The Department of Environmental Protection has issued its weekly fishing report for the week starting October 13.
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 26
2010 FALL BROODSTOCK ATLANTIC SALMON STOCKING – DEP began its annual stockings of surplus broodstock Atlantic salmon last week by releasing 100 salmon into the Shetucket River, 45 salmon into Crystal Lake (Ellington) and 45 salmon into Mount Tom Pond (Morris-Litchfield-Washington). This Tuesday (10/12) the Naugatuck River was stocked with 100 salmon. These fish average 9.5 pounds apiece and range in size from 4 to 20 pounds each. In November, DEP expects to have 700 more salmon available from its Kensington Hatchery following spawning.
ATLANTIC SALMON – The recently stocked broodstock salmon are already providing some good action for anglers. Jumping salmon and some catches have already been reported from Crystal Lake (including a 12 lb, 30 inch beauty) and the Shetucket River. However, nothing’s been heard from Mt Tom Pond yet.
Fall trout stocking update- This week in eastern CT, DEP is stocking approximately 800 trophy-size brown trout (all 12 inch and bigger fish) into the Natchaug River (500 fish) and the Willimantic River TMA (300 fish). Also in eastern CT, a total of 3,900 adult size (9-10 inch fish) rainbow trout will be released into Bigelow Pond (300 fish), Crystal Lake (900 fish), Gardner Lake (800 fish), Mashapaug Lake (700 fish), Coventry Lake (500 fish), the Yantic River TMA (400 fish) and the Valley Falls Park Pond Trout Park (300 fish).
This year, DEP will also be stocking an additional 40,000 yearling (6-9 inch fish) brook, brown and rainbow trout from the Quinebaug Hatchery in the fall. Stockings of these yearlings will begin this week in western CT with the release of 8,800 fish. These trout are scheduled to be stocked into the Mianus River (including the TMA, 1,100 fish), Mill River (Fairfield, including the TMA, 800 fish), Mill River (Hamden, including the Sleeping giant TMA, 1,000 fish), Norwalk River (2,200 fish), Quinnipiac River (450 fish), Saugatuck River (including the TMA, 1,750 fish) and the Wharton Brook Pond Trout Park (1,500 fish).
Rivers & streams – Conditions for fishing this weekend may be variable. Comfortable fall weather is forecast for the weekend and last week’s rains improved flows to more typical fall levels. However, the development of a ‘Northeaster’ is possible on Thursday going into Friday. This storm may drop 1-3 inches of rain in portions of the state, which may increase flows to unfishable in some areas (remember that the smaller streams and rivers will generally be the first to drop back to fishable levels).
Broodstock atlantic salmon regulations and areas summary
Regulations for broodstock on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers. In rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY through November 30. From December 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, 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.
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). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
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. The salmon are stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).Note that in the Beacon Falls area, DEP no longer stocks the area along the RR tracks in Naugatuck State Forest due to safety concerns.
From October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2010 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
Fall is generally streamer and nymphing time, with late morning and early evening often the best times. White, yellow and brown are good streamer colors, patterns include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Nymphs to bottom bounce include caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-18) and Hare’s ear (#8-20).Good reports this past Columbus Day weekend from the Farmington River, Housatonic River, Salmon River and Salmon Brook.
Farmington River – Fishing has been good. Water temperatures have been in the mid 50’s°F and flows are currently clear and moderate, about 335 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 60 cfs from the Still River. Anglers should remember that depending on the amount of rainfall received later this week, flows (especially inputs from the Still River ) may increase to more difficult to fish levels
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia bicolor (major hatch, #12-14, fast water, afternoon/evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella & Baetis sps., #16-24, mid-late afternoon), Cahills/Summer Stenos (Stenonema ithaca (#12-18, evening hatch), Caddis (tan #14-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-28, morning), Black Ants (#16-18, mid day in fast water), Flying Ants (#18-22, mid day,) and Golden Stonefly (#16-16).
Housatonic River – Flows are clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 570 cfs at Falls Village and 785 cfs at Gaylordsville. Water temperatures are in the low 50’s °F (mornings). With a possible ‘Northeaster’ forecast, flows may increase for this weekend. Anglers should call FirstLight Power at 1-888-417-4837 for updated flow information or check the USGS CT stream real-time stream flow web page at the following web address: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-12 evening), Cahills/Summer (#12-14), and Brown caddis (#16, early morning & evening), Black/Cinnamon Ants (#14-18, mid day in fast water), Sulfurs (#16-18) and Flying Ants (#16-18, mid day, when windy/humid). Nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads will also be productive.
Lakes & Ponds– Some action reported from East Twin Lake, Highland Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Long Pond, Beach Pond and Crystal Lake. Fishing should pick up as fish settle into their fall patterns.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is fair to slow, with the best reports from Candlewood Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Halls Pond, East Twin Lake (recent catches here include a 6.6 lb bass) and West Hill Pond. Some catches reported from Bantam Lake, Winchester Lake, Scoville Reservoir, Rogers Lake, Mudge Pond, Bishop Swamp and Gardner Lake. Slow (tough) fishing reported from Bantam Lake, Highland Lake, Lake Zoar, Cedar Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir.
SMALLMOUTH BASS – The bite has slowed at Candlewood Lake and anglers will have to work here. Action is reported as slow at Colebrook River Reservoir and Highland Lake, with only a few fish caught.
NORTHERN PIKE fall bite is here! Among the places to target are Bantam Lake, Pachaug Pond, Winchester Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir.
WALLEYE catches are being reported from Saugatuck Reservoir, Lake Saltonstall and Squantz Pond.
KOKANEE SALMON – A monster (20” inch) kokanee was reported from East Twin Lake.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – STRIPED BASS action in the lower river is good, bunker and eels have been working. Tube & worm has been slow this past week. BLACK CRAPPIE are providing some fall action in the coves throughout the river (try small shiners). NORTHERN PIKE fishing was reported as good. Places to try include the Harbor Park area, Haddam Meadows, Salmon River Cove and coves in the Wethersfield/Glastonbury area.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing remains fair from Rocky Hill down to the Salmon River. Few reports for CHANNEL CATFISH, although a 13 lb fish is among the recent catches. Try cut-bait and worms, and target the outside edges of the channel and near deep drop-offs. Boilies and sweet corn baits are having some success with CARP in the lower river in some pre-baited “swims”.
TIPS & TRICKS – PUTTING FALL NORTHERN PIKE IN THE BOAT
There are three times during the open-water period that can be considered prime for big pike.
There are three times during the open-water period that can be considered prime for big pike.
Each windows lasts from 10 to 14 days.
Current period of interest is before a water body turns over in the fall.
During the pre-turnover period big pike come out of the deep water as the shallow water cools.
Target six to twelve feet deep.
Use 3 or 4-inch spoon (red-and-white or red-and-yellow if yellow perch are present).
Overcast days, use bright silver or gold spoons.
Use medium-weight bait casting gear with a 15-pound-test line and a 12-inch wire leader.
Cold, windy days are excellent for pike fishing with a yellow body lure.
Large spinner baits are popular fall trolling lures.
In discolored water use black spinner bait.
Trolling covers more water and allows you to find fish faster.
Try backtrolling slowly over the vegetation, with 25 to 35 feet of line out.
Backtrolling allows more depth control.
Position the line at a 45-degree angle towards the water with a lure set just above the vegetation.
When you see an opening in the weeds, drop the rod tip and let the lure settle into it.
Use polarized sunglasses so you can see these pockets.
Try spinnerbaits over the tops of the weeds while backtrolling.
NOTES & NOTICES:
The current repair project at RAINBOW RESERVOIR is expected to be completed Wednesday (10/13), at which time refilling of the reservoir will begin (it is expected that refilling will take several days).
MOODUS RESERVOIR (Lower & Upper, down 3 feet, launching of trailer boats will be difficult to impossible) and TYLER LAKE (down 2.5 feet, launching of trailered boats may be difficult) are currently drawn down to facilitate dam repairs.
Upcoming scheduled drawdowns include:
In eastern CT, “Winter” drawdowns (2-3 feet) of BASHAN LAKE, BESECK LAKE, GARDNER LAKE, LOWER BOLTON LAKE and MIDDLE BOLTON LAKE are scheduled to begin October 15th, BEACH POND is scheduled to begin October 20th and GLASGO POND on October 25th.
A 5 foot drawdown of HIGHLAND LAKE is scheduled to begin on October 15th.
LAKE ZOAR is currently scheduled to be drawn down starting October 16th with refilling scheduled to begin October 24th. LAKE LILLINONAH is currently scheduled to be drawn down beginning October 23th and ending October 31st. Anglers should call FirstLight Power at 1-888-417-4837 for updated lake level information
The BAYBERRY LANE State Boat Launch (Groton) is closed for renovations until December 31st.
SPECIAL NOTICE TO ANGLERS AND HUNTERS:
During the 2010 session of the General Assembly, legislation was approved and signed into law in April reducing many of the fees for sportsmen’s licenses and permits. This was followed in June by legislation authorizing a credit to be applied against the fee for any 2011 sportsmen’s license, permit or tag when purchase of a license, permit or tag had been made at the higher prices in place between October 1, 2009 and April 14, 2010. The credit amount will be the difference between the higher amount paid during that time period and the amount set by the new fee structure established April 14, 2010.
For information about these credits, please visit the DEP website license fees and credits page: www.ct.gov/dep/sportsmensfeereduction
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low to mid 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
Reminders to anglers:
The recreational (including the party/charter boat fishery) fishing season for scup is now closed.
The black sea bass recreational fishing season is closed from October 12 to October 31, and will reopen on November 1 through December 31 inclusive.
BLUEFISH and STRIPER fishing does not get any better! Trophy sized bluefish and stripers are lurking throughout LIS. Bluefish weighing in the upper teens and stripers weighing is excess of 40 lbs are being reported. The usual spots include the Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef and East and West Clumps (Fishers Island Sound), Thames River, the Race (by Race Rock and Valiant Rock), outer Bartlett Reef, the Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, warm water discharge from Millstone Power Station, Harkness Memorial State Park, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef, Duck Island area, Sixmile Reef, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Falkner Island area, reefs off Guilford and Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area and the sand spit at Silver Sands State Park, lower Housatonic River, buoys #18 and #20 off Bridgeport, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, Norwalk Islands, Cable and Anchor Reef, and Stamford and Greenwich Harbors. Live lining menhaden (bunker) or eels on three way rigs have been scoring well on big fish.
TAUTOG fishing is excellent with white chins over 10 lbs being reported. Fishing gnarly bottom structure is key along with using fresh bait such as hermit crabs, Asian crabs and/or green crabs work well.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair at best.
For regulation updates and fishing/crabbing information, please check out our web site at: http://www.ct.gov/dep or pick up the 2010 Angler’s Guide.
DEP WEEKLY FISHING REPORT
CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106