The April 23 fishing report
TROUT — RIVERS & STREAMS — Conditions should be fair to good for trout fishing this weekend. Earlier this week flows were very high due to Monday’s rains, but are dropping back to more typical spring levels in many areas. With mostly dry, although cool, weather forecast for the weekend, conditions will continue to improve. In some areas, anglers should keep the smaller streams and tributaries in mind as their flows will have moderated sooner (stream flows for a number of areas can be found at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt). Fair to good reports from the Natchaug River, Salmon River, Mill River (Hamden), Mill River (Fairfield), Hammonasset River and Willimantic River last week.
Farmington River — Fishing was fair last week and conditions will be variable this weekend as flows should remain on the high side. West Branch flows are currently moderately high at Riverton (542 cfs) due to increased releases to lower Colebrook River Lake. The Still River is currently adding another 359 cfs (but should continue to drop over the weekend). Farther downstream, the East Branch is adding another 300 cfs due to releases from Lake McDonough. Water temperatures have been somewhat chillier than typical for this time of year, in the upper 30’s to low 40’sF.
Hatches/patterns. With the cold water temperatures, nymphing is a good option (#18—22 nymphs #18— 22 are always a good go-to fly). Also try Stoneflies (#6—10), Pheasant Tails (#14—20), Black Stoneflies (#18— 22), Bead Head, Midge Pupa, Brassie, Zebra Midge or Copper John patterns and streamers such as White Zonkers, Buggers (#4—12), Muddlers, Micky Finn, and Grey or Black Ghost will also produce well in these conditions.
Housatonic River — Flows have dropped some but continue to too high and challenging to comfortably fish for most anglers. Currently flows are turbid but clearing a bit, with 2,770 cfs at Falls Village and 4,080 cfs at Gaylordsville. Anglers can call FirstLight Power Resources at 1-‐888-‐417-‐4837 or check the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated Housatonic River flow information (and also check with a local bait & tackle shop). Water temperatures are in the low 40’s F. Typical hatches/patterns for mid-‐April would include Hendrickson (#12—14), March Brown (#10—12), Pheasant Tail (#12—18) and Copper John (#12—16), plus nymphs and streamers.
Rivers and streams stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change):
In eastern Connecticut; Quinebaug River (Plainfield, Griswold), Moosup River, Kitt Brook, Broad Brook (Preston), Choate Brook, Bigelow Brook, Crystal Lake Brook, Hockanum River (areas upstream and downstream of the TMA), Tankerhoosen River, Still River (Eastford), Hammonasset River (including the TMA), Yantic River (including the TMA), Indiantown Brook, Shunock Brook, Green Falls River, Hunts Brook and the Scantic River (both upper and lower portions) stocked this week.
In western Connecticut; Kettletown Brook, Mill River (Hamden, including the TMA), Muddy River, Farmington River (Farmington—Tariffville), Mianus River (including the TMA), Little River (Oxford), West Branch Farmington River (the TMA from Goodwin Dam to the upper boundary of the year round catch-and-release area), upper Naugatuck River, the Naugatuck River TMA and the Pequonnock River (Beardsley Park) stocked this week.
TROUT—LAKES & PONDS -‐ Good reports from East Twin Lake ( a 14 lb beauty for one angler, and another with a 8 lb brown, 20 trout total caught), Highland Lake, West Hill Pond (30 inch brown weighed in at 12.75 lbs for one luck young girl), Beach Pond, Lake McDonough (just opened), Black Pond (Meriden), Crystal Lake (Ellington, 7 colors), Baummer Pond, Long Pond, Bigelow Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Mirror Lake (Meriden), Candlewood Lake (some good action) and Squantz Pond. Try surface trolling streamers or your favorite lures.
Lakes and ponds stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change):
In eastern Connecticut; Bigelow Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Paine Pond, Walkers Reservoir, Sawmill Pond, Long Pond, Green Falls Reservoir, Hewitt Fly Pond, Wyassup Lake, Somersville Mill Pond and Broad Brook Mill Pond were stocked.
In western Connecticut; Ball Pond, Highland Lake, Baummer Pond, Fountain Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Black Rock Lake, Squantz Pond, Highland Lake and Hop Brook Lake were stocked.
