DEP Fishing Report Number 30
Here is the fishing report from the Department of Environmental Protection for the period beginning November 10, 2010.
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 30
2010 fall broodstock Atlantic salmon update – DEP stocked another 400 broodstock Atlantic salmon this week (11/8-11/12). The Naugatuck River and the Shetucket River were each be stocked with 150 salmon and Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake (Ellington) will each be stocked with 50 salmon. These fish are from DEP’s Kensington Hatchery, and average 8 pounds apiece and range in size from 3 to 20 pounds each. These stockings bring the total number of salmon stocked so far this fall to nearly 700 fish. DEP also expects to have several hundred additional salmon available for stocking in early December. Anglers are reminded to consult the 2010 CT Anglers Guide for regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon prior to fishing.
Broodstock salmon anglers are reporting fair to good catch-and-release in the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers. Crystal Lake is showing a lot of jumping salmon and several have been caught (patience is needed here). Mt. Tom Pond has produced some nice fish this past week.
Fall trout stocking wrap-up- DEP completed its fall 2010 trout stockings last week Nearly 73,000 trout were stocked from early September through early November. These fish included 14,500 trophy size brown trout (all greater than 12 inches in length including 4,000 fish from the Kensington Fish Hatchery that averaged 3.5 pounds each), 15,000 standard size (9-10 inch) rainbow trout and 43,000 yearling (6-9 inch) brook, brown and rainbow trout.
Rivers & streams – Conditions for fishing should be good this weekend. Flows are moderate and mild, sunny weather is forecast. Fair reports last week from the West Branch Farmington River, Pequonnock River, Housatonic River (tougher here, try pool edges) and Salmon River.
Fall is streamer and nymph time. Streamers to use include white, yellow & brown colors, patterns include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Try using 2X tippet. Nymphs to bottom-bounce include Tan & Winter Caddis pupa (#16-18), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-18) and Hare’s ear (#8-20).
Farmington River – West Branch flows are clear and have dropped to more comfortable levels, currently 305 cfs at Riverton with an additional 170 cfs from the Still River (the Still should continue to drop some for the weekend). Morning water temperatures are in the mid to upper 40’s °F. Hatches include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, dominant hatch), with Midges (#18-32) and Caddis mixed in. For best action try Blue Wing Olives (late morning) and Caddis (winter & tan, early afternoon).
Housatonic River – Flows are clear and moderately high, but are returning to more fishable levels, currently about 1180 cfs at Falls Village and about 1,750 cfs at Gaylordsville. Morning water temperatures in the TMA are in the upper 40’s °F. Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning), Midges (#20-26) and Tan & Winter caddis (#14-18, early morning & late afternoon). In general afternoons/early evenings are prime time right now. On cooler mornings try egg patterns.
Lakes & Ponds– Mid-November trout action is generally slow to fair with reports from East Twin Lake (tough), Highland Lake (target the shallows), Quonnipaug Lake, Crystal Lake (slowing), Squantz Pond, West Hill Pond and Beach Pond. Some good fishing can be found at some of the Trout Parks, including Day Pond, Valley Falls Park Pond, and Black Rock Pond. These areas can provide some good late fall family fishing adventures (note that some of these areas are walk-in only during the “off-season”).
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is variable, some fair action reported from Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Lake Zoar, West Thompson Reservoir, Candlewood Lake and Bantam Lake. Try jigs and crawfish patterns dragged slowly on the bottom.
SMALLMOUTH BASS is variable, with fair to good reports from West Thompson Reservoir, Housatonic River (upper), Gardner Lake, Bantam Lake, Candlewood Lake and Colebrook Reservoir (some nice 2-4 lb smallies here).
NORTHERN PIKE action reported from Winchester Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir and Pachaug Pond.
Fall WALLEYE are being reported from Mashapaug Lake.
CARP – Several 20 lb plus fish have been reported from the Mansfield/Coventry area.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – There is some STRIPED BASS action (plenty of schoolies in the mix) in the lower river, try around dusk. BLACK CRAPPIE are putting on a good showing in the coves throughout the river (the usual suspects, small shiners, are working). LARGEMOUTH BASS are providing some fair to good early morning action along the Hartford to Rocky Hill stretch (both coves and slower main stem areas). NORTHERN PIKE fishing continues to be spotty, with some nice catches reported (try large shiners). Areas to try include Wethersfield Cove, Keeney Cove, Harbor Park (Middletown), Salmon River cove and Chapman Pond. CATFISH (including several in the 9-10 lb range) are responding to chunk bait.
NOTES & NOTICES:
Current drawdowns include:
MOODUS RESERVOIR (Lower & Upper, down 2.5 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.
“Winter” drawdowns of a number of Eastern CT lakes are in progress. Reported lake depth status for the following water bodies is current as of Tuesday, November 2nd: BASHAN LAKE (down 15 inches), BEACH POND (down 9 inches), BESECK LAKE (down 24 inches), GARDNER LAKE (down 21 inches), GLASGO POND (down 36 inches), LOWER BOLTON LAKE (down 18 inches) and MIDDLE BOLTON LAKE (down 38 inches).
A 5 foot drawdown of HIGHLAND LAKE began on October 15th.
The BAYBERRY LANE State Boat Launch (Groton) is closed for renovations until December 31st.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ANGLERS AND BOATERS-
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.
TIPS & TRICKS – FALL TROUT FISHING
Fall is the best time to catch large trout.
Worm fishing can be very effective.
Target the shallow edges of lakes near outlets.
Fly fisherman should match the hatch carefully.
On cooler mornings try nymphing with egg patterns.
Focus on moderate to slower water in major pools.
Wait until mid-morning to allow the water to warm up to get the fish biting.
Slow the presentation down.
Afternoons and early evenings are prime time.
Look for fish to start to pool up in moderate speed water.
The fish may move into the riffles at the pool heads to feed.
Cooler water makes the trout more active than they were in the heat of the summer.
With cooler temperatures trout will be moving closer to the water’s surface.
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: http://www.ct.gov/dep/sportsmensfeereduction
Hickory wood chips
3 (8-ounce) trout fillets, each halved lengthwise
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Soak wood chips in water at least 30 minutes.
Place fillets in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Stir together 1 1/4 cups water and next 3 ingredients; pour over fillets. Seal and chill 2 hours, turning plastic bag occasionally. Remove fish from bag, reserving marinade. Set aside.
Prepare charcoal fire in smoker; let burn 15 to 20 minutes. Drain chips, and place on hot coals. Place water pan in center of the smoker; arrange charcoal around pan; add reserved marinade. Add hot tap water to fill line.
Coat rack with cooking spray; place in smoker.
Arrange fish on rack over water pan, skin side down; cover with smoker lid. Cook 1 hour or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with salt.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low to mid 50’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
TAUTOG fishing remains good but again the windy conditions and strong astronomical tides are making it very difficult to fish if you can get out! Tog places include any of the reefs and rock piles throughout LIS. When water temperatures drop into the 40’s °F, tog move to deeper water, often wedging themselves in rocks, wrecks, lobster pots, and other structure and slipping into a semi-hibernation for the winter.
BLUEFISH fishing is about over but STRIPER fishing is still hanging in there. Striper 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 eels on three way or fish finder rigs and spin casting live/dead eels into the rocks and drop offs from shore has been effective. Also, don’t overlook the tidal rivers such as the upper Thames and Housatonic rivers especially around dusk.
TIP Hotline – Please call 1.800.842.4357 to report fishing violations.