DEEP: Opening Day of the Trout Fishing Season is Saturday, April 15

April 12, 2006

Connecticut Ready for Opening Of Fishing Season

Opening Day of the Trout Fishing Season is Saturday, April 15th and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has the stateís rivers, streams, lakes and ponds stocked and ready. Approximately 412,000 trout have already been released this spring and are awaiting Opening Day anglers. DEPís spring trout stocking effort began in late February and will continue through the end of May. When the spring stockings are completed, DEP expects to have stocked 97 lakes and ponds and 201 rivers and streams throughout Connecticut with over 700,000 trout.

"Opening Day is an exciting time for Connecticutís many trout anglers, and they can expect excellent fishing throughout the State this year," said Gina McCarthy, Commissioner of the DEP. "All our trout waters have been stocked, the trout released this year are in excellent condition, and anglers have a wide range of options for fishing. This is also an excellent time for families to get back outdoors after the winter."

Among the best places for families to fish on Opening Day are the designated Trout Parks. First created in 2002, these areas are managed to enhance fishing opportunities for families and novice anglers. "The Trout Parks have been a great success," said Edward C. Parker, Chief of the Bureau of Natural Resources. "These areas are stocked more frequently so that children, families, and novice anglers can be certain that there are trout to be caught." All eleven of the Trout Parks have been stocked by the DEP and six of them will be stocked again on Opening Day. The areas that are scheduled to be stocked on April 15 are Black Rock Pond (Watertown), Chatfield Hollow State Park (Killingworth), Southford Falls State Park (Oxford), Stratton Brook State Park (Simsbury), Wharton Brook State Park (Wallingford), and Wolfe Park (Monroe).

A number of anglers have expressed concern about low stream flows this spring. Last summerís extended period of low flows and summer heat followed by torrential rains in October impacted both stocked and wild trout populations in a number of rivers and streams. This year, warm January weather, early snowmelt and a very dry March have left flows in many streams well below typical April levels. "We were just getting to the point where low flows were beginning to affect some of our stocking," said Bill Hyatt, Director of DEPís Inland Fisheries Division. "Fortunately, recent precipitation provided a much-needed boost, and all the pre-season stockings will occur as scheduled."

The DEP is pleased to announce that Bunnells Pond in Bridgeport is a new addition to the spring stocking schedule. Baummers Pond (Naugatuck), Fountain Lake (Ansonia/Seymour) and Valley Falls Pond (Vernon), which were stocked for the first time last year, have again been stocked. The access road to Mashapaug Lake in Bigelow Hollow State Park, closed due to storm damage last October, has been repaired and is open to vehicular and pedestrian travel. Anglers should also be aware that the Natchaug State Forest entrance road bridge across the Natchaug River off of Route 198 in Eastford is closed indefinitely to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Anglers should consult their 2006 Anglerís Guide for fishing regulations that apply to the waters they plan to fish. In addition to Trout Parks, the many waters designated as Trout Management Areas, Trophy Trout Streams, Sea-Run Trout Streams and Wild Trout Management Areas each have special regulations. The 2006 Anglerís Guide is available at all Town Clerks Offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. The Anglerís Guide can also be accessed on the DEP web site at: http://www.dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/fishing/fishinfo/angler.htm

The following is a list of the designated Trout Parks in Connecticut.

Trout Parks

Black Rock State Park* (Watertown)

Chatfield Hollow State Park* (Killingworth)

Horse Pond (Salem)

Kent Falls State Park (Kent)

Natchaug River (Eastford)

Salmon River TMA (Colchester)

Sleeping Giant State Park Ė Mill River (Hamden)

Southford Falls State Park* (Oxford)

Stratton Brook State Park* (Simsbury)

Wharton Brook State Park* (Wallingford)

Wolfe Park Ė Great Hollow Lake* (Monroe)

*Stocked on Opening Day