Northern Pike Management
Northern Pike are the largest freshwater gamefish in Connecticut. While not native to Connecticut, they have been in the Connecticut River since the mid-1800s and became established in other areas of the state since then. The Fisheries Division introduced Northern Pike in Connecticut because they:
- Grow to a large size (Connecticut record = 29 lbs).
- Have excellent fighting ability on rod and reel.
- Help control stunted panfish populations.
- Provide an additional angling opportunity during the ice fishing season.
The Fisheries Division worked to create and maintain Northern Pike fisheries in the following four Northern Pike Management Lakes:
- Winchester Lake
- Bantam Lake
- Mansfield Hollow Resrvoir
- Pachaug Pond
Northern Pike can also be found at the following locations where they are either self-sustaining or stocked by private organizations:
- Hopeville Pond
- Lake Lillinonah
- Quaddick Reservoir
- Housatonic River
- Mattabesset River
- Shetucket River
The Northern Pike Management Lakes are supported by annual stockings of 4-6 inch “fingerlings”. To get fingerlings, the Fisheries Division catches adult Northern Pike in early spring and puts them in managed marshes in Haddam and Mansfield. The adult Northern Pike spawn in the marshes before they are drained to collect the resulting fingerlings and spawned adults.
The Fisheries Division also stocks the Connecticut River with Northern Pike fingerlings to supplement the self-sustaining population there. Below is fisheries biologist Chris McDowell with one of the Northern Pike that will be used for spawning in 2020.
Maintaining existing Northern Pike fisheries through marsh management and fingerling stocking will ensure angler access to a unique and popular sport fishery.
Content last updated March 2020