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New regulations, stamp still pending

Fishing licenses expire on Dec. 31. New licenses are needed as of Jan. 1 each year.

With changes in regulations, including requiring the purchase of a trout stamp, still pending, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection posted this update.

2018 Inland Fishing Regulation Update: As we ring in 2018, just a simple update to let you know that the proposed changes for the Inland Fishing Regulations (including the Trout Stamp) do not take effect on January 1, 2018.

They do not take effect until formal approval by the Legislative Regulations Review Committee (possibly during their January meeting). We will keep you informed.

To take advantage of the Atlantic salmon stocking in the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers and for ice fishing your favorite lake or pond (which is quickly taking shape with this cold snap), buy your license now and add the trout stamp (if you desire) after it becomes available (late January or early February).

New regulations also include reclassification of portions of the Mill River in Fairfield and Easton.

Click the links to read the regulations before the Legislative Regulations Review Committee, and the DEEP’s response and alterations after public comment on the proposals.

$5 trout stamp takes next step

A proposal for a single trout and salmon stamp, costing $5, is part of a new fishing regulations package sent to the state’s attorney general for review.

Once the attorney general completes review of the proposal, it will be submitted to the Legislative Regulation Review Committee for review.

The new proposal would establish a single trout and salmon stamp, which each year would cost $5. The original proposal called for a $5 trout stamp, a $10 salmon stamp, and a $12 combination stamp. After receiving online comments objecting to the fee, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection opted to proceed with one $5 stamp.

All funds from the sale of the stamp, under state and federal law, will go toward hunting and fishing activities in Connecticut, including maintaining full production at three fish hatcheries in the state. DEEP officials held their earlier estimate of $300,000 in additional revenue, based on 60,000 trout and salmon anglers.

All anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas and Trout Parks established in Section 26-112-46 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies; all anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in affected portions (the designated “Broodstock Areas”) of the Shetucket River and Naugatuck River; and any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep trout, kokanee or broodstock Atlantic salmon (where fishing for Atlantic salmon is allowed) they’ve caught anywhere throughout the state would be required to purchase a trout stamp.

The new regulations would also extend the Mill River Wild Trout Management Area in Easton and Fairfield from upstream of the first bridge crossing below Easton Reservoir (South Park Avenue) to the Merritt Parkway, where it meets the existing Trout Management Area that continues to Lake Mohegan. Signs indicate which parts of the river are in the WTMA and which in TMA.

Click here to read the full list of amendments to the regulations.

Click here to read the DEEP’s explanatory statement.

Click here to read the notice of decision.

Opening day moved to April 11

The Legislative Regulations Review Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 24, approved the Inland Fisheries regulations proposal that includes moving Opening Day one week earlier to the second Saturday in April (instead of its current third Saturday). This means that Opening Day 2015 will be April 11.

A summary of the regulation changes can be found here.

The new regulations are not yet effective. It typically takes a week or so following approval to finish up the legal process and get them over to the office of Secretary of State for official posting. DEEP will post again as soon as they are effective.