Fishing season opens in two weeks, and some Connecticut students recently got a lesson on the fishing environment.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee, and Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson joined first and fifth graders from Hamden’s Helen Street and Ridge Hill schools for a trout-stocking event at Lake Wintergreen in preparation for the opening day of trout fishing season on Saturday, April 19.
The annual trout stocking of Connecticut’s lakes and streams is used as an opportunity to teach students about the importance of the state’s natural resources.
“Joining young students today provides an opportunity to highlight for them the importance of protecting our natural resources, the value of environmental stewardship, and the simple fun of enjoying the outdoors,” Malloy said.
Since 1986, instructors from the DEEP’s Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program have taught 165,000 students about water, fish, and fishing.
This week, CARE instructors visited the Helen Street and Ridge Hill School, combining classroom science with information about fisheries science. Through the CARE curriculum, these first and fifth graders were taught the basic principles of becoming stewards of our state’s waters and fish for years to come.
“DEEP is hard at work stocking our waterways with trout so anglers across our state can enjoy a great opening day and fishing season,” Klee said. “By the time the season ends, we will put about 700,000 trout from our hatcheries into state waters.”
Stocking the waters
In preparation for opening day, DEEP plans to have more than 350,000 adult brook, brown, and rainbow trout in over 100 lakes and ponds and 200 rivers and streams around the state.
Lake Wintergreen is one of 11 metropolitan water bodies stocked as part of the state’s Community Fishing Waters program. This initiative provides a unique fishing experience for many urban residents by stocking fish in convenient and easily accessible locations right in their neighborhoods.
DEEP’s No Child Left Inside initiative continues to be one of the highlights for DEEP, and fishing has become an integral part of this program.
On May 10, DEEP will hold Family Fishing Day at Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. That day is also a “free fishing day,” where anyone can fish in fresh or marine waters for free the entire day — with no license required. All other fishing rules and regulations, including length and harvest limits still apply.
Anglers under 16 years old are invited to participate in the Youth Fishing Passport Program. Free to all, the program enables a young angler and their family to participate in fun fishing activities and receive benefits from participating fishing businesses.
The 2014 Connecticut Angler’s Guide is a source for fishing-related information, including the current regulations that apply to Connecticut waters.
Excellent trout fishing can be found across the state, including in one of many Trout Management Areas, Trout Parks, Trophy Trout Streams, Sea-Run Trout Streams and Wild Trout Management Areas.
The Angler’s Guide is available at all town clerks offices, many DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. The guide can also be downloaded on DEEP’s website at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide.