The New Haven Register reports that Connecticut, having lost its partners, is reducing its salmon stocking program after 40 years.
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The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) has begun its 2012 autumn stockings of broodstock Atlantic salmon.
DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division recently released 700 salmon into the Naugatuck River, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake (Ellington). Another 300 salmon were released into the Shetucket River.
The broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked in Connecticut were raised in state hatcheries to provide eggs for the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program and are the progeny of sea-run fish that returned to the Connecticut River. Beginning in 1992, surplus and spawned fish have been made available to provide a recreational fishery for Connecticut anglers.
Atlantic salmon are renowned for their size, beauty and fighting ability.
“The broodstock Atlantic salmon program has become quite popular, and catching one of these large leapers provides a thrilling experience for anglers” said Peter Aarrestad, Director of DEP’s Inland Fisheries Division.
Crystal Lake was stocked Thursday, Sept. 27, with 200 salmon.
On Friday, Sept. 28, Mount Tom Pond was stocked with 100 salmon and the upper Naugatuck River was stocked with 200 salmon.
DEEP planned to stock the Shetucket River with 300 salmon on Monday, Oct. 9, following completion of repairs to the Scotland Dam by FirstLight Power Resources.
This first group of broodstock Atlantic salmon being released range in weight from 2 to 6 pounds each. Later in October, several hundred additional fish may also be available for stocking. These fish will range from 2 to 15 pounds each. Following spawning later this fall, DEEP expects an additional 800 to 1,000 salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will be available for stocking in November. These fish will range in weight from 4 to 15 pounds each.
Atlantic salmon broodstock stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers are typically released into three designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas: 1) between Scotland Dam (Scotland) and Occum Dam (Norwich) on the Shetucket River; 2) the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-
Thomaston); and 3) the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).
Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam.
On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge
in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor). In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. From Dec. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one.
During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook. No additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure.
Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
In 2007 DEEP began stocking selected lakes with broodstock Atlantic salmon. This fall, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake are again being stocked. This past spring, 600 smaller (1- to 2-pound fish) were stocked into Long Pond (Ledyard/North Stonington) Crystal Lake, Mount Tom Pond and Nells Rock Reservoir (Shelton). Anglers may also occasionally catch salmon that have held over from
previous stockings of Beach Pond and Mashapaug Lake.
The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon are the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit is one salmon per day. The specific regulations for salmon fishing in lakes that have been stocked with Atlantic salmon can be found in the 2012 Connecticut Angler’s Guide and below.
The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked into lakes and ponds will also be posted at each body of water. Anglers can also contact DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH) for more information.
All other regulations, including those for broodstock salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket rivers, can also be found in the 2012 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide. Print versions of the guides are available from many Town Clerks and bait and tackle stores, or by contacting DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH).
Additional fishing and fisheries related information, including the Weekly Fishing Report, can be found on the DEEP web site at: ct.gov/deep/fishing.
Fisheries and Wildlife can now be found directly on Facebook at .facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife. The page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut.
This fall, anglers can find updates on DEEP’s broodstock Atlantic salmon stockings and news fall trout stockings in both the Weekly Fishing Reports and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page.
Regulations for Atlantic salmon fishing in Crystal Lake (stocked this fall), Mount Tom Pond (stocked this fall), Long Pond (last stocked-April, 2012) Nells Rock Reservoir (last stocked-April, 2012), Beach Pond (last stocked- 2009) and Mashapaug Lake (last stocked-2009) are as follows:
Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
Open Season: Third Saturday in April through last day in March.
Minimum Length: Salmon must be greater than or equal to 16 inches to keep.
Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon
Mount Tom Pond, Beach Pond*, Long Pond**, Mashapaug Lake*, Nells Rock Reservoir**
Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies
Open Season: Third Saturday in April through last day in February.
Minimum Length: None
Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon
*Beach Pond and Mashapaug Lake are not being stocked with broodstock salmon this fall. Both lakes have been stocked previously, most recently in April, 2009.
**Long Pond and Nells Rock Reservoir are not being stocked with broodstock salmon this fall. Both lakes were stocked in April, 2012 with small (1-2 pound) surplus Atlantic salmon.