DEP’s in-season trout stockings will be completed in two more weeks, with nearly 250,000 trout stocked throughout the state since Opening Day. For the entire spring season (early March through late May), a total of 638,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout will have been stocked.
Rivers & streams – Conditions should be good for fishing this weekend as flows in many rivers and streams throughout the state have moderated to typical spring levels. Good reports last week from the West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Moosup River, Pomperaug River, Salmon River TMA, Willimantic River, Natchaug River, Pequonnock River, Naugatuck River, Norwalk River, Wepawaug River, Blackberry River, East Aspetuck River, Pomperaug River, Hammonasset River, Pattaconk Brook and Eightmile River (East Haddam/Lyme).
Farmington River – Fishing and conditions should be good for the weekend, with West Branch flows now clear, moderate to low and quite fishable, currently 174 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 85 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the mid 40’s °F.
Current hatches include Hendrickson (a.k.a red quills; #12-14), Blue Winged Olive (#16-18), Blue Quill (a.k.a. paralep; #18), Early Stonefly (#6-16), Quill Gordon (#14), Green Caddis and Brown/Tan Caddis (#16-18). The Hendrickson hatch is still going strong. Patterns to try include Blue Winged Olives (#18-20), Winter/Summer Caddis (#18-22), Rusty Spinners (#16-20), Midges (#22-32), Blue Quill (#16-18), Pheasant Tails (#14-18) and Mahogany Duns (#16-18).
Housatonic River – Both fishing and conditions are good and getting better. Flows are clear and have moderated to more typical spring levels (high but fishable), currently 950 CFS at Falls Village and 1,630 cfs at Gaylordsville. With no heavy precipitation in the forecast, flows should continue to drop through the upcoming weekend. Morning water temperatures are in the low to mid 50’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Green Caddis (main hatch), March Brown/Gray Fox (starting to show up), Brown/Tan Caddis and Midges, Caddis (#14-18, green, olive & tan, just starting), Henryville Special, Hendrickson Spinner (Rusty, #12-14), Adams (#12-20), March Brown (#10-12). Streamers fished around 6:30 pm on sinking-tip line can be very effective on overcast days. Your go-to colors are white or yellow.
Rivers and streams stocking update. This week in eastern CT, Bigelow Brook, Blackledge River (lower), Branford River, Farm River (lower & upper), Fenton River (Mansfield), Five Mile River, French River, Hammonasset River (including the TMA), Jeremy River, Moosup River TMA, Mount Hope River, Natchaug River, Quinebaug River, Roaring Brook (Glastonbury), Salmon River (including the TMA), Scantic River (lower and upper) and Still River (Eastford) are all scheduled to be stocked.
In western CT, East Aspetuck River, Farmill River, Farmington River (from the Route 219 bridge in New Hartford to Route 4 in Farmington, including the lower TMA), Hall Meadow Brook, Leadmine Brook, Mill River (Hamden, including the Sleeping Giant TMA), East Branch Naugatuck River, West Branch Naugatuck River, Pequabuck River (Bristol), Pequonnock River (including in Trumbull Basin SP & Beardsley Park), Pond Brook, Pootatuck River (Lower), East Branch Salmon Brook and West Branch Salmon Brook are scheduled to be stocked this week. Note that stocking schedules are subject to change.
Lakes & Ponds – Trout action has been fair with some bright spots, with reports from Highland Lake (mixed reports here great for some, slow for others, try top 10 feet of water), Candlewood Lake (hard to find anything too exciting here), Beach Pond (mostly 11-13 inch fish, try trolling bait here), Mohawk Pond, Coventry Lake, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Long Pond, Black Pond (Woodstock), Rogers Lake (a bit tough here), Lake McDonough, Mount Tom Pond and Wononskopomuc Lake.
Lakes and ponds stocking update. In eastern CT, Amos Lake, Angus Park Pond, Beach Pond, Bigelow Pond, Billings Lake, Gay City Park Pond, Lake Saltonstall, Mashapaug Lake, Somersville Mill Pond and Wyassup Lake are scheduled for stocking this week (5/9 – 5/13). In western CT, Christensen’s Pond, Nells Rock Reservoir, Pickett’s Pond, Scoville Reservoir, Stillwater Pond, East Twin Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc and West Hill Pond are scheduled for this week.
Trout Parks – anglers have been finding good action at all the Trout Parks. This week, eight trout parks, Black Rock Pond, Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond), Southford Falls, Stratton Brook Park, Wharton Brook Pond, Day Pond, Natchaug River and Chatfield Hollow are scheduled to be stocked.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally fair with reports from West Hill Pond, Bashan Lake, Candlewood Lake (several more 6 lb bass among the bags), Mashapaug Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Hanover Pond, Powers Lake, Lake Zoar (catches include a 6.1 largemouth), Lake of Isles (a bit on the slow side), Black Pond (Meriden), Lake Lillinonah (a bit on the tough side) and Rainbow Reservoir. Slow fishing reported from Tyler Lake.
IMPORTANT REMINDER TO ANGLERS AND BOATERS-
Zebra mussels were recently (October, 2010) 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 water intakes, and fouling boat hulls and engine cooling water systems.
For more information on zebra mussels and other invasive species, visit http://www.ct.gov/dep/invasivespecies.
SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is variable, best reports are from Candlewood Lake (not quite as good as last week, but still plenty of catches in the 3-5 lb range). Good reports also from Squantz Pond, Lake Lillinonah and Mashapaug Lake, and some action reported from Rainbow Reservoir, Highland Lake and Gardner Lake (anglers targeting smallmouth are having some luck, lots of 1-lb fish, nothing bigger). Not much action reported from Bashan Lake and Lake Zoar.
