Weekly Fishing Report
ATLANTIC SALMON – Stocking Update – DEEP stocked another 600 Atlantic salmon this week. These fish were released into the Shetucket River (300 salmon) and the upper (150 salmon) and lower (150 salmon) sections of the Naugatuck River. These stockings bring the total number of salmon stocked so far this fall to approximately 1,200 fish with Crystal Lake (100 salmon) Mount Tom Pond (100 salmon), the upper Naugatuck River (250 salmon), lower Naugatuck River (250 salmon) and Shetucket River (500 salmon) all stocked at least once.
The group of Atlantic salmon being released this week for the fishery range in weight from 2-6 pounds each. 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.
DEEP’S FALL TROUT STOCKINGS ARE NEARING COMPLETION. This fall, DEEP is releasing a total of 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. In western CT, stockings of the trophy and adult sized trout were completed last week with over 8,100 brown trout (including the pre-Labor Day stockings of the West branch Farmington and Farmington rivers) and 8,700 rainbow stocked. In eastern CT, stockings will resume in mid-October. So far 4,800 brown trout and 2,000 rainbow trout have been stocked. DEEP expects to stock an additional 5,500 rainbow trout into a total of 15 lakes and ponds during mid-October.
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
RIVERS & STREAMS – Fall anglers have been enjoying some excellent early autumn weather and trout fishing is in full swing with many fish being caught from recently stocked areas. Conditions this weekend should be mostly good with some gray skies and flows that are generally quite fishable , but are dropping below early fall levels in a number of areas (see stream flow graphic on page 4). Trout anglers were reporting fishing success last week in the Housatonic River, Farmington River TMA, Shetucket River, Hammonasset River, Willimantic River, Natchaug River, Yantic River, Moosup River, Naugatuck River, Norwalk River, Pomperaug River and Salmon River.
Anglers will find that streamers will play an important part in fishing for Connecticut fall trout. For streamers try white, yellow & brown colors. Patterns to try include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Mickey Finn and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Also try bottom bouncing nymphs with Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-18) and Hare’s ear (#8-20).
Farmington River – Trout fishing remains good and conditions should be good for the weekend. West Branch flows are clear and very fishable (currently 143 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding another 35 cfs) and water temperatures are in the low 60s°F.
Hatches/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 (#20-24, morning), Black Ants (#14-20, 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). Rusty Spinners (#18-26) will produce in the evening.
Housatonic River – Fishing has been very good with a number of bigger fish being caught. Conditions should be good for the upcoming weekend. Flows are clear and fishable, but have drop below typical early fall levels (currently 287 cfs at Falls Village and 447 cfs at Gaylordsville) and morning water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50’s°F.
Hatches/patterns at this time of the year should include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-14 mid-afternoon to evening), Cahills/Summer (#12-14, evenings), Summer Sulfurs (evenings) and Black caddis (#16-18, early morning & evening). Try Sulfurs (#16-18), Black Beetles (#14-18, mid day), Stone Hopper (#8-10, mid day) and Flying Ants (#16-18, mid day, when windy/humid). Nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads should be productive.
LAKES & PONDS – Anglers are finding some fair to good early fall trout action at West Hill Pond, Beach Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington, try near the outlet), East Twin Lake, Highland Lake (near inlets), Mount Tom Pond, Stillwater Pond and Mohawk Pond.
