FREE FISHING DAY – Next Saturday, May 11th

DEEP has designated 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.



Rivers & streams – Conditions should be generally good for fishing this weekend. Water temperatures are seasonable and warming some. Flows in most areas, however, continue to drop further below typical spring levels (see box on page 4). Fish will begin to get more concentrated and wary – try light lines and leaders when fishing clear, low flows.

Fishing has been highly variable depending on location with both fly and bait anglers finding good fishing in some areas. Good reports last week from the Saugatuck River, East Aspetuck River, Fenton River, Farmington River (9.5 lb rainbow among the catches), Shetucket River, Natchaug River, Scantic River, Housatonic River, Hammonassett River, Hop Brook, Bantam River, Stony Brook, Hockanum River, Tankerhoosen River, Blackberry River, Crystal Lake Brook, Anguilla Brook, Beacon Hill Brook, Blackledge River, Coppermine Brook, Eightmile River, Latimer Brook, Marshepaug River, Morgan Brook, Norwalk River and Yantic River (catches include a 6.25 lb rainbow).

Housatonic River – Conditions for fishing should be good, and there’ll be plenty of recently stocked fish waiting for anglers. The two TMA’s were stocked this week with a total of over 8,500 adult trout (including 3,000 rainbow trout over 12 inches). Additionally, over 9,000 “yearling” brown trout (6-8 inch fish) were also released into the river. Morning water temperatures are in the upper 40’s/low 50’s°F.  Flows are clear, very fishable and well lower than typical spring levels, currently 733 cfs at Falls Village and 1,160 cfs at Gaylordsville.  Current Hatches include Green/Olive Caddis, Tan/Brown Caddis (starting) & Hendrickson spinners. Patterns to try include Green Caddis (#14-16), Tan Caddis (#14-16), Rusty spinners (#12-14), Blue Quills, early caddis (#10-16), golden stoneflies (#4-8) and Hendrickson (#12-14) spinners. Euro-nymphing is producing well. treamers (white/yellow) and nymphs are producing some large fish along the edges of the water.

Farmington River – Plenty of very good fishing reports from anglers during the past week and conditions should be good for the weekend. West Branch flows are clear and quite fishable, currently 166 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 73 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s/low 50’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Winter/Summer Caddis (#16-18, early morning, minor hatch), Blue Wing Olive (#16-18, late morning-early afternoon), Blue Quills (#16-18, early afternoon), Midges (#22-32), Grey Stonefly nymphs (#16-18), Quill Gordons (#16-18, early/mid afternoon) and Hendrickson Nymphs (#12-14, early afternoon).

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

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 If you would like to participate in a citizen monitoring program for didymo observations please see detail on hid/did at

Rivers and streams stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, the Green Falls River, Indiantown Brook, Hunts Brook, Shunock Brook, Jeremy River, Blackledge River (lower), Crystal Lake Brook, Tankerhoosen River, Hockanum River (above and below the TMA), Salmon River (including the TMA), Five Mile River (Thompson below Quaddick Lake, Putnam, Killingly), Quinebaug River (Putnam), Natchaug River. Willimantic River, Middle River, Yantic River (including the TMA), Roaring Brook (Glastonbury), Roaring Brook (Stafford), Bigelow Brook, Still River (Eastford) and Shetucket River are all scheduled for stocking.

In western CT, the Farmington River (Farmington-Tariffville), Kettletown Brook, Muddy River, Macedonia Brook (State Park), Pequonnock River (Bridgeport-Trumbull), Pootatuck River (Upper), Mill River (Hamden), Housatonic River (both the Upper TMA and Bulls Bridge TMA’s), Whiting River, Lower Saugatuck River, Weekeepeemee River, Nonewaug River, Hop Brook, Blackberry River and Little River (Oxford) are scheduled to be stocked this week.

Lakes & Ponds – Fair to good fishing was found in many lakes and ponds throughout Connecticut. In general, trolling at 3-4 colors of lead line (12-15 feet) has been effective for boat anglers. Places to try include Saugatuck Reservoir, Highland Lake, West Hill Pond, East Twin Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Beach Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Lake Wononskopomuc, Mount Tom Pond, Long Pond (6 lb brown trout among the catches), West Branch Reservoir, Colebrook Reservoir, Stillwater Pond (catches include a 6.25 lb brown), Black Pond (Meriden) and Lake McDonough.

