GET READY: Opening day for fishing in CT is Saturday

Opening day of the trout fishing season in Connecticut is Saturday, April 11, and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has rivers, streams, lakes and ponds stocked and ready.

About 341,000 trout have already been released this spring into 102 lakes and ponds and 178 rivers and streams throughout Connecticut — and are awaiting opening day anglers.

DEEP’s spring trout stocking effort began in early March and will continue through mid-May. When the spring stockings are completed, DEEP expects to have stocked over 610,000 trout.

‘A special time for many families’

Susan Whalen, DEEP deputy commissioner, said anglers can look forward to a good fishing year. “The fish are in excellent condition, our trout waters are stocked and anglers can enjoy a wide range of fishing options.

“Additionally,” Whalen continued, “opening day is a special time for many families — the traditional first time to get outdoors together after winter.”
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Among the best places for families to fish on opening day are the designated trout parks. Trout parks are easily accessible, have picnic areas and other amenities nearby, and are stocked frequently so that there are plenty of trout for children, families, and novice anglers to catch, said Bill Hyatt, chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources.

Each of the trout parks being stocked on opening day will receive 400 to 450 fish. Trout parks near Shelton to be stocked again on opening day, and stocking times, are:

— Great Hollow Pond/Wolfe Park in Monroe (8:15 a.m.)

— Southford Falls State Park in Oxford (10 a.m.)

Community fishing waters

DEEP has again stocked a number of community fishing waters in time for opening day. Begun in 2006, the community fishing waters program is intended to enhance fishing opportunities in Connecticut’s major population centers.

Lakes and ponds selected for this program are located in urban areas and are typically stocked with trout in early spring and channel catfish by early summer to provide a year-round opportunity for anglers of all ages.

In this area, community fishing waters are:

— Picketts Pond in Derby

— Colony Park Pond in Ansonia

Impact of extended winter

Due to the long winter and icy conditions, a few waterways in far northern Connecticut normally stocked with fish in the early spring have not been stocked.

In addition fishing opportunities at some locations may be limited due to the extended wintry conditions. Some of the impacted areas locations are:

— Colebrook River Lake

— Mad River Flood Control Impoundment

— Hall Meadow Brook

— Crystal Lake

— East Twin Lake

— Highland Lake

— Mount Tom Pond

— Lake McDonough

— Stillwater Pond

— Tyler Lake

— West Hill Pond

— Lake Wonoskopomuc

— Black Rock Pond Trout Park

Also, Bashan Lake will not be stocked this year due to a significant drawdown associated with dam improvements.

In addition, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) boat launches at Lake McDonough and West Branch Reservoir will be closed this weekend due to ice. Shoreline fishing will be allowed where found to be feasible by MDC.

Anglers wishing to camp at a state park or forest campground should be aware that two campgrounds along popular fishing streams, Macedonia Brook (along Macedonia Brook) and Austin Hawes (along the West Branch Farmington River in American Legion State Forest), that typically open for opening day weekend, will remain closed until next week.

Fishing licenses and more info

Fishing licenses for 2015 can be purchased directly online, or at one of the many participating town/city halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. Remember that 2015 fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 16- and 17-year-olds are half price.

For information, go to or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue Division at 860-424-3105.

Anglers should consult the 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. To look at an online version, go to: