DEEP: Fisheries Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Fisheries Questions

{FAQ image}
of the DEEP Inland & Marine Fisheries Divisions

  {Fish icon} General Fishing Topics

  {Fish icon} Freshwater Fishing

  {Fish icon} Saltwater Fishing

  {Fish icon} Fishing Licenses and Permits

  {Fish icon} Job Opportunities

Many of the answers can be found in the Angler's Guide.

General Fishing Topics

Is it safe to eat fish caught in Connecticut?
Visit the Fish Consumption Advisory page on the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) website or call the DPH at 860-509-7750.

Where are boat launches located?
Information about boat launches can be found in the Connecticut Boater’s Guide.

What time of day do seasons close?
Unless specifically mentioned in the Inland or Marine Regulations, all seasons close at midnight of the last day of the season.

Where is the line between the Inland and Marine district?
The demarcation line between the inland and marine districts is usually the first bridge upstream from the mouth of the river unless indicated otherwise.  Please see Demarcation Lines between Inland and Marine Districts for specific information.

What are barbless hooks?
A barbless hook is a curved, pointed device, without a barb used to catch fish. Hooks manufactured with a barb are considered barbless if the barb has been bent down to the hook, broken off or otherwise made ineffective.

What are slot limits (lengths)?
Slot length limits are designed to reduce or increase the taking of fish by anglers.
Protected slot lengths are the lengths between which fish may not be kept by anglers.
Open slot lengths are the lengths between which fish may be kept by anglers.

What is the Trophy Fish Award Program and how can I participate?
The Trophy Fish Award Program recognizes and rewards angling skill.  Successful anglers receive a Certificate of Merit and a:

  • bronze Trophy Fish Award pin for a fish of merit;
  • silver pin for the fifth fish of merit;
  • gold pin for the tenth fish of merit.

For more information regarding the rules for entering, minimum weights and categories, please see the Trophy Fish Award Program.

Where can I find a tackle shop?
Please see the list of tackle shops in Connecticut. (PDF)

How do I report a fish kill?
Fish kills should be reported as soon as possible. During normal business hours (8 a.m.- 4 p.m.) you may report a fish kill by calling any of the following DEEP offices:
Hartford  (860) 424-3474   Marlborough   (860) 295-9523
Harwinton (860) 485-0226    Old Lyme  (860) 434-6043
Litchfield  (860) 567-8998  

During other than normal business hours you may call DEEP Emergency Dispatch at (860) 424-3333.
Be prepared to provide your name and phone number and to describe the location of the kill, the number of fish observed, the type of fish observed (if possible), and anything else that seems out of the ordinary. 

For more information on fish kills, please read the Spawning Related Fish Kill Fact Sheet and Winter Fish Kill Fact Sheet

Freshwater Fishing

When is Opening Day in Connecticut?
The traditional Opening Day of the trout season is always the third Saturday in April beginning at 6 a.m.. 

What are the regulations on freshwater fishing?
See Freshwater Fishing Regulations

What rivers and streams get stocked with trout?
Please see the rivers and streams sections in the Angler's Guide or the Annual Fish Distribution Report (PDF, 84K) available for the past year.  Trout stocking maps are also available. For more information, call the Eastern District Fisheries office, 209 Hebron Road, Marlborough (860) 295-9523 or the Western District Fisheries office, Plymouth Road, Harwinton at (860) 485-0226. 

What lakes and ponds are available for public fishing?
See the Lakes and Ponds section in the Angler's GuideLake Contour Maps with detailed bathymetry of over 150 lakes in pdf format are also available.  This mapping project is the collaborative work of CT DEEP and UCONN.

Are there places to fish near where I live?
Check the Where to Fish page which lists the lakes, ponds and major rivers near Connecticut cities.

What's a Trout Park?
Trout Parks are areas that are frequently stocked and located in easily accessible areas to enhance trout fishing opportunities for young anglers and novice anglers as well as for those with mobility challenges.

Are there any "fly fishing only" areas in the State?
Fly fishing only areas can be found in the Rivers and Streams pages in the Angler's Guide or the Trout Management Area brochure (PDF)

Are State hatcheries open to the public?
Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery  in Plainfield is open seven days a week (including holidays) from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Burlington Trout Hatchery in Burlington is open seven days a week (including holidays) from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Directions to Hatcheries
 For more information, please call Quinebaug Valley at (860) 564-7542 or Burlington Hatchery at (860) 673-2340.

Does the state sell fish? Where can I buy fish to stock my pond?
Only private hatcheries sell fish. To find out where to buy fish, view the hatchery list (PDF, 7K).

When and where do you stock Atlantic salmon?
Surplus Atlantic salmon broodstock are stocked in the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers between mid October and mid December each year. The number of stockings and fish are variable depending on fish availability.

Where can I fish for walleye?
Legal size walleye can be found in Gardner Lake (Salem), Lake Saltonstall (East Haven, Branford), Saugatuck Reservoir (Easton) and Squantz Pond (New Fairfield).  Additional areas stocked in the fall of 2001 began to have fish of legal size (18") in 2005.  The new walleye lakes are: Coventry Lake, Coventry; Beach Pond, Voluntown; Mashapaug Lake, Union; Batterson Park Pond, Farmington; Lake Housatonic, Derby-Monroe-Seymour-Oxford-Shelton.
 
Is the "Alabama Rig" legal in CT?
Yes.  For more information on this lure, please read our informational flyer.

How can I control vegetation and algae in my pond?
For specific information in:

  • Litchfield County and Hartford County west of the Connecticut River, email Don Mysling or call (860) 567-8998;

  • Tolland, Windham, and Hartford County east of the Connecticut River, email Brian Murphy or call (860) 295-9523;

  • Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties, email Mindy Barnett or call (860) 295-9523

Saltwater Fishing

Do I need a license to fish in saltwater?
Yes.  As of July 1, 2009, a Marine Waters Fishing (Saltwater) License is required for anyone 16 years of age or older fishing from shore or from a boat in the marine district or landing marine fish or bait species in Connecticut taken from offshore waters. Please see Marine Waters Fishing License FAQ page for more information.

How can I find out the current marine fisheries regulations?  
Because of the ever changing marine fisheries regulations along the entire Atlantic coast, some of the marine fisheries regulations in the printed version of the Angler's Guide may be out of date.  For the latest marine fisheries regulations, view Saltwater Fishing Regulations or call the Marine Fisheries office in Old Lyme at (860) 434-6043.

Where can I saltwater fish from shore?
View Shore Fishing in Coastal State Parks. Additional information can be found in the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide (also available by email request to coastal.access@ct.gov or by calling the Office of Long Island Sound Programs at 860-424-3034). 

What is the Volunteer Marine Angler Survey and how can I participate?
The Connecticut Volunteer Angler Survey (VAS) Program collects trip and catch information from avid marine recreational (hook and line) anglers who volunteer to record their angling activities via a logbook.  For more information, please see Volunteer Marine Angler Survey, send an email to Rod MacLeod or call the DEEP Marine Fisheries Office at (860) 434-6043.

Licenses and Permits

Who needs a license to fish and where can I get one?
Inland Fishing
licenses are required for anyone 16 years of age or older fishing in the inland waters of the state.
Marine Waters Fishing (Saltwater) licenses are required for anyone 16 years of age or older fishing from shore or from a boat in the marine district or landing marine fish or bait species in Connecticut taken from offshore waters. Please see Marine Waters Fishing License FAQ page for more information.

See Fisheries Licenses and Permits for more information on license fees, types of licenses available and how to get them.

How can I get the application forms for permits administered by the Fisheries Division?
See Fisheries Licenses and Permits for more information on permits that are administered by the Fisheries Division.

Job Opportunities

Are there any jobs with DEEP?
Please visit DEEP Job Opportunities or contact DEEP Human Resources by phone at (860) 424-3006.

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Content Last Updated September 2012