Department of Environmental Protection Fishing Report Oct. 8
FISHING REPORT NUMBER 25
2009 FALL BROODSTOCK ATLANTIC SALMON WILL BE STOCKED NEXT WEEK
§ DEP’s Inland Fisheries Division will be stocking 1,100 2-5 lb broodstock Atlantic salmon into the Shetucket River and the Naugatuck River. An additional 200 salmon will be 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 will be stocked next 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 is necessitated by the need to conduct essential maintenance of hatchery ponds at the Kensington State Fish Hatchery.
§ For the third consecutive year, DEP will stock several lakes with broodstock Atlantic salmon. DEP began stocking surplus Atlantic salmon in 1992, and until 2007, all fish had been stocked only into the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. However, in October 2007, stream flows in the Shetucket River had declined to levels unsuitable for stocking large salmon and the first group of salmon scheduled for the river were instead stocked into Beach Pond (Voluntown) and Crystal Lake. Data collected following these stockings indicated that that salmon fishing in lakes might be popular. In 2008, the DEP stocked Mashapaug Lake and Crystal Lake on an experimental basis to collect additional data, which also indicated that stocking these salmon had created a popular fishery. This fall, two lakes will be stocked, one in western Connecticut (Mount Tom Pond) and one in eastern Connecticut (Crystal Lake).
§ 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).
§ Regulations for broodstock remain the same 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, 2008, through March 31, 2009, 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 will no longer be able to stock 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.
Fall trout stocking update- DEP will be stocking over 5,800 adult-size rainbow trout into Amos Lake (300), Bigelow Pond (300), Black Pond (Meriden/Middlefield)(400), Black Pond (Woodstock)(250), Cedar Lake (400), Crystal Lake (1,000), Gardner Lake (1,000), Long Pond (400), Mashapaug Lake (700), Quonnipaug Lake (400) and Rogers Lake (400) for this weekend.
Rivers & streams - Conditions should be good for fishing this weekend, with moderate flows and comfortable temperatures. Good reports last week from the the West Branch Farmington River, Hockanum River, Naugatuck River, Salmon River, Natchaug river, Willimantic River, Hammonassett River and Housatonic River (excellent fishing). Streamers and nymphing are the way to go in October. For streamers try white, yellow & brown colors. Patterns to try include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). For nymphs, bottom bounce Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Pheasant Tail (#12-20), Prince (#6-1
and Hare’s ear (#8-20).
Farmington River - West Branch flows continue to be clear, moderately low and quite fishable (120 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 90 cfs from the Still River). Morning water temperatures are in the mid 50’s to low 60’s °F
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia bicolor (major hatch, #12-14, fast water, afternoon/evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella & Baetis sps., #16-24, mid-late afternoon), Cahills/Summer (Stenonema ithaca (#12-14), Sulfurs duns (Heptagenia sps., #12-18, below the dam due to low temperatures, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (tan #14-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-32, morning), Black Ants (#16-18, mid day in fast water), Black Beetles (#16-18, mid day), Flying Ants (#18-22, mid day, when windy/humid) and Stone Hopper (#10-12, mid day). Rusty Spinners (#18-26) have been producing in the evening.
Housatonic River - Fishing continues to be excellent and conditions remain great for fishing. Flows are clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 660 cfs at Falls Village and 830 cfs at Gaylordsville. Water temperatures are good, in the mid to upper in the upper 50’s °F (mornings), and there are plenty of September-stocked trout (11,500 trout stocked by DEP) still waiting for anglers.
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-12 evening), Cahills/Summer (#12-14), Black caddis (#14-20, early morning & evening), Sulfurs (#16-1
, Black Beetles (#14-18, mid day), Stone Hopper (#8-10, mid day) and Flying Ants (#16-18, mid day, when windy/humid). Ants can be very important this time of the year, with trout ignoring everything else when they are on the water, try Black/Cinnamon Ants (#14-18, mid day in fast water). Nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads has also been productive.
