Establishment and Assessment of Walleye Fisheries
Walleye are one of the most popular gamefish in North America. They grow to a large size, can be caught throughout the year using a variety of techniques, and are known for their exquisite flavor. Walleye are also efficient pelagic predators that play an important role in enhancing balanced fish populations and quality fisheries.
The Fisheries Division began stocking fingerling walleyes in 1993 to diversify the State's recreational fisheries. The initial list of lakes were selected because they were best suited for walleye, have marginal trout habitat and abundant forage fish populations. The first waters selected included Gardner Lake (Salem) and Squantz Pond (New Fairfield). Due to the popularity of the program, two water companies initiated stocking walleye into Lake Saltonstall (Branford) and Saugatuck Reservoir (Weston).
In 2001, the Fisheries Division expanded to: Batterson Park Pond (Farmington); Beach Pond (Voluntown); Coventry Lake (Coventry), and Mashapaug Lake (Union). Most recently walleye fingerlings were stocked into Lake Zoar (Monroe-Oxford in 2011) and