DEEP: 1971 - New Fish Hatchery Constructed

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Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

New Fish Hatchery Constructed


Fish hatcheries operated by DEP produce approximately 1 million adult trout (15% brook trout, 30% brown trout and 45% rainbow trout) and 400,000 brown trout fry annually to support the largest recreational fishery in the state – trout fishing. Trout are the state’s most popular gamefish, attracting more fishing effort from Connecticut anglers than any other freshwater or saltwater species. There are over 200,000 freshwater anglers in Connecticut including 150,000 licensed anglers and more than 50,000 non-licensed (exempt) anglers who are under age 16 or over age 65. In total, these anglers make over 2.0 million trout fishing trips per year in Connecticut.

The DEP operates three hatcheries, two of which are dedicated to supporting recreational trout fishing. Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery, located near the Quinebaug River in Plainfield, Connecticut, was constructed in 1971 at a cost of $2.5 million. It is a state of the art facility and at the time of construction was the largest trout hatchery in the United States east of the Mississippi. Statewide trout production was doubled when the facility was constructed. Today, Quinebaug Hatchery accounts for 75 percent of the annual trout production and serves as the distribution point for approximately 2,500 stocking locations east of the Connecticut River. Burlington State Fish Hatchery, constructed in 1923-24, produces 25 percent of the annual adult production and serves as the distribution point for approximately 2,500 stocking locations west of the Connecticut River. In total, over 400 truckloads of fish are sent out each spring to stock 200 streams and 100 lakes and ponds.

In addition to supporting the recreational trout fishery, Connecticut hatcheries produce 830,000 juvenile salmon and 3.0 million live fish eggs as an integral part of the multi-state effort to restore Atlantic salmon to the entire Connecticut River basin. The State of Connecticut, through the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Compact (CGS 26-302), is one of four states and several federal agencies committed to restoring Atlantic salmon. Kensington Atlantic Salmon Hatchery is the sole source for Atlantic salmon production in the state. Juvenile salmon produced at the hatchery are stocked into over 45 rivers and streams.

More Information

Fishing in Connecticut

What You Can Do
  • Buy a fishing license and participate in one of the most therapeutic and family-friendly outdoor activities available in our state year round.
  • Visit the Quinebaug Trout Hatchery in Plainfield to learn more about the facility and trout production. Quinebaug Hatchery is open seven days a week (including holidays) from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
  • Visit the Burlington Trout Hatchery in Burlington, which is open seven days a week (including holidays) from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

"To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish."
Herbert Hoover