Lakes & Ponds - Fall trout fishing is generally fair to good, with reports from Highland Lake (third basin, look to the edges), Mashapaug Lake, Bigelow Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington, 4 colors of lead line), Mohawk Pond, East Twin Lake (5 colors) and West Hill Pond.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing remains variable, ranging from slow to good. Best reports from Quaddick Reservoir, Candlewood Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Rogers Lake, Pickerel Lake and Uncas Lake. Fair fishing reported from Highland Lake, Pachaug Pond, East twin Lake, Pattagansett Lake, Quonnipaug Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Bashan Lake, Amos Lake, Tyler Lake and Crystal Lake and Black Pond (Woodstock). Largemouth action reported as slow at Quassapaug Lake, Mamanasco Lake, Wyassup Lake and Beseck Lake.
SMALLMOUTH BASS remains variable, with good reports from Candlewood Lake (target 18-27 feet of water), fair reports from Saugatuck Reservoir, Coventry Lake, Highland Lake and the Shetucket River, and slow fishing reported from Bashan Lake.
NORTHERN PIKE are being caught at Winchester Lake, Hopeville Pond and Pachaug Pond.
WALLEYE fishing is reported to be good at Lake Saltonstall and Mashapaug Lake, some catches also reported action at Squantz Pond and Saugatuck Reservoir.
YELLOW PERCH action reported from Candlewood Lake.
BLACK CRAPPIE- good reports for crappie from Park Pond and Silver Lake (Meriden).
CONNECTICUT RIVER - CHANNEL CATFISH continue to be caught throughout the river with many catchesh in the 7-10 lb range. STRIPED BASS action in the lower river is still good just after dark. NORTHERN PIKE fishing was good in the coves this past week. Some catches also from the Enfield area, and from Harbor Park down to the Salmon River. BLACK CRAPPIE continue to produce some good action in Wethersfield Cove. Use a small jig tipped with 2” shiners. Some SMALLMOUTH BASS are being taken in the Enfield area.
ADVANCED NOTICE - The Catch-And-Release Professional Carp Tournament Series 6th annual Tournament of Champions will be held on the shores of the CT River in Hartford/East Hartford during October 13th to 17th.
§ “Winter” drawdowns (2-4 feet) of a number of Eastern CT lakes are scheduled to begin next week (October 15th) at GARDNER LAKE, LOWER BOLTON LAKE, PICKEREL LAKE and MASHAPAUG LAKE.
§ LAKE LILLINONAH is scheduled to be drawn down 5-10 feet starting October 17th with refilling scheduled to begin October 25th. LAKE ZOAR 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 is occurring. The state boat launch is currently unusable due to the low water levels.
§ ASPINOOK POND has been 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.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the mid to upper 60’s°F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
Fall is prime time for saltwater fishing as fish put on the feed bag before the onset of winter!
STRIPED BASS fishing is good and BLUEFISH fishing remains excellent throughout LIS! Stripers measuring in the 40 plus inch range and choppers weighing in the mid teens are being reported. Consistent fishing locations include the Watch Hill reefs, Napatree Point, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Pigeon Rip, Plum Gut, outer Bartlett Reef, Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Crane Reef, Southwest Reef, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island to Milford Point, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, the reefs around the Norwalk Islands and Stamford Harbor.
SNAPPER BLUEFISH fishing is still going strong with snappers measuring 6 to 8 inches in length.
TAUTOG (blackfish) can be found on the local reefs and rock piles. Fishing is rated good for these hard fighting bruisers. Green crabs, hermit crabs and Asian crabs work well on three way bottom rigs.
HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair in the lower Niantic River and Connecticut River (DEP, Marine Headquarters fishing pier).
LITTLE TUNNY (false albacore) and ATLANTIC BONITO (green bonito) fishing is fair to good at the old reliable spots: Watch Hill area, south side of Fishers Island, Pine Island area, Race Rock (the Race), Little Gull Island, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground area and off the Norwalk Islands.
BLUE CRABBING is still hanging in there with some nice size jimmies in the 7 inch range being reported.
Remember to check the 2009 Connecticut Angler’s Guide for tidal information (page 52) and pages 49-51 for saltwater trophy fish award information. For regulation updates, please check our website www.ct.gov/dep/fishing