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Single trout and salmon stamp, new WTMA approved

Revised fishing regulations, including a trout and salmon stamp, were approved Tuesday by the the state’s Regulations Review Committee.

The regulations will become effective after they are posted on the secretary of the state’s website.

The initial proposal called for separate trout and salmon stamps that could be purchased individually or in combination. That proposal was replaced by one mandating a single stamp for either trout or salmon, at a cost of $5; that was sent back for revision, resulting in the now-approved trout and salmon stamp which is $5, $3 for anglers 16 and 17 years old. Any anger who must obtain a license, regardless of if the license is free, must purchase the stamp.

A trout and salmon stamp is required for any angler 16 years of age and older fishing in a Trout Management Area (TMA), Wild Trout Management Area (WTMA), Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area; or keeping trout, Kokanee salmon or broodstock Atlantic salmon anywhere statewide.

The Mill River WTMA in Easton and Fairfield is extended downstream to the Merritt Parkway and the Mill River TMA is now catch-and-release year-round.

A small portion of the West Branch Farmington River in the Riverton area from the intersection of Hogback Road and Route 20 in Hartland downstream to the gas pipeline crossing approximately four-tenths of a mile downstream of the confluence with the Still River in Barkhamsted will now be closed to all fishing from April 1 to 6 a.m. on the second Saturday in April. This is intended to restore excitement to Opening Day.

Alexander Lake in Killingly is open to fishing year-round. Baldwins Pond in Meriden and Green Falls Reservoir in Voluntown are open to fishing from 6 a.m. Opening Day through the last day of February.

There is now a creel limit of six channel catfish and white catfish in aggregate per day, except in Beaver Park Lagoon, Birge Pond, Bunnells Pond, Center Springs Park Pond, Freshwater Pond, Keeney Park Pond, Lake Wintergreen, Lakewood Lake, Mirror Lake, Picketts Pond, Rowans Pond, Mohegan Park Pond, and Stanley Quarter Pond, where the creel limit is three catfish per day.

There is now a creel limit of five common carp per day, with no more than one fish greater than 30 inches in length, except in Trophy Carp Waters. Batterson Park Pond, Connecticut River (including the portions of tributaries open year-round), Squantz Pond, and West Thompson Reservoir are designated as Trophy Carp Waters with a one-carp-per-day creel limit and a 26-inch maximum length for common carp.

Tenkara fishing, a traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing without a reel, is now allowed in fly fishing areas.

The period when broodstock salmon gear restriction applies to all species in broodstock areas is now from Sept. 1 to March 31 (inclusive).

$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.

Hearing on trout stamps, Mill River set

Requiring the purchase of trout and salmon stamps and changing making a longer section of the Mill River in Easton and Fairfield catch and release are among the proposed regulation changes up for hearing Wednesday, Aug. 9.

The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Headquarters. The deadline is Aug. 25 to submit comment to the DEEP. Click here to read more about the hearing. 

The purchase of a $5 trout stamp and $10 broodstock Atlantic salmon stamp ($12 for a combination stamp) to fish for trout and Atlantic Salmon would generate an estimated $300,000 that would go directly to fisheries and recreation programs, by law, according to the DEEP. Federal law requires that license revenue and money raised by fees and taxes on hunting and fishing equipment be dedicated to those purposes.

If passed, all anglers 16 and older fishing for any species in Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas and Trout Parks, as well as any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep trout they’ve caught in state waters, would be required to purchase a trout stamp. All anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in the designated Broodstock Areas of the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers from September 1 through March 31, and any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep broodstock Atlantic Salmon they’ve caught anywhere (where fishing for Atlantic salmon is allowed) throughout the state would be required to purchase a salmon stamp. A combination stamp, less expensive than purchasing both separately, would cover both waters.

Mill River

Another proposal would extend the Mill River Wild Trout Management Area to stretch from the first bridge crossing below the Easton Reservoir to the Merritt Parkway. Currently the catch-and-release-only WTMA extends from South Park Avenue to [downstream of the third bridge crossing. Signs would indicate the WTMA.

DEEP officials said the changes would better protect the populations of naturally reproducing trout and stocked trout from undue depletion by eliminating harvest throughout this stretch of river. The “catch-and-release only” Class I Mill River Wild Trout Management Area would be expanded downstream to the Mill River Trout Management Area and fishing in the Mill River Trout Management Area would be limited to “catch-and-release only” year-round; currently some harvest is allowed from Opening Day through Aug. 30.

A short closed season would be placed on a small portion of the Farmington River TMA in the Riverton area, intended to restore a traditional Opening Day atmosphere to the upper West Branch Farmington River. As many anglers view the traditional Opening Day when the fishing season first opens for the spring as a longstanding rite of spring passage, DEEP officials expressed hope the change would increase the number of anglers fishing this section of river on Opening Day, and also enhance participation in a traditional Opening Day fishing derby held in Riverton since 1949. Participation has declined since this section of river became open to fishing year-round in 2012.

Language changes would define Tenkara, fishing with a fly on a fixed line, fly fishing. stablish definition for maximum length. Bubble floats are also addressed. Click here to read a PDF of all the proposed changes.

The proposed regulations, statement of purpose, a small business impact statement and a fiscal note indicating no additional expense to the state or municipal governments to implement these proposed regulations are posted and available for download (pdf) on the eRegulations system (https://eregulations.ct.gov).

Copies of the proposed regulations, statement of purpose, small business impact statement and fiscal note are also available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division, 6th Floor, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106-5127. These documents can also be obtained by contacting Bill Foreman at the above address, by phone at (860) 424-3474, or by email (deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov).

Interested persons may also choose to present their views regarding the proposed regulations in writing during the public comment period. Written comments should be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25, 2017. Based on public comment, the proposed regulations may be adjusted to meet the objective of the proposal. Comments may be submitted using one of the following methods:

  • Online via the eRegulations system (https://eregulations.ct.gov) on the Secretary of State’s website. Go to “Open for Public comment”, select this regulation and follow instructions for submitting comments.
  • By mail or delivery service to Bill Foreman at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Fisheries Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106-5127.
  • By email to william.foreman@ct.gov.
  • By fax to 860-424-4070 (attention: Bill Foreman).