Weekly Fishing Report Number 23
Hunting and Fishing Appreciation Day – Saturday September 28th
DEEP and Friends of Sessions Woods will be hosting Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. Fun activities for all ages are planned, along with educational programs and workshops about hunting and fishing. Best of all, the event is free to attend!
Please visit www.ct.gov/deep/huntfishday for more info.
ATLANTIC SALMON – Last week DEEP began the 2013 autumn stockings of Atlantic salmon by stocking 600 Atlantic salmon into the Shetucket River (200 fish), Crystal Lake (100 fish), upper Naugatuck river (100 fish), lower Naugatuck river (100 fish) and Mount Tom Pond (100 fish).
The group of Atlantic salmon being released this week for the fishery range in weight from 2-6 pounds each. In early October, approximately 400 additional fish in the same size range will be available for stocking. Following spawning later this fall, DEEP expects several hundred additional salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will be available for stocking in November. These fish will range in weight from 3 to 15 pounds each.
For a summary of Atlantic salmon fishing regulations see below
FALL TROUT STOCKING – DEEP’s fall trout stockings began last week. Through mid October, DEEP have released over 29,000 trophy and adult sized trout into selected waters throughout the state. Approximately 12,800 are trophy size brown trout (all greater than 12 inches in length) and the remaining 16,200 adults are standard size (9-10 inch) rainbow trout. This week DEEP stocked over 10,000 trout (7,250 brown trout and 3,200 rainbow trout).
Rivers and streams stocked this week: The Hammonasset River (in the TMA – 250 brown trout, outside the TMA – 250 brown trout) and the Shetucket River (550 brown trout) in eastern CT; and the Housatonic River TMA (1,150 brown trout, 5,000 rainbow trout, also 3,600 “yearling” brown trout. The “yearlings” are 5-7 inch fish intended to enhance the holdover population for next year) and the Bulls Bridge TMA (Housatonic River, 2,500 rainbow trout) in western CT.
Lakes and ponds stocked this week: Squantz Pond (500 brown trout), West Hill Pond (500 brown trout) and Highland Lake (500 brown trout), all in western CT.
RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions should be good for early autumn trout fishing, with comfortable temperatures in the forecast and flows at generally at typical late September levels due after being refreshed by last weekend’s rain (see state stream flow graphic on page 4). With generally dry weather in the forecast for the next week or more, anglers should expect flows in most areas to drop (especially in a number of eastern CT streams). Anglers will find that streamers will play an important part in fishing for fall trout. Try white, yellow and brown colors. Patterns to try include White, Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Nymphing has been productive lately. Good reports last week from the West Branch Farmington River, Housatonic River, Salmon Brook (Granby) and the Salmon River TMA.
Farmington River – Trout fishing has been good, and conditions should again be good for the weekend. Flows are currently clear, moderate and very fishable (currently 204 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 54 cfs from the Still River) and West Branch water temperatures are in the mid 60’s °F.
Successful patterns include Isonychia bicolor (major hatch, #12-14, fast water, afternoon/evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella & Baetis sps., #18, 22-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-32, morning), Black Ants (#16-30, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#16-18, mid day), Flying Ants (#18-26, mid day, when windy/humid) and Stone Hopper (#10-12, mid day).
Housatonic River – The fishing continues to be very good, and conditions should remain great for this weekend. Flows are clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 521 cfs at Falls Village and 781 cfs at Gaylordsville, water temperatures continue to be moderate, ranging in the mid to upper 50’s mornings (and rising some through the day), and there will be plenty of recently stocked trout (12,000 trout stocked by DEEP this week) waiting for anglers this weekend.
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26 on cloudy days, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-12 evening) and Black caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening), Light Cahills (#12-14, evening). Sulfurs (#16-18, evenings), Trout will ignore everything else when ants are on the water. Try Black/Cinnamon Ants (#14-20, mid day in fast water), Sulfurs (#16-18), Black Beetles (#14-20, mid day), Stone Hopper (#8-10, mid day) and Flying Ants (#16-18, mid day, when windy/humid) and nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads.
LAKES & PONDS – Lakes reporting good trout fishing include East Twin Lake, West Hill Pond, Mashapaug Lake (catches include a 4.6 lb brown trout,) Crystal Lake (Ellington) and Beach Pond.
TROUT PARKS – Excellent fishing reported from the recently stocked Wharton Brook Trout Park. The Valley Falls, Natchaug River, Mohegan Park Pond, Chatfield Hollow, Day Pond , Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond and Black Rock Pond Trout Parks were also stocked last week and should provide good fishing.
FIND TROUT STOCKING MAPS ON OUR WEBSITE
Maps of all of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points are available online at
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported mostly as slow to fair (with some brighter spots). Waters to try include Rogers Lake, West Hill Pond, Winchester Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Mudge Pond, Black Pond (Meriden), Silver Lake (Meriden), Congamond Lakes, Lake Saltonstall, East Twin Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Gardner Lake, Mattabassett River, Bantam Lake, Halls Pond, Stillwater Pond, Roseland Lake, Griggs Pond, Hamilton Reservoir, Lake Wononskopomuc, Burr Pond, Cedar Lake, Morey Pond, Glasgo Pond, Bishop Swamp, Mono Pond & Hatch Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (getting tougher to come back with a full bag, mostly smaller fish and not many found over 4 lbs), Lake Housatonic (fair to good, with a 5.13 lb lunker), Quaddick Lake (fair fishing, with a 3.55 lb lunker), Highland Lake (mostly a slow bite…”took all day to get a limit”, with a 3.95 lb lunker, but only two other fish over 2 lbs), Gardner Lake (good, but finding bigger fish was tough, with a 3 lb lunker) and Mashapaug Lake (fair to good action, but not much of any size, with a 3.2 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS are reported at, Colebrook Reservoir, Candlewood Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Coventry Lake, Squantz Pond and West Hill Pond. River smallmouth continue to provide some nice action, with reports from with reports from the Naugatuck River, upper Housatonic River (good), Quinebaug River and Mattabassett River. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (fair to good at times, but appears to be in the September doldrums, anglers are having to work harder), Lake Housatonic (a few smallmouth in the bags), Gardner Lake (slow to fair), Mashapaug Lake (tough to find many smallies).
NORTHERN PIKE catches have been reported in Bantam Lake (very good), Mattabassett River, Quaddick Reservoir, Winchester Lake and Pachaug Pond.
WALLEYE catches have been reported from Lake Saltonstall.
KOKANEE SALMON fishing has been good at West Hill Pond. Fish up to 14-16 inches were caught trolling slow over 30-35 feet of water. The males are just starting to crimson up for the spawn. Silvers females are still coming to net.
Flows are currently at moderate levels and comfortable for boating and fishing. BLACK CRAPPIE action is improving in the Coves up and down the river. NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported as excellent with fish up to 40 inches being reported. Areas to try include the upper river and the coves in the Hartford to Middletown sections of the river. Chapmans Pond is also producing. SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught in the upper river from the confluence of the Farmington River down to the Hartford. LARGEMOUTH BASS are being caught below Haddam Meadows and in Salmon River Cover. CHANNEL CATFISH fishing is reported as good with many big fish being caught (fish up to just under 10 lbs). Anglers should try cut bait or chunks near brush piles next to deeper holes on the outside edges of the river. Look for slower moving waters.
NOTES & NOTICES:
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Haddam. The Connecticut Yankee-Haddam Neck Power Plant discharge canal has been closed to public access due to security concerns.
LAKE LILLINONAH (boat launch). The Lake Lillinonah state boat launch (Route 133, also referred to as the “Steel Bridge” launch) will be closed for renovations beginning Tuesday, September 3. This closure is currently expected to last through December 31, 2013. Anglers/boaters can continue to access the lake using the Pond Brook state boat launch.
ROGERS LAKE. The lake remains drawn down approximately 12 inches to facilitate dam repairs. The launching of trailered boats may be difficult at this level of drawdown and the launch may be unusable by larger boats or those with deeper draft.
WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR (Hogback Reservoir). The West Branch Reservoir is currently being drawn down 70 feet to facilitate an inspection of Colebrook River Lake outflow structures.
Atlantic salmon fishing regulations and areas summary
* Regulations for Atlantic salmon on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers.
In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon is one fish per day through September 30, 2013. From October 1 through November 30, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only. From December 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock” Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
* On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Area”, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
Stream flow conditions as of 9/26/2013 2013 CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report No. 23, 9/26/2013
* Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. The salmon are typically stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls). From October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
*The regulations for Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2013 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the mid to high 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
BLUEFISH fishing remains good to excellent as the fall migration kicks in! Some big “alligators” weighing more than 16 lbs were taken over this past week! Bluefish spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Pigeon Rip, Plum Gut, Thames River, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Southwest Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Madison to Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Housatonic River, Bridgeport Harbor, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef. Also, snappers are still around in the tidal rivers and creeks.
STRIPED BASS fishing remains good. The only problem is getting by those big alligator bluefish! The usual striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Sixmile Reef, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison to Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing has slowed down. Fluke spots worth trying include the south side of Fishers Island, Bloody Grounds off Black Point and the Falkner Island area.
SCUP (porgy) fishing is good to excellent at any of the major rocky reefs.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is also good to excellent on the rocky reefs, wrecks and areas with gnarly hard bottom.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is good to excellent and snapper blues are mixed in with them in the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier).
ATLANTIC BONITO and LITTLE TUNNY (false albacore) are hit or miss off the Watch Hill area, Pine Island area to the Race including Little Gull Island, Bartlett Reef, Hatchett Reef, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
BLUE CRABBING is slowing down as water temperatures drop.
SPECIAL NOTE: This is a good time of year to check out our coastal state parks for some fine surfcasting. Bluefish and striped bass are within easy cast as they put on the feed bag before heading south!
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.