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Where do your license fees go?

Those who plan to fish TMAs while special regulation areas are the only water open to fishing will need a 2017 license. Click here to purchase directly from the state.

Bill Hyatt, director of the Bureau of Natural Resources, and Peter Aarrestad, director of Fisheries after the Inland and Marine divisions were merged, recently visited the Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited with an update on the finances of fishing in Connecticut. Click here to watch an edited version as broadcast on Yankee Fisherman on the HAN Network. Click here to watch an unedited version of the hour-long presentation.

In addition to clearing up a common myth about license fees (they are not being “raided” by the state), topics include:

Budget cuts;

Steps taken to provide services with less;

Where does the money that supports DEEP programs comes from?

How many anglers are buying fishing licenses?

Will anglers soon need to buy trout and salmon stamps?

What is the status of regulation changes affecting the Mill River in Fairfield?

Mill and Saugatuck stocked

The DEEP is stocking local waters. (DEEP Photo)

New trout have been placed in local as the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has begun stockingTrout Management Areas.

The Mill and Mianus rivers were stocked March 7. On March 3the fly fishing only area on the Saugatuck River in Westport

“While this weekend is looking pretty cold, plan to have “trout fever” at least one day next week when temperatures rebound a bit,” the DEEP posted on the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife feed on Facebook, where stocking updates are posted daily.

Waters other than Trout Management Areas are closed to fishing until opening day on Saturday, April 8.

Anglers will require a 2017 fishing license. Click here for information.

Conservation, fly tying topics of next Nutmeg TU meeting Feb 21st

Anglers and conservationists will get an update on local conservation efforts and learn an early-season fly they can tie at the next regular meeting of the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at Port 5, 69 Brewster Street, Bridgeport.

Immediate Nutmeg TU past President Charles Petruccelli will demonstrate how to tie hackle-less flies that have proven effective in the early spring on local streams, such as elk hair caddis, comparaduns and “The Usual.” This will tie into another presentation that will soon be announced.

The chapter will also meet Brian Carey, conservation director for the town of Fairfield, and Lynn Shavinsky, president of the Mill River Wetland Committee.

Carey, appointed May 1, 2015, replaced retired Conservation Director Tom Steinke, who had served the town for about 43 years.

Carey had previously served as conservation superintendent for the town of Stratford for seven years. He was instrumental in the 35-acre Long Beach West Barrier Beach Restoration Project, which was awarded the Coastal America Partnership Award by President Obama in May 2012.

Carey is a lifelong resident of Fairfield, where he currently lives with his wife, Maura Brennan Carey, and their two children. Carey is a graduate of Fairfield College Preparatory School and Virginia Tech, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in natural resource management.

The Mill River Wetland Committee, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, has promoted protection of open space along the Mill River in Fairfield, mainly through use of the Perry’s Mill Pond River Laboratory Area on Sturges Road for guided science education about watersheds.

Concern for the environmental future prompted the launching of River-Lab, a hands-on program of environmental science study that includes all students in grades three through six with the Fairfield public and parochial schools as an established part of their curriculum. More than 100,000 students have participated in this volunteer-led program through the years.

MRWC and River-Lab have utilized volunteers to educate and engage the community about environmental education for generations. The River-Lab program, just last year, trained 400 adults to lead study trips. Several those guides had gone through the program themselves as students.

Nutmeg TU meetings are open to the public free of charge; pizza and a cash bar are available.

The Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited 217 encompasses Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton, Redding, Trumbull, Monroe, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, and Shelton. Its mission is to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, particularly in local rivers such as the Saugatuck, Mill, Aspetuck, Pequonnock, and Farmill. More information may be found at nutmegtrout.org.

Calendar of Events for January and February 2017

The general meeting will be Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 7 PM at Port 5 Naval Veterans, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport, CT.  Dick Fincher will discuss the wooden, handmade plugs he creates and sells through Westport-based Phase II Lures when he visits Nutmeg Trout Unlimited Chapter 217.

Fly Tying at Chuck’s, Tues evening, January 24, 2017, 7 PM Trumbull.  Contact Chuck MacMath at cmacmath59@yahoo.com .  The fly tying group will meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 7-9 pm.  The cost is $2.00 per session to cover the cost of materials.  Email Chuck with questions or additional information.  Everyone is welcome, beginners are encouraged to attend.  Vises, tools and materials are available if needed.

A Trip Meetup is planned to The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ, for Sunday  January 29, 2017.  This is the largest all fly-fishing show in the world – Shop and demo all the newest tackle, research your next dream trip, watch tying and casting demos and talk to industry-leading manufacturers and guides.  This is a great way to shake off some cabin fever.  The show is held at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ – approximately a 2 hour drive from Fairfield.  Meet at the Fairfield Train Station Commuter Lot (Unquowa Rd) at 10 AM to carpool or just meet at the show.  Admission is $18, parking is free.  Show hours for Sunday are 9:00 A – 4:30 P.  For more information go to www.flyfishingshow.com.  Contact Ed Grzeda at eegrzeda@gmail.com with any questions.

Fly Tying at Chuck’s, Tues evening, February 14 and 28, 2017, 7 PM Trumbull.  Contact Chuck MacMath at cmacmath59@yahoo.com .  The fly tying group will meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 7-9 pm.  The cost is $2.00 per session to cover the cost of materials.  Email Chuck with questions or additional information.  Everyone is welcome, beginners are encouraged to attend.  Vises, tools and materials are available if needed.

The general meeting will be Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7 PM at Port 5 Naval Veterans, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport, CT. The Speaker will be announced later.

Fly Fishing Film Tour, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, Bow Tie Marquis 16, Trumbull, CT.  Join friends and fellow anglers and conservationists from the Candlewood, Mianus and Nutmeg Chapters of Trout Unlimited for a fun night of fishing films and camaraderie! The Film Tour will be held at the Bow Tie Marquis 16 in Trumbull with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each online or $30 at the door with all proceeds benefitting the conservation and education work of our local Trout Unlimited chapters here in Fairfield County!  Buy Your Tickets Online (The last two years have sold out).

Last year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour event sold out faster than we could have imagined and this year’s screening will be even bigger and better! Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance to guarantee your seat.  If you’ve never been to an “F3T” showing, you’re in for a treat. You will watch dozens of incredibly shot, exciting fishing and conservation films while enjoying a few cold drinks and fun raffles and door prizes.

Be sure to round up your friends and fishing buddies for a fun night out. While tickets may be available at the door the night of the screening, we can’t guarantee anything. Last year we had to turn away dozens of people.

Some films include graphic language and situations which may be inappropriate for younger viewers. Parents are advised to decide whether to bring their fishing-fanatic children to the event.

To get a sense of what you’re in for, click here to watch movie trailers from the tour!

The February Fishing Meetup will be on the Mill river, weather permitting. More Details to follow.The general meeting will be Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 7 PM at Port 5 Naval Veterans, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport, CT. The Speaker will be announced later.