TROUT PARKS – Fishing remains generally good at the Trout Parks. The Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond), Southford Falls, Stratton Brook, Valley Falls Park Pond, Chatfield Hollow, Mohegan Park Pond, Black Rock (both Black Rock Pond and Branch Brook) and Kent Falls Trout Parks have been stocked this week.
COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS-‐ A number of the Lake Wintergreen, Beaver Park Pond/Lagoon, Stanley Quarter Park Pond, Rowan’s Pond (Butternut Park Pond), Mirror Lake (Hubbard Park Pond), Birge Pond, Keney Park Pond, Center Springs Park Pond, Colony Park Pond (Abe Stone Park Pond) and Bunnells Pond (Beardsley Park).
FIND TROUT STOCKING MAPS ON OUR WEBSITE Maps of all of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points are available online at www.ct.gov/deep/troutstockingmaps.
LAKE & POND BATHYMETRIC MAPS
Bathymetric maps of many of Connecticut’s public access lakes and ponds can be found online at:
www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/fishing/general_information/lakebathymetrymaps.pdf Both plain line maps and maps overlaying an aerial photo available.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has picked up over the last week as temperatures rose last week. Try targeting dark bottom, warmer back water coves that warm quicker. Note that with cool, cloudy weather in the forecast there won’t be much additional warming this week. Areas to try include Candlewood Lake, Bantam Lake, Black Pond (Meriden), Moodus Reservoir, Mudge Pond, Highland Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Ball Pond, Hopeville Pond, Pachaug Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Lower Bolton Lake, Lake Zoar, Silver Lake and Lake Lillinonah. Tournament angler reports are from silver Lake (fair to good early spring fishing, with a 2.265 lb lunker), Lake Zoar (tough but some fish caught, with a 3.91 lb lunker), Gardner Lake (fair fishing, 3.69 lb lunker), amos Lake (fair to good largemouth action, with a 4.4 lb lunker), Pachaug Pond (fair action, lunker was 5.4 lbs) and Lower Bolton Lake (tough, but with a 7.1 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS Some nice reports for smallmouths from Candlewood Lake, Highland Lake and Squantz Pond (including a 4 lb beauty caught at the handicapped fishing pier). Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (lake warmed up some for the weekend, several 29 lb bags for two-‐man teams reported), Pachaug Pond (a few caught, biggest was 2.75 lbs) and Gardner Lake (not much).
WALLEYE are being reported from Batterson Park Pond (fish over 20 inches).
A few BLACK CRAPPIE are reported from Highland Lake and Park Pond.
CHAIN PICKEREL are showing up at Moodus Reservoir, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir and Winchester Lake.
CONNECTICUT RIVER High flows and turbidity has been keeping most anglers off the river. The river is still turbid and on the high side, but beginning to drop to more comfortable levels. STRIPED BASS will start being caught as the water flows come down and the temperatures go up. Reports for AMERICAN SHAD are few. Water temperatures are beginning to reach 50 ␣F so some shad may be seen soon. Shad darts and willow leafs work well. Anglers planning to catch them for striper bait are reminded that the only legal method of harvesting is angling.
ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER
Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011).
Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). Anglers fishing in any of these waters and western Connecticut in general should use extra care to avoid transporting water, aquatic vegetation, and possibly zebra mussels to new locations. For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2015 CT angler’s Guide( www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).
BASHAN LAKE The drawdown of Bashan Lake for dam repairs is ongoing. Bashan Lake is drawn down until approximately 14-‐16 feet. Additionally, the state boat launch is closed for renovations.
LAKE HOUSATONIC A rowing event is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th from 8 am to 1 pm. Boaters should however use additional caution on the lake.
LAKE LILLINONAH A high school rowing event is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the uppermost two miles of the lake. Boaters should however use additional caution on the northern portion of the lake.
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the low 40’s 0F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html http://marine.rutgers.edu/mrs/sat_data/?nothumbs=1 http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/330.html
STRIPED BASS fishing is fair to good in the Thames River, Niantic River, Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Housatonic River and Norwalk Harbor including the islands. Anglers soaking sand or blood worms have been doing well.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is fair. Flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area, Niantic River including the bay, New Haven Harbor, lower Saugatuck River and Norwalk Harbor.
BLACKFISH (tautog) fishing is still on the slow side due to the cold water.
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2015 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Current regulations, electronic versions of the Angler’s Guide and additional information can all be accessed on the DEEP website at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.