2010 fall broodstock Atlantic salmon update – 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.

Broodstock salmon anglers are already hooking into some of the recently stocked fish at Crystal Lake, where recent catches include a 10 lb salmon (trolling – 4 colors of lead on a stick bait) and a 12 lb salmon (shore angler off the Town beach), the Naugatuck River and the Shetucket River.

Fall trout stocking update- This week in eastern CT, DEP is stocking a total of 3,600 adult size (9-10 inch fish) rainbow trout into Black pond (Middlefield, 800 fish), Bashan Lake (800 fish), Rogers Lake (700 fish), Cedar Lake (400 fish), Pattaconk Lake (200 fish) and Lake Quonnipaug (700 fish).

This fall, DEP is also be stocking an additional 40,000 yearling (6-9 inch fish) brook, brown and rainbow trout from the Quinebaug Hatchery. Stockings of these yearlings will continue this week in western CT with the release of 12,200 fish. These trout are scheduled to be stocked into the Pequabuck River (including the TMA, 500 fish), Naugatuck River TMA (1,000 fish), Pequonnock River (1,500 fish), Housatonic River (Bull’s Bridge TMA, 1,500 fish), East Aspetuck River (1,300 fish), Farmill River (1,250 fish), Wepawaug River (1,150 fish), Black Rock Pond Trout Park (1,500 fish) and the Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond) Trout Park (1,500 fish).

Zebra mussels have recently been found in Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah.
Prior to this discovery, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). During 2009 zebra mussels were discovered in Massachusetts in Laurel Lake and in the mainstem

Housatonic River. 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.

The zebra mussel is a black and white striped, bivalve mollusc that was introduced into North American waters through the discharge of ship ballast water. This mussel can disrupt aquatic ecosystems and is notorious for clogging power plant, industrial and public drinking water intakes, and fouling boat hulls and engine cooling water systems.

Rivers & streams – It’s mid-fall and anglers should start finding some really aggressive trout. Conditions for fishing this weekend will be good with mostly moderate flows and comfortable fall weather forecast for the weekend. Streamers (low light periods/overcast days) and nymphing are working for many anglers. Streamer patterns (try white, yellow & brown colors) include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, and 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), Golden Stoneflies (#8) and Hare’s ear (#8-20). Good reports last week from the Housatonic River, Salmon River and West Branch Farmington River.

Farmington River – West Branch flows are currently clear, moderate and very fishable, 245 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 170 cfs from the Still River. Morning water temperatures are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#10-14, parachute style), Blue Wing Olives (#18-28, mid-late afternoon), Ants (#14-20 on rainy days), Winter/Summer Caddis (sz 20-24), Tan Caddis (#18-22, all day; brown #16-18), Midges (#22-32, morning) and Rusty Spinner (#26-28).

Housatonic River – Fishing has been good this month (when flows cooperate) and conditions should be good this weekend. Flows are again clear and are dropping from last Friday’s highs, currently 900 cfs at Falls Village and 1,240 cfs at Gaylordsville, and with only limited precipitation in the forecast, flows should continue to drop to very comfortable fishing levels. Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s °F (mornings).

Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 evening), flying ants (#14-18), Midges (#20-26) and Brown caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening). Streamers and nymphing work well this time of year (see advice above)!

Lakes & Ponds– Anglers are reported variable fishing success as trout settle into their fall patterns, with the best reports from Mashapaug Lake, Lake Quonnipaug, Highland Lake and the Chatfield Hollow Trout Park. It’s been slow at Crystal Lake (except for some shore action for very recently stocked rainbows) and East Twin Lake. Anglers are reporting seeing lots of trout at Black Pond and Beach Pond, but no luck getting them to bite.

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing remains fair to slow, with the best reports from Lower Bolton Lake (catches include a 6.1 lb largemouth), Lake Wonoskopomuc, Candlewood Lake, Bashan Lake, Lake Zoar, West Hill Pond, wyassup Lake and Scoville Reservoir, and the slow reports from Cedar Lake, Beseck Lake, Black Pond (Middlefield), Glasgo Pond, Amos Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Quaddick Reservoir and Gardner Lake.

SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is fair at Candlewood Lake, with some action also reported from Lake Zoar and Squantz Pond. Smallies have been very hard to find at Bashan Lake and Gardner Lake.

WALLEYE fishing is improving, with fair to good reports from Squantz Pond (several 10 lb walleyes among the recent catches) and Saugatuck Reservoir. Anglers are however having a difficult time finding walleye in Beach Pond.
NORTHERN PIKE –With the cooler temperatures pike fishing should be good. Areas to try include Winchester Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Bantam Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Pachaug Pond and Hopeville Pond.

