brook, Macedonia Brook, Mill River (in Easton), Quinnipiac River, Tankerhoosen River, and Wachocastinook (Riga) Brook. Class I WMTA’s are typically not stocked. Additionally, downstream portions of six of the designated Sea-run Trout Streams (Eightmile River, Farm River, Hammonasset River, Latimer Brook, Saugatuck River, and Whitford Brook) are open year-round with a two trout per day creel limit and a fifteen-inch minimum length.
Anglers should consult the CT Angler’s Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. Currently, electronic versions of the 2012 Guide (there have been no changes to the regulations listed in the 2012 Angler’s Guide) can be found on the DEEP website at (www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide). Online and printed versions of the 2013 Angler’s Guide will become available in early April, with the print versions available at more than 350 locations statewide, including town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds.
Logo courtesy Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection