FREE FISHING DAY – This Saturday, May 11th
DEEP has designated this Saturday, May 11th, as a “Free Fishing Day” where no license is required to fish recreationally in Connecticut waters (both inland & marine).
This is a great opportunity for experienced anglers to both share their passion for fishing and protect its future by introducing a family member, friend or acquaintance to the sport of fishing, and a great time for visitors to our state to try out the many fishing opportunities found in Connecticut. There are a number of fishing events scheduled to take place on “Free Fishing Day.” A “Family Fishing Day” is scheduled as part of DEEP’s “Great Park Pursuit Spring Sprint” at Osborndale State Park (Derby). This event will run from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and there will be plenty of activities including fishing on Pickett’s Pond, fish sampling, fish stocking, a fish fry, games and prizes. The Great Park Pursuit is a part of the agency’s No Child Left Inside® initiative. For more information on “Family Fishing Day” email Rachael.email@example.com or call DEEP at 860-418-5981. More information on the “The Great Park Pursuit Spring Sprint” can be found at www.NoChildLeftInside.org. Information on the other events can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
Rivers & streams – C Flows in most areas are currently below typical spring levels but with the rain this week and more forecast for the weekend, stream flows in many areas should improve. Trout fishing was generally good last week, with reports from the Farmington River (catches include a 6.5 rainbow trout), Housatonic River, Salmon River, Nonewaug River, Hammonasset River, Mill River, Shetucket River, Saugatuck River, Naugatuck River, Natchaug River, Quinnipiac River, Pequonnock River, Pootatuck River (2.8 lb tiger trout), Bantam River, Eightmile River, Willimantic River, Pomperaug River, Moosup River,Norwalk River, Blackberry River, Tankersoosen River, Eightmile River (Haddam), Fenton River and Hop River
Housatonic River – Fishing has been very good. Flows are clear and quite fishable, but well below typical early May levels, currently 546 cfs at Falls village and 841 cfs at Gaylordsville. Morning water temperatureare in the mid 50’s to low 60’s°F. Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (a.k.a. Baetis vagans; #16-18), Green/Olive Caddis and Tan/Brown Caddis. Green Caddis Pupa (#41-16) are on the water in the afternoon starting around 3 pm. Anglers using March Brown (#10-12), Pheasant Tail (#12-18) and& Copper John (#12-16) are finding nymphing to be very productive. Try streamers (Yellow/White Zuddlers or Gray Ghost) around 6:30 pm. Brown and green wooly buggers as well as white muddler minnows are working.
Farmington River – Fishing has been very good to excellent and should continue to be very good, with over 7,000 trout stocked this week (2,100 trout from the Goodwin Dam to the upper boundary of the year-round C & R area and 5,000 from the lower boundary of the year-round C & R to Route 4 in Farmington). Flows are clear and moderate, currently 150 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding another 87 cfs. Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s°F.
FARMINGTON RIVER DIDYMO REMINDER
The highly invasive freshwater alga, Didymosphenia geminata, known as “didymo” or “rock snot”, is currently “blooming” (undergoing rapid growth) in the West Branch Farmington River between Route 20 and the confluence with the Still River (Riverton area). Monthly surveys have been on-going since the first documentation of didymo in March of 2011. Since that time, many other algae been observed blooming at different times of the year throughout the river, but expansion of didymo has not been noted.
Anyone recreating in the river and who comes in contact with didymo can potentially transport didymo to other waters. The microscopic cells can easily 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 www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies.
We would like to hear from you if you suspect you have found didymo outside of the Riverton area. Please remember that 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. Please contact the Inland Fisheries Division at 860-424-Fish or email a photo and location of the observation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (a.k.a. Baetis vagans; #16-18) in a parachute or emerging dun (noon to 5pm), Hendrickson (a.k.a. red quill; #12-#14; try around 1:30 pm, with spinners mixed in during the evening), Winter/Summer Caddis (#18-22), Stonefly nymphs (#16-18), Midge (#20-32) and Blue Quill (a.k.a. paralep; #16-18) in a parachute or emerger (midday). Also try Rusty Spinners (#16-18), Mahogany Duns/Blue Quills (#18-20), Tan Caddis (#14-18) and Winter Caddis (#18-22). Nymphs (#18-22) are always a good go-to fly. Try Bead Head, Midge Pupa, Brassie, Zebra Midge or Copper John patterns. Streamers are also producing. Use White Zonkers & Buggers (#4-12) as well as Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghost.
Rivers and streams stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, the Pattaconk Brook, Moosup River, Kitt Brook, Broad Brook (Preston), Choate Brook, Quinebaug River (Plainfield, Griswold), Scantic River (lower & upper), Mount Misery Brook, Myron Kinnie Brook, Pachaug River, Blackledge River (lower), Dickenson Creek, Natchaug River, Salmon River (including the TMA), Coginchaug River, Whitfords Brook, Quinebaug River and the Moosup River TMA are all scheduled for stocking.
In western CT, the West Branch Farmington River (Goodwin Dam to the upper boundary of the year-round C & R area), Naugatuck River (Torrington/Litchfield/Harwinton, including the TMA), Farmington River (lower boundary of the year-round C & R area to RT 177), West Branch Salmon Brook, Farmington River (RT 177 to RT 4 Farmington), East Branch Salmon Brook, Sandy Brook, Still River (Colebrook), Nepaug River, Norwalk River (upper & lower portions), Quinnipiac River, Farmill River and Pomperaug River are scheduled to be stocked this week.
Lakes & Ponds – Trolling your favorite lures at 5-7 colors at 15-20 feet has produced some good fishing in a number of lakes and ponds throughout Connecticut. Some anglers are targeting big fish in deeper water with bait. Areas to try include Candlewood Lake, Squantz Pond, Lake McDonough, West Hill Pond, Highland Lake, Beach Pond, Long Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc (target 20-25 feet), East Twin Lake (13 trout for one boat), Crystal Lake (Ellington, 7 colors), Bigelow Pond, Mt. Tom Pond, Mohawk Pond, Mashapaug Lake and Quonnipaug Lake.
Lakes and ponds stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, Lake Quonnipaug, Black Pond (Middlefield), Cedar Lake, Pattaconk Lake, Somersville Mill Pond, Broad Brook Mill Pond, Coventry Lake, Shenipsit Lake, Hewitt Fly Pond, Long Pond, Lantern Hill Pond and Hyde Mill Pond are scheduled to be stocked.
In western CT, Wononskopomuc Lake, Squantz Pond, Prospect Town Park Pond, Upper Fulton Park Pond, Christensen’s Pond, Highland Lake and Nells Rock Reservoir are scheduled to be stocked.
Trout Parks – Fishing continues to be good at most Trout Parks. The Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond), Southford Falls Pond. Stratton Brook Park Pond, Black Rock Pond, Day Pond, Natchaug River, Wharton Brook, Mohegan Park Pond and Valley Falls Park Pond Trout Parks were all stocked this week.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing fishing is mostly fair to good. Areas to try include Black Pond (Meriden), Lake McDonough, Lake Wononskopomuc, Pickerel Lake, Stillwater Lake (6 lb plus bass among the catches), Hatch Pond, Babcock Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Twin Brooks Park Pond, Lake Lillinonah, Winchester Lake, Messerschmidt Pond, Lake Zoar, Ball Pond, Candlewood Lake, Tyler Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Quonnipaug Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Dog Pond, Highland Lake, Pachaug Pond, North Farms Reservoir, West Hill Pond, Halls Pond, Uncas Lake, Amos Lake, Bishop Pond, Anderson Pond, Bolton Lake and Pattagansett Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (good, with a 6.3 lb and several 5 lb plus largemouth among the bags), Winchester Lake (fair action on 1 lb fish), Gardner Lake (very good action, 5.5 and 3.5 lb lunkers), Beach Pond (tough fishing for most , with a 4.75 lb lunker), Quaddick Lake (fair, with a 5.4 lb lunker), Mashapaug Lake (very good fishing, although nothing really big – lunker was 2.7 lbs), Pachaug Pond (tough to good, with 4.9 lb and 4.1 lb lunkers), Lake Lillinonah (fair), Lake McDonough (good fishing, nothing over 2.6 lbs), Highland Lake (slow, with a 4.1 lb lunker) and Moodus Reservoir (fair to good, with three 6 lb plus largemouth caught).
SMALLMOUTH BASS action reported from Lake McDonough, Highland Lake, Coventry Lake, Candlewood Lake (good to very good) and Squantz Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (very good, with a number of 4 lb plus smallies anong the bags), Gardner Lake (not much action), Lake Lillinonah (fair to good), Lake McDonough (hard to find) and Highland Lake (slow).
NORTHERN PIKE are reported from Bantam Lake, Lower Housatonic River and Quaddick Reservoir.
WALLEYE catches reported from Batterson Park Pond, Lake Saltonstall and Squantz Pond (try just before dusk).
CARP were caught from the Lower Housatonic River this past week.
BLACK CRAPPIE is good at Candlewood Lake (“lots of big slabs”), Lake McDonough, Lake Saltonstall, the Bantam River and Park Pond.
ATLANTIC SALMON – A few holdover Atlantic salmon broodstock were reported from the lower Housatonic River (22 inch fish) and the Shetucket River.
CHAIN PICKEREL are being caught at Messerschmidt Pond, Pickerel Lake, Black Pond (Meriden) and Winchester Lake.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Flows continue to be much lower than typical for early May. STRIPED BASS are midway up the river. The mid-lower section of the river is very good for schoolie size (16-25”) fish. Adults are showing up in the Hartford to Middletown area. Sand & blood worms are working. Also try big plastic baits & swim baits. A few AMERICAN SHAD are reported, with some action coming from the confluence of the Farmington River area and the Bissell Bridge area. Anglers catching them for striper bait are reminded that the only legal method of harvesting shad is by angling. LARGEMOUTH BASS are being caught with some big pre-spawned fish in the mix. NORTHERN PIKE are reported in the Wethersfield -Rocky Hill- Middletown areas. CATFISH (5-10 lb plus fish) in the mid-river section are giving evening anglers a lot of action. Sandworms and cut bait are catching fish. CARP catches include a 38 inch, 29 lb beauty. Try chumming your fishing area for several days before actually fishing it.
ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER
Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011).
Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). 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. Information
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2013 CT angler’s Guide( www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).
NOTES & NOTICES:
KENT FALLS STATE PARK is expected to reopen on May 10th. DEEP plans to stock the Trout Park for Free Fishing Day.
BANTAM LAKE – The state boat launch on Bantam Lake has reopened.
HOP BROOK LAKE & HANCOCK BROOK LAKE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hop Brook Lake and Hancock Brook Lake recreation areas are currently open for walk-in access only. Both areas will open for full vehicular access on May 18, 2013, and close for the season after September 8, 2013.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range range from the high 40’s to the low 50’s°F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions: http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html
STRIPED BASS fishing is rated good to excellent in many of the tidal rivers and harbors. Early morning and late afternoon are good times to go. Striper spots include the Pawcatuck River, Thames River from Norwich down to Montville, Millstone warm water discharge, Niantic River, Connecticut River by Great Island (Wood Lot), New Haven Harbor by Sandy Point, Housatonic River, and around the Norwalk Islands.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing has been on the slow side. Flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area including Baker Cove, Niantic River including the bay, and Norwalk Harbor.
BLUEFISH should be showing up any day now so be on the look out!
REMEMBER-BLACKFISH fishing season is closed!
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2013 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Current regulations, electronic versions of the Angler’s Guide and additional information can all be accessed on the DEEP website at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
2013 BONUS STRIPED BASS PROGRAM
In 2013 DEEP is issuing free vouchers to anglers fishing Connecticut waters (both Inland and Marine) 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 anywhere on Connecticut waters.
The vouchers are valid through June 30, 2013.
Vouchers can be obtained in person at a number of DEEP Offices (all that sell licenses, plus several coastal state parks and Dinosaur SP – for a complete list, see link below), from DEEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Officers, and from Riverfront Recapture Rangers.
Anglers can obtain one voucher 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: Bonus Striper Vouchers or call: 860-242-3474 or 860-434-6043