APRIL 19: Opening day of trout fishing is Saturday

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

Approximately 389,000 trout have already been released this spring into 100 lakes and ponds and 194 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 the end of May. When the spring stockings are completed, DEEP expects to have stocked more than 610,000 trout.

“Opening day is an exciting time for Connecticut’s many trout anglers, and they can look forward to exceptional fishing this season,” said Susan Whalen, deputy commissioner of DEEP. “The fish are in excellent condition, all of our trout waters are stocked and anglers can enjoy a wide range of fishing options. Additionally, opening day is a special time for many families, the traditional first time to get outdoors together after winter.”

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. “And as an added feature, families will be able to help stock trout at eight of the trout parks on opening day. We have found that these stockings are a real highlight for many families.”

All stocked

All 11 trout parks have already been stocked by the DEEP, including the areas that are scheduled to be stocked again on Opening Day: Black Rock Pond (Watertown), Chatfield Hollow State Park (Killingworth), Great Hollow Pond/Wolfe Park (Monroe), Mohegan Park Pond (Norwich), Southford Falls State Park (Oxford), Stratton Brook State Park (Simsbury), Valley Falls Park Pond (Vernon) and Wharton Brook State Park (Wallingford).

Each of the trout parks stocked on opening day will receive 400-450 trout (see table on last page for times). All the remaining trout parks will be re-stocked shortly after opening day and all trout parks will be stocked several times through May.

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.

Even more areas

This year the program has been expanded from five to 10 areas stocked with trout. The five original locations are Keney Park Pond (Hartford), Lake Wintergreen (Hamden), Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport), Mohegan Park Pond (also managed as a Trout Park, Norwich) and Upper Fulton Park Pond (Waterbury).

The five new locations are Birge Pond (Bristol), Beaver Park Pond (New Haven), Mirror Lake (Hubbard Park Pond, Meriden), Rowan’s Pond (Butternut Park Pond, Middletown) and Stanley Quarter Park Pond (New Britain).

DEEP reminds anglers that Enders Pond in Granby will not be stocked due to the lower water levels caused by deterioration of the dam structure. Additionally, as access is limited to walk-in only until mid-May, DEEP has stocked a smaller number of trout (200 in the stream and 300 in the impoundment) this spring at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hop Brook Lake facility (Middlebury).

Special regulations to note

Many trout fishing areas do have special regulations, including Trout Parks (which have a two trout per day creel limit), Trout Management Areas, Trophy Trout Streams, Sea-Run Trout Streams and Wild Trout Management Areas.

Anglers should consult the 2014 CT Angler’s Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. Electronic versions of the 2014 Guide can be found on the DEEP website at (www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide). Print versions of the 2014 Angler’s Guide are available at more than 350 locations statewide, including town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities and commercial marinas and campgrounds.

Fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing. Additionally, DEEP Fisheries and Wildlife information can be found directly on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife. This page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut.

Anglers can find updates on DEEP’s trout stockings on both the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page and on the DEEP website. Maps of all of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/troutstockingmaps.

Anglers can purchase their 2014 fishing licenses directly online, or at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. For a complete list of vendors, visit the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing) or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).