TROUT PARKS – Good reports from the Wharton Brook Mohegan Park Pond, Chatfield Hollow, Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond) and Black Rock Pond Trout Parks.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally reported as fair to good. Areas to try include Lake Saltonstall, Bantam Lake, Highland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Ball Pond, Congamond Lakes, Wononskopomuc Lake, Mamanasco Lake, Tyler Lake, Woodcreek Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Hatch Pond, East Twin Lake, Gardner Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, West Hill Pond, Mudge Pond, Lower Bolton Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Squantz Pond, Lake of Isles, Stillwater Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Lake Waramaug, Lake Zoar, Bishop Swamp, Rogers Lake (access for bigger boats difficult due to drawdown), Cedar Lake, Morey Pond, Mono Pond, Moodus Reservoir, Red Cedar Lake and Billings Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (fair to good, with a 3.63 lb lunker), Lake Zoar (fair, with a 5.64 lb lunker), Candlewood Lake (fair, with 5.20, 5.06 and 4.58 lunkers), Gardner Lake (fair at best, nothing over 1.5 lbs), and Amos Lake (fair to good, with a 5.6 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS action reported at Candlewood Lake, Gardner Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Squantz Pond and Coventry Lake. Good reports for river smallies from the upper Housatonic River, Willimantic River and Naugatuck River. Tournament angler reports are from Lake Zoar (fair fishing), Candlewood Lake (fair- have to work for them), Gardner Lake (tough) and Bantam Lake (some, with several 2 lb plus smallmouth).
ATLANTIC SALMON are reported as being caught at Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake.
BLACK CRAPPIE catches are very good at Lake Zoar, Lake Saltonstall, Congamond Lakes, Park Pond and Woodcreek Pond.
Big CHAIN PICKEREL were reported from Wononskopomuc Lake and Ball Pond. Woodcreek Pond and the Pequonock River are producing smaller pickerel.
KOKANEE SALMON are still being caught at West Hill Pond.
NORTHERN PIKE catches have been reported in Winchester Lake, Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Lake Zoar (a 40 inch “monsta” among the catches) and Bantam Lake (including a 10 lb plus fish).
WHITE PERCH are producing good action in Lake Lillinonah.
PANFISH are providing good fall action throughout the state. Use worms, grubs, jigs or small poppers for them. Areas to try include Lake Saltonstall, Ball Pond, Congamond Lakes, Mamanasco Lake, Woodcreek Pond, Lake Zoar, Black Pond (Meriden), Griggs Pond, Roseland Lake, Winchester Lake, West Twin Lake, Silver Lake (Meriden), Billings Lake,
Pachaug Pond, Gardner Lake, Coventry Lake, Red Cedar Lake, Bishop Swamp and Batterson Park Pond.
Flows continue to be at typical early October levels, and very comfortable for fishing. NORTHERN PIKE fishing is good in the coves up and down the river. Fish have been found in Wethersfield Cove, the Middletown and Haddam Meadows areas. CHANNEL CATFISH continue to be caught in the river at night live lining sunfish. LARGEMOUTH BASS in the Haddam area are giving anglers some good action. SMALLMOUTH BASS continue to be active in the upper part of the river. The Enfield to Windsor/Hartford has been productive with fish in the mid-teens being caught. BLACK CRAPPIE are producing some good catches in the river coves. Wethersfield Cove continues to be a very good area to target. Use a small jig tipped with 2” shiners for some action. One angler reported good catches on 1/16 oz tube jigs.
NOTES & NOTICES:
BESECK LAKE…A 13 foot drawdown to facilitate dam repairs is scheduled to begin October 4.
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Haddam. The Connecticut Yankee-Haddam Neck Power Plant discharge canal has been closed to public access due to security concerns.
CONNECTICUT RIVER (Hartford). Riverfront Recapture will be holding the “Head of the Riverfront” rowing regatta on Sunday, October 6 (8 am – 4 pm) and Sunday, August 18 (8 am – 4 pm) on the CT River in Hartford from Riverside Park to just upstream of the entrance to Wethersfield Cove. Boat travel through the course area will be difficult during the
race events, use extra caution or avoid the area.
LAKE LILLINONAH (boat launch). The Lake Lillinonah state boat launch (Route 133, also referred to as the “Steel Bridge” launch) is closed for renovations. 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 is currently (as of 10/1) drawn down approximately 15 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. Note that refill has begun but may be slow, the rate of refill is dependent on rainfall amounts in the watershed.
WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR (Hogback Reservoir). The West Branch Reservoir is being drawn down 70 feet to facilitate an inspection of Colebrook River Lake outflow structures (as of 10/2, down approximately 25 feet).
Atlantic salmon fishing regulations and areas summary
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).
* 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.
* 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.
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.