WALLEYE action reported from Lake Saltonstall, Coventry Lake and Squantz Pond (including some good shore fishing from the park).
CONNECTICUT RIVER BONUS STRIPED BASS PROGRAM
DEP is issuing free vouchers to anglers fishing the Connecticut River to take 4,025 striped bass in a size range (at least 22 inches in length but shorter than 28 inches) below the current recreational minimum length for stripers in CT.
Each voucher allows the angler to keep one “bonus” striper and can be used only on the Connecticut River from just above the I-95 bridge to the Massachusetts border. The vouchers are valid through June 30.
Vouchers can be obtained at the same DEP Offices where licenses are sold and while fishing along the Connecticut River, from DEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Officers and Riverfront Recapture Rangers.
Anglers can obtain two vouchers per day and use a maximum of two vouchers per day to keep “bonus” fish.
Use of these vouchers does not affect an angler’s ability to keep their regular daily limit of striped bass. Each angler participating in the program can also keep up to two striped bass a day, 28 inches or larger in total length.
For more information, visit:
www.ct.gov/dep/fishingor call 860-424-3474.3474.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – The river has warmed some and flows have dropped to more comfortable (typical spring) levels. STRIPED BASS are throughout the river with good numbers of keepers up to Middletown (and some up to Massachusetts). Try tube & worm, bait and soft plastics. See box to the right for information on a new program that lets anglers keep fish less than the legal length. Some CATFISH are being caught (dead bait, chunking & sandworms). SHAD fishing is fair to good in the mainstem with a number of catches reported at the confluence with the Farmington River. CARP catches have increased; give these bulldogs a try. Some NORTHERN PIKE are being caught in the coves.
The highly invasive freshwater alga, Didymosphenia geminata, known as “didymo” or “rock snot”, was recently discovered in Connecticut in the West Branch Farmington River. This is the first report of didymo in Connecticut.
Didymo is typically found in cold, shallow streams with rocky substrate. The microscopic didymo cell produces a stalk to attach to the substrate. Under ideal conditions, blooms of didymo can form thick mats of stalk material that feel like wet wool and are typically gray, white and/or brown, but never green in color. These mats form on the bottoms of rivers and streams, and if dense may have negative impacts on the ecological, recreational and aesthetic values of rivers with suitable habitat (cold, rocky, well-lit areas).
Anglers, kayakers and canoeists, boaters and jet skiers can all unknowingly spread didymo. The microscopic cells can cling to fishing gear, waders (felt soles can be especially problematic), boots and boats, and remain viable for months under even slightly moist conditions.
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of didymo to additional waters, visit http://www.ct.gov/dep/invasivespecies.
NOTES & NOTICES:
The “seawall” area extending from the handicap-accessable fishing pier to the permitted swim area at SQUANTZ POND is open to fishing day and night until May 27th (the start of Memorial Day weekend). Anyone with a fishing pole can access the fence through the several gates (please reclose gate after you enter or exit). During the summer season (From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend inclusive), the area can accessed by anglers only at night.
BOAT LAUNCHES – Due to high flows, the docks at the Salmon River (CT River) boat launch have not yet been installed. There is currently no dock at the Coventry Lake state launch due to ice damaged pilings. Repairs are not expected to be completed until late-June. Moodus Reservoir (Lower & Upper) is currently drawn down 20 inches, making the launching of trailer boats difficult (especially for larger boats). It is anticipated that this drawdown will continue through the month of May. The boat launch at Colebrook River Lake is closed until further notice. Access by foot or vehicle remains open and shore fishing is allowed. Boaters should call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at 860-379-8234 for updated information.
The AQUARION WATER COMPANY PHONE NUMBER for information on public access (including fishing) has been updated to 203-452-3511. Their facilities include Saugatuck, Farmill and West Pequonnock Reservoirs.
LITTLE RIVER (Oxford/Seymour) – The temporary fish consumption advisory has been lifted. This special advisory was enacted in June, 2010 due to concerns about possible PCB contamination from a storm-damaged electrical transformer. Anglers are reminded that the general statewide fish consumption advisory due to mercury contamination remains in place (for more information visit the DPH website at http://www.ct.gov/dph and go to the Environmental Health pages).
INFORMATION FOR CT ANGLERS FISHING IN NEW YORK WATERS:
New York DEC now has their online marine angler registry up and running. While your Connecticut Marine Waters Fishing License is valid in the New York waters of Long Island Sound, to fish in other New York marine waters you must be registered in the New York Marine Fishing Registry. Please see link to register:
The registration is free.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are around 50° F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
STRIPED BASS fishing is steadily improving with the influx of bunker (western sound) and squid (eastern sound). Fishing is improving with coming full moon. In any case striper spots include the usual: Thames River from Norwich, Montville down to Groton, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Eastern Breakwater, Long Sand Shoal, Millstone Outflow, Ash Creek and the Housatonic River.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is a real slow pick. The usual flounder spots include Norwalk Harbor (Maritime Aquarium docks, and Calf Pasture Point pier) and around Sprite Island, Niantic River including the Bay, Pine Island area (lower Thames River), the Brothers and Poquonock River (Bluff Point State Park).
BLUEFISH are right around the corner….Peconic Bay and JFK.
SUMMER FLOUNDER (Fluke) opens May 15th.
SCUP (Porgy) season opens May 24th.
For regulation updates and fishing/crabbing information, please check out our web site at: http://www.ct.gov/dep/fishing or pick up the new 2011 Angler’s Guide. The guide contains all current marine fishing regulations and more.