BLACK CRAPPIE – Good reports for crappie from Lake Lillinonah and Highland Lake.

CONNECTICUT RIVER – NORTHERN PIKE fishing has been good, with the best reports from the coves below Hartford (Wethersfield Cove, White Oaks Cove), and in the Middletown area. STRIPED BASS action is good in the lower river. Some nice CHANNEL CATFISH are being caught in both the Hartford and Haddam areas on large pond shiners (originally intended as pike bait). BLACK CRAPPIE action is getting better in the coves, try small shiners. LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is fair in most areas (try backwater areas and up slower tributaries), with some good action reported from the coves below Hartford (Keney Cove, Crow Point Cove, Wethersfield Cove).

Trolling for Salmon – Trolling is one of the most effective ways to fish for salmon and remains one of the top techniques because of water coverage. Try using your favorite trout lures in a larger size and increase your trolling speed. You will see fish in the air if you hook up.
Drift fishing has been one of the most successful techniques for salmon fishing. Drifting a water craft while fishing for salmon can be a very relaxing method of getting out on a cool fall day.
Jigging For Salmon – Jigging for salmon in freshwater systems is becoming very popular among anglers seeking the ever illusive salmon in freshwater rivers. Remember to use a free-swinging setup such as a swivel with a micro-jig on it. Pink is your go-to color. Cast upstream with a noodle rod or other light rod held high and follow the current with your rod. Maribou jigs work great.
Flyfishing – Catching a trout on a fly rod is one thing, but when you multiply what’s on the other end by 10 or more it is easy to see the appeal of it. Try flashy flies, streamers or weighted nymphs.
Centerpin – Centerpin fishing involves a special reel which is designed to ‘free wheel’ easily. This will cause the least amount of drag on the water and lure when fishing for high strung salmon & helps reduce scaring the fish.
Bottom bouncing for salmon has really come a long way in the world of salmon anglers and is a very productive way to fish. Try casting a weighted nymph up and across stream. Let it bounce on the bottom and repeatedly raise and lower it as the current takes it downstream.

MOODUS RESERVOIR (Lower & Upper, down 20 inches, launching of trailer boats will be difficult) and TYLER LAKE (down 2.5 feet, launching of trailered boats may be difficult) are currently drawn down to facilitate dam repairs.
Scheduled drawdowns include:

In eastern CT, “Winter” drawdowns (2-3 feet) of BASHAN LAKE, BESECK LAKE, GARDNER LAKE, MASHAPAUG LAKE, LOWER BOLTON LAKE and MIDDLE BOLTON LAKE began October 15th. A drawdown of BEACH POND is scheduled to begin October 20th and GLASGO POND is scheduled to begin on October 25th.

A 5 foot drawdown of HIGHLAND LAKE begin on October 15th.

LAKE ZOAR is currently drawn down (3-5 feet) 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.


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:
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
Reminder to anglers:
The scup and black sea bass recreational fishing seasons are now closed. The black sea bass season will reopen on November 1 through December 31 inclusive.

BLUEFISH and STRIPED BASS fishing is “red hot”…when the wind cooperates! Trophy-sized bluefish and stripers are being caught throughout Long Island Sound. Bluefish over 36 inches long and weighing in the upper teens and stripers in excess of 45 lbs are being reported. The usual hot 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. Drift fishing with menhaden (bunker) or eels on three way rigs have been scoring well on very large trophy-sized fish. Use of circle hooks is recommended when using live bait.

TAUTOG fishing is excellent with “Reef Bullies” over 14 lbs being reported. Fishing gnarly bottom structure/wrecks is key along with using fresh bait such as hermit crabs, Asian crabs, clams and/or green crabs work well. Keep moving from spot to spot until you find them. Start in shallow water (less than 20 feet) and move out into deeper water if fishing is slow.

HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair at best. Best spots include the lower Connecticut River (Baldwin Bridge), Niantic River and Clinton.

For regulation updates and fishing/crabbing information, please check out our web site at: or pick up the 2010 Angler’s Guide.

The Department of Environmental Protection is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider. In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, DEP makes every effort to provide equally effective services for persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities who need this information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency’s programs and services, should call 860-424-3051 or 860-418-5937 or e-mail Marcia Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, at Marcia.Bonitto@CT.Gov.

Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711.

Comments (5)
  1. old timer says:

    The ospreys and eagles are having a blast.

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