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DEEP Weekly Fishing Report

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Photo Credit: Flicket care of Dan Noon

Photo Credit: Flicket care of Dan Noon

INLAND UPDATE

ATLANTIC SALMON

2011 fall broodstock Atlantic salmon update –DEEP plans to complete its 2011 fall broodstock Atlantic salmon stockings this week. A total of 75 broodstock salmon will be released into the Shetucket  River (35 fish) and Crystal Lake (40 fish) on Friday (12/2). These stockings will bring the total number of salmon stocked this fall to over 900 fish (Naugatuck River – 335, Shetucket River – 355, Mount Tom Pond – 116, Crystal Lake – 100). The fish stocked this year range in size from 3 to 18 pounds each.

NOTES & NOTICES:

MASHAPAUG LAKE- The main access road to Mashapaug Lake is currently closed for replacement of a major culvert with re-opening expected by December 31st. The park access road has remained open up to the Bigelow Pond Boat Launch, allowing continued access to Bigelow Pond.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed the THOMASTON DAM RECREATION AREA until further notice due to ongoing clean up operations resulting from storm Irene. This area is currently expected to be closed for the remainder of the 2011 season. This area includes most of the Naugatuck River TMA.

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 29th: Ashland Pond (down 18 inches), Bashan Lake (down 4.5 feet), Beseck Lake (down 5.3 feet), Billings Lake (down 2 feet), Gardner Lake (down 22 inches), Hopeville Pond (down 18 inches), Lower Bolton Lake (down 7 inches), Middle Bolton Lake (down 35 inches), Mashapaug Lake (down 19 inches) and Pickerel Lake (down 3 feet).

WESTERN CT WINTER DRAWDOWNS. A three foot drawdown of Highland Lake is ongoing. West Hill Pond has been drawn down three feet.

Anglers are reminded that the fishing season is now closed at a number of areas including BUNNELLS POND (Beardsley Park), GREAT HOLLOW POND (Wolfe Park), LAKE MCDONOUGH, the MALTBY LAKES, LAKE SALTONSTALL, MOHEGAN PARK POND (Spaulding Pond, Norwich), LAKE CHAMBERLAIN and at most designated “children’s areas”. (Please refer to the 2011 CT Angler’s Guide for complete regulations).

The fishing season at SAUGATUCK RESERVOIR will close after December 31st (reopens April 21, 2012)

SHETUCKET RIVER – FirstLight Power plans to draw down the Scotland Dam impoundment approximately 14 feet on Monday, December 12th to facilitate needed dam maintenance. Fluctuations in flow downstream of the dam may be expected during drawdown and refill (the drawdown is expected to last through December 14th).

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider. In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, DEEP 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 860-424-3035 or e-mail the ADA Coordinator at DEP.aaoffice@CT.Gov. Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711.

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 www.ct.gov/dep/invasivespecies.

RECENT REGULATION CHANGES OF INTEREST TO ANGLERS- A number of changes to Fisheries & Wildlife regulations were recently approved by the legislature. The new regulations that became effective on October 4th include: • The importation, possession and/or liberation of certain invasive aquatic invertebrates (Chinese mitten crab, New Zealand mud snail, quagga mussel, zebra mussel, Asian clam and rusty crayfish) is now prohibited. • Children under the age of 16 are now allowed to use up to 6 devices (the same as adults) when ice fishing. • The use of a gaff is now prohibited in Inland waters to assist in landing caught fish. • “Trophy Trout Lakes” are renamed as “Trout Management Lakes.” The creel limit during the March 1st through March 31st period at Crystal Lake and Highland Lake is reduced to 1 fish per day (from 5 fish). • Keney Park Pond (Hartford), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden) and Lower Storrs Pumping Station Pond (on Cedar Swamp brook in Mansfield) have been added to the list of lakes and ponds having a closed season from midnight on the last day of February to 6:00 a.m. on the third Saturday in April. • The closed season on Lake Winfield (Plymouth) has been removed. Also approved were new regulations on the West Branch Farmington & Farmington River that combine the Trophy Trout Stream sections and the two TMA’s into one TMA. These regulations will become effective on January 1, 2012. Up-to-date Inland Fisheries regulations can be found on the DEEP website at: www.ct.gov/deep/laws-regs

YEAR-END REMINDERS

DIDYMO REMINDER In March, 2011, the invasive freshwater alga, Didymosphenia geminata, known as “didymo” or “rock snot”, was found 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 on zebra mussels, didymo and other invasive species, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies.

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