FISHING REPORT NUMBER 27 10/22/2009
IMPORTANT REMINDER TO SPORTSMEN
Pursuant to the recently adopted state budget (Public Act 09-3 – June Special Session):
FISHING, HUNTING AND TRAPPING LICENSE AND PERMIT FEES HAVED INCREASED (effective October 1, 2009). This includes both recreational and commercial fishing fees.
Among the other fees that increased on October 1, 2009, are state park and forest fees, including parking fees, season passes and camping fees.
Fishing & hunting license and permit fees are available at www.ct.gov/dep
2009 FALL BROODSTOCK ATLANTIC SALMON STOCKED LAST WEEK
DEP’s Inland Fisheries Division stocked 1,100 2-5 lb broodstock Atlantic salmon into the SHETUCKET RIVER and the NAUGATUCK RIVER. An additional 200 salmon were released into CRYSTAL LAKE (Ellington) and MOUNT TOM POND (Morris/Litchfield/Washington), 100 fish into each lake.
All the broodstock Atlantic salmon available for stocking in Connecticut this fall were stocked last week (October 13th-16th). This is a departure from previous years of the program, when smaller batches of salmon were stocked on multiple occasions from mid-October into late November. This change was necessitated by the need to conduct essential maintenance of hatchery ponds at the Kensington State Fish Hatchery.
For the third consecutive year, DEP has stocked several lakes with broodstock Atlantic salmon. This fall, DEP stocked two lakes, one in western Connecticut (Mount Tom Pond) and one in eastern Connecticut (Crystal Lake). Beach Pond and Mashapaug Lake are the other lakes that have been stocked with broodstock salmon at least once since 2007.
Broodstock atlantic salmon regulations and areas summary:
Regulations for broodstock on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers. In rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY through November 30. From December 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, 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 and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure.
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). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
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. The salmon are stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).Note that in the Beacon Falls area, DEP is no longer stocking the area along the RR tracks in Naugatuck State Forest due to safety concerns.
From October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2009 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
ATLANTIC SALMON – The recently stocked broodstock salmon are already providing some good action for anglers. A number of catches (and lots of strikes) have been reported from the Naugatuck River, and jumping salmon are reportedly putting on a show for anglers at Crystal Lake, with at least five 2-5 lb salmon weighed earlier this week. Some action is also reported from the Shetucket River, but nothing’s been heard from Mt Tom
2009 DEP Fishing Report Number 27, 10/22/2009
Pond yet. Several recent catches have also been reported from two lakes stocked last spring, Mashapaug Lake and Beach Pond.
Fall trout stocking update- This week DEP is stocking a total of 6,200 adult-size brown trout into nine lakes and ponds located throughout CT. Bashan Lake (450), Beach Pond (1,650), Coventry Lake (1,000), Mohawk Pond (500), Mt. Tom Pond (650), Stillwater Pond (400), Tyler Pond (600), West Hill Pond (500) and West Side Pond (450) all should be stocked for the weekend.
Rivers & streams - It’s mid fall and anglers are starting to find some really aggressive trout. Conditions for fishing this weekend will again be variable. Flows and temperatures are currently moderate, but rain, possibly heavy at times, is forecast for the start of the weekend.
Streamers (try 2X tippet, 9 am-1 pm, low light periods/overcast days) and nymphing are working for many anglers. Streamer patterns (try white, yellow & brown colors) include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Nymphs to bottom-bounce include Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-1, Golden Stoneflies (# and Hare’s ear (#8-20). Good reports last week from the Housatonic River, Naugatuck River, West Branch Farmington River, Hammonasset River and Willimantic River (TMA area).
Farmington River – Fishing has been getting better. West Branch flows remain clear, moderate and quite fishable, 120 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 120 cfs from the Still River. The increase in Still River flows is due to the current drawing down of Highland Lake, and inputs may increase further as rain is forecast for early this weekend. Morning water temperatures are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#10-14, parachute style), Blue Wing Olives (#18-26, mid-late afternoon), Ants (#14-20 on rainy days), Caddis (tan #18-22, all day; brown #16-1, Midges (#22-32, morning) and Rusty Spinner (#26-2.
Housatonic River – Fishing continues to be very good. Flows remain clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 580 cfs at Falls Village and 710 cfs at Gaylordsville. Water temperatures are in the upper 40’s to low upper 50’s °F (mornings). Flows may increase this weekend as rain is currently forecast for Friday night and Saturday, with a potential for 1-3 inches. Anglers can call FirstLight Power at 1-888-417-4837 for updated flow information.
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia (#10-12 evening), Sulfurs (#16-1, Midges (#20-26) and Black caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening).
Lakes & Ponds – Fall trout is variable, with good to very good reports from Crystal Lake (very good, lots of browns and rainbows being seen, up shallower), Saugatuck Reservoir, East Twin Lake (look close to shore), and Quonnipaug Lake (try trolling the deeper end), and fair fishing reported from Beach Pond (near the beach and north point, Shore Road area). Catches have been really hard to come by at Mashapaug Lake and Candlewood Lake.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally fair to slow, with the better reports from Crystal Lake (recent catches here include several bass in the 4-6 lb range), Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Highland Lake, Mudge Pond, Rogers Lake and Mansfield Hollow Reservoir. Mixed reports for East Twin Lake, Coventry Lake and Bashan Lake, and it’s been slow for bass at Gardner Lake, Quonnipaug Lake and Mashapaug Lake.
