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Fall trout stocking begins

In its most recent fishing report, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced that temperatures have cooled enough to allow fall trout stocking to being.

Click here to read the latest fishing report.

Stay up to date with daily stocking posts on Facebook, the DEEP’s interactive trout stocking map, and its stocking report.

High temperatures put stocking on hold

The state DEEP, in this week’s fishing report, says that fall stocking remains on hold due to the record warm temperatures  early this week.

The DEEP is monitoring the conditions and as soon as possible, trucks will be stocking.

Stay up to date with daily stocking posts on Facebook, the DEEP’s interactive trout stocking map, and its stocking report.

Fishing report: Anglers being iced

Ron Merly with a common sucker caught while salmon fishing on the Naugatuck River.

Not much to report this time around. Ice is the game as there is not a whole lot of open water in the state right now. Shelf ice is prevalent along the banks of many streams if they are not frozen over. The Housy is running around 700 but the water is very cold and the fish are in their dormant cycle. The Farmington is slushy unless you are up in Riverton. Much of the Naugatuck River is frozen over or slushy making Altlantic salmon fishing very difficult. If you are fishing along the ice shelves, be careful! It is difficult to land fish unless you are right near the edge and this is where the ice is thinnest.

Connecticut is blessed with many fishing opportunities as well as excellent fisheries management. Pending as of this writing are a new state record for walleye, which was hauled through the ice with the fish weighing more than 15 pounds, as well a pending world ice fishing record for carp, which was pulled through a hole on the lower Housatonic River.

The state record for brown trout may have been broken this year as well. If it was, it was broken by a hatchery raised breeder. The state released a lot of large breeder seeforellen brown trout up to 25 pounds into some of our lakes this past fall which has caused much controversy. The issue being that the current state record, although a seeforellen, was stocked into the Saugatuck Reservoir at 8-12 inches long and learned to survive and grew to the more than 18 pounds that it was when Tony Urbanawiecz pulled it out of the res. The current fish was a hatchery raised fish which was used to being fed in a tank; Big difference. Anyway, Tight light lines for those who get out there. Looking forward to some warmer days myself.

– Ron Merly

Merly: Now is the time to go fishing

Ron Merly with an 18 and one-half inch palomino trout recently caught and released in one of Connecticut's beautiful streams. Perfect Autumn colors!!

Now is the time to get out and fish for everything!!; Atlantic salmon have been stocked into the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. The Saugatuck Fly only TMA and Cascades TMA on the Mill have just been stocked with trout as well as the Housatonic TMA’s in Kent and in Cornwall. Water levels are down but the fishing is good despite the lower water. The Farmington continues to fish very well.

Blackfishing has been very good lately. There is a lot of bait out in the sound. I saw a pic of a 60+ lb. striper which was recently caught in the Connecticut River and the bonito and false albacore are giving anglers a thrill out east. So whatever your quarry, get out there before the weather turns too cold.

I spoke with state biologist Mike Humphreys recently and he has submitted a proposal for regulation change on the Mill River. The proposal will be to change the currently fragmented area of the stream which is a WTMA from the Easton Reservoir down to Rte. 59 where it becomes put and take fishing along Congress St. and then changes to a seasonal TMA from the Congress St. Bridge down to Lake Mohegan.

The changes will be to make the entire stream from the reservoir down to Lake Mohegan catch and release fishing only with possible supplemental stockings of rainbows throughout the Cascades area which they do not feel will compete with the wild trout. (???) Anyway, it will all be catch and release.

The electro-shocking survey conducted by the state on the Mill this year yielded some excellent results. The largest numbers of 6- 10″ brown trout that they have recorded to date were electro-shocked this year. There were browns over 20 inches, wild rainbows (which the state believes are the progeny of the spring spawn rainbows that were stocked by what was formerly the 25 Sportsmens Club which was a private club that ran from the bridge near Buck Hill Rd. up to the reservoir) and wild tigers. However, the best news is that the brook trout population is finally expanding all the way down to Congress St. This makes the Mill one of the most unique wild trout streams in the entire northeast. It is a tailwater release wild trout stream that runs down into a 60 ft. deep thermal refuge (Lake Mohegan) in less than 3 miles and Nutmeg should be proud to be the keeper of this excellent self-sustaining fishery. I pointed this out to the state in a letter that I wrote to them which was the final letter that I wrote as President of the chapter which is largely what led to these changes.

There is more promising news on the Mill. The Aspetuck Land Trust is trying to raise money to purchase the South Park Ave. property that runs along the Mill from the Town of Easton. The land trust was successful in obtaining Trout Brook Valley many years back with the help of Newman’s Own, The Nature Conservancy, the State of Connecticut and other private donors and conservation organizations. ALT needs that same support now as this would obviously be the best acquisition of that land and this is a great opportunity for Nutmeg as well as the community in general as it would make the Mill even that much more of an asset to the state.

Tight, light lines,

Ron Merly