Lakes and ponds stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, Green Falls Reservoir, Hewitt Fly Pond, Saw Mill Pond, Long Pond, Wyassup Lake, Rogers Lake, Norwich Pond, Higganum Reservoir, Walkers Reservoir, Bicentennial Pond, Gay City Park Pond, Angus Park Pond, Bigelow Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Paine Pond, Amos Lake and Beaver Brook Park Ponds are scheduled to be stocked.

In western CT, Highland Lake, Mohawk Pond, Tyler Pond, Mohegan Lake, West Hill Pond, Mt. Tom Pond, Black Rock Lake,West Side Pond and Lake Wintergreen are scheduled to be stocked.

Trout Parks – Fishing has been good to very good at most Trout Parks after a slow start for some. Anglers are starting to find the broodstock Seeforellen brown trout, with fish reported from, Wharton Brook Pond (6.9 lb brown) and Mohegan Park pond (9 lb brown). Additionally, catches at Black rock Pond included a 7.6 lb rainbow trout. The Black Rock Pond (including Branch Brook within the state park), Mohegan Park Pond, Natchaug River, Southford Falls, Stratton Brook, Wharton Brook, Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond) and Valley Falls Park Pond Trout Parks were all stocked this week.

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 has been variable. Try Lake Wononskopomuc Lake, Candlewood Lake, Basham Lake, Quinnebaug River, Lake Zoar, Winchester Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Silver Lake (Kensington), Bantam lake, Halls Pond, Eagleville Reservoir, Babcock Pond, Burr Pond, Stubb Pond, Middle Bolton Lake, Halls Pond, Lake McDonough, Gardner Lake, Lake Waramaug, Highland Lake, Wood Creek Pond and Ball Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Hopeville Pond (most had to work for their fish, 6.39 lb lunker), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (“poor”), Amos Lake (tough, 4.2 lb lunker), Lake Lillinonah (tough to fair, nothing over 3 lbs), Candlewood Lake (fair, a few in the 4-5 lb range) and Powers Lake (slow, mostly 1 lb fish).

SMALLMOUTH BASS action reported at West Hill Pond, Bantam Lake (21.75 inch smallmouth) and Candlewood Lake (very good). Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (very good, with a number of smallmouth in the 4-4.5 lb range) and Lake Lillinonah (fair, with a 3.7 lb lunker for one club).

ATLANTIC SALMON – Several catches reported from the Shetucket River this past week.

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is slow. Try Bantam Lake.

CONNECTICUT RIVER – Water temperatures have been slow to warm, even with flows continuing to be lower than is typical forlate April/ early May. Some STRIPED BASS are in the river up to Middletown. Legal size fish are now mixed in with the schoolies in the lower part of the river. Sand & blood worms are working off the dock at DEEP Old Lyme Headquarters. SHAD fishing has been slow as the river temperatures have yet to warm up sufficiently to bring in the crowd. So far this year 234 fish (as of 4/30) have been passed at Holyoke Fishway in MA. They can be found in the river up to the confluence of the Farmington River but few in numbers.


KENT FALLS STATE PARK is currently closed due to ongoing renovations. The Trout Park at Kent Falls has not yet been stocked this year due to this closure.
DEEP plans to stock once the state park reopens. Currently, the state park is expected to reopen on May 10th.

BANTAM LAKE – The state boat launch on Bantam Lake will be closed from Monday, 4/29, through at least Tuesday, 5/7, to allow safe deployment of the marina docks and facilitate demolition of the old “Beverly’s” building.

Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the mid 40’s to about the 50°F mark. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:   

STRIPED BASS fishing has improved over the past week with keeper size fish being reported. The major tidal rivers are boasting good action. 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), Housatonic River, and around the Norwalk Islands.

WINTER FLOUNDER fishing has improved at Bluff Pt. State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area, Niantic River, and Norwalk Harbor. Chumming heavily is key for a successful trip.

BLUEFISH should be just around the corner as water temperatures creep into the lower 50s°F. Early season spots include the Race, Millstone warm water discharge, Plum Gut including Gardiners Bay (NY), and New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point).

TAUTOG fishing season is closed from May 1st thru and including June 30th. The reason for the springtime closure is to protect those big spawning females!


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: 860-424-3474 or 860-434-6043..

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:


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