SMALLMOUTH BASS - A very mixed bag for anglers looking for smallies. Good reports from Candlewood Lake (very good action, try around 30 ft near structure) and Highland Lake (catches here include a 4.4 lb smallie, but…note that an 8-ft drawdown is in progress), fair action reported from Lake Lillinonah and Squantz Pond, and it’s been hard finding fish at Mashapaug Lake, Gardner Lake and Quonnipaug Lake.
NORTHERN PIKE – Temperatures are dropping, and pike fishing is beginning to pick up. Some nice catches reported from Winchester Lake and anglers are also finding some fish at Quaddick Reservoir (but nothing big yet) and in the upper Housatonic River. Other areas to try include Pachaug Pond, Hopeville Pond and Lake Lillinonah.
WALLEYE fishing is also improving, with fair to good reports from Squantz Pond (catches up to 6 lbs), Saugatuck Reservoir and Lake Saltonstall. Some action also reported from Coventry Lake. Few reports lately from Mashapaug Lake and Beach Pond.
2009 DEP Fishing Report Number 27, 10/22/2009
CONNECTICUT RIVER – CARP provided some excellent action for last week’s Tournament of Champions. The “Catch-And-Release Professional Carp Tournament Series” 6th annual Tournament of Champions yielded over 1,670 pounds of fish during the 72-hour continuous event. Anglers from Europe, England and the U.S.A. participated. The big fish weighed 36 lbs 7 oz and was caught by the team of Karen Howland/Carol Howland. The Big 4 category weight was 110 lbs 9 oz. won by Chris Jackson/Paul Jackson. The Jackson team also won the total weight category with a whopping 614 lb 4 oz total on 34 fish. Congratulations to all.
NORTHERN PIKE fishing is fair, with catches up reported from the coves, but nothing over 30 inches.
BLACK CRAPPIE continue to keep fall anglers occupied in many coves, fish up to 15 inches, try jigging small shiners.
STRIPED BASS action is good in the lower river (try just after dark on hickory shad and tube & worm).
SMALLMOUTH BASS are surprising some anglers, with several 3-lb plus smallies caught in the Cromwell area.
Tips & Tricks: AUTUMN ATLANTIC SALMON
Trolling for Salmon - Trolling is one of the most effective ways to fish for salmon and remains one of the top techniques because of water coverage. Try using your favorite trout lures in a larger size and increase your trolling speed. You will see fish in the air if you hook up.
Drift fishing has been one of the most successful techniques for salmon fishing. Drifting a water craft while fishing for salmon can be a very relaxing method of getting out on a cool fall day.
Jigging For Salmon - Jigging for salmon in freshwater systems is becoming very popular among anglers seeking the ever illusive salmon in freshwater rivers. Remember to use a free-swinging setup such as a swivel with a micro-jig on it. Pink is your go-to color. Cast upstream with a noodle rod or other light rod held high and follow the current with your rod. Maribou jigs work great.
Flyfishing - Catching a trout on a fly rod is one thing, but when you multiply what's on the other end by 10 or more it is easy to see the appeal of it. Try flashy flies, streamers or weighted nymphs.
Centerpin – Centerpin fishing involves a special reel which is designed to ‘free wheel’ easily. This will cause the least amount of drag on the water and lure when fishing for high strung salmon & helps reduce scaring the fish.
Bottom bouncing for salmon has really come a long way in the world of salmon anglers and is a very productive way to fish. Try casting a weighted nymph up and across stream. Let it bounce on the bottom and repeatedly raise and lower it as the current takes it downstream.
An 8 foot drawdown of HIGHLAND LAKE began last week (October 15th).
“Winter” drawdowns (2-4 feet) of a number of Eastern CT lakes began last week (October 15th) at GARDNER LAKE, LOWER BOLTON LAKE, PICKEREL LAKE and MASHAPAUG LAKE. Drawdowns begin this week at BASHAN LAKE and BESECK LAKE, and next week at MIDDLE BOLTON LAKE.
LAKE ZOAR is currently drawn down 5 feet with refilling scheduled to begin October 25th. LAKE LILLINONAH is scheduled to be drawn down 3-5 feet beginning October 24th and ending November 1st.
To facilitate dam maintenance and repairs, an extensive drawdown of RAINBOW RESERVOIR has been ongoing and the state boat launch may be unusable due to the low water levels. Normal operations are expected to resume next week.
ASPINOOK POND continues to be drawn down 30 inches to facilitate dam maintenance. Areas such as the Butts Bridge lot used by many anglers/boaters to access the impoundment may be difficult to impossible to use by trailered boats.
The STATE BOAT LAUNCH ON THE HOUSATONIC RIVER IN MILFORD at the MOSES WHEELER BRIDGE area is now closed to public use while bridge reconstruction occurs. This closure is expected to last possibly 8 years.
Anglers are reminded that the fishing season will close October 31st at several lakes and ponds throughout the state, including LAKE WONOSCOPOMUC, BATTERSON PARK POND and SHENIPSIT RESERVOIR. Please refer to the 2009 CT angler’s Guide for additional locations.
2009 DEP Fishing Report Number 27, 10/22/2009