Fall salmon stocking begins

Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced that 2015 autumn stockings of broodstock Atlantic salmon have begun. DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division last week released 250 salmon into Crystal Lake (Ellington/Stafford – 125 fish) and Mount Tom Pond (Morris/Litchfield/Washington, 125 fish). This week DEEP is stocking a total of 600 salmon into the Shetucket River (300 fish) and the Naugatuck River (300 fish).

“Atlantic salmon are renowned for their size, beauty and fighting ability,” said Peter Aarrestad, Director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “The Atlantic salmon recreational fishery has become quite popular, and catching one of these large leapers provides a thrilling experience for anglers”

From now through late fall DEEP expects to stock 1,200 Atlantic salmon. Approximately 1,000 of these fish, including those stocked last week and this week, range in weight from 2-6 pounds each. The other 200 fish will range in weight from 3 to 14 pounds each.

Anglers are advised that the exceedingly dry weather Connecticut experienced in August and September had dropped stream flows in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers to levels unsuitable for stocking these fish. “We are fortunate that last week’s rains sufficiently improved flows in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers to allow us to stock both rivers this week,” said Aarrestad. “Hopefully, additional rainfall will occur this fall to maintain flow conditions and that we’ll be able to stock the Shetucket River and stock the Naugatuck River with additional salmon that will be ready for release later this fall. We’ll continue to post updates on the status of Atlantic salmon stocking in the Weekly Fishing Report, and on our website and Facebook page.”

Atlantic salmon broodstock stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers are typically released into three designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas:

  • Between Scotland Dam (Scotland) and Occum Dam (Norwich) on the Shetucket River
  • The “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston)
  • The “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).

Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor).

In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only from September 1 through November 30. From December 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure.  Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.

In 2007 DEEP began stocking selected lakes with broodstock Atlantic salmon. This fall, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake are being stocked. Anglers may also occasionally catch salmon that have held over from previous stockings of Beach Pond, last stocked in September, 2014.

The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers.  In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon are the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit is one salmon per day. The specific regulations for salmon fishing in lakes that have been stocked with Atlantic salmon can be found in the 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guide and are also provided at the conclusion of this news release. The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked into lakes and ponds will also be posted at each water body. Anglers can also contact DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH) for more information.

All other regulations, including those for broodstock salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, can also be found in the 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found online at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide.  Print versions of the guides are available from many Town Clerks and bait & tackle stores, or by contacting DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH).

Additional fishing and fisheries related information, including the Weekly Fishing Report, can be found on the DEEP Fisheries web pages at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.  This fall, anglers will again find updates on DEEP’s broodstock Atlantic salmon stockings and the fall trout stockings in the Weekly Fishing Report, on the Fisheries webpage (use the link for Fall Stocking Reports) and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page.

 

Regulations for Atlantic salmon fishing in Crystal Lake and Mount Tom Pond are as follows:

Crystal Lake
  • Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
  • Open Season: Third Saturday in April through last day in March.
  • Minimum Length: Salmon must be greater than or equal to 16 inches to keep.
  • Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon
Mount Tom Pond
  • Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line.  May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
  • Open Season: Third Saturday in April through last day in February.
  • Minimum Length: None
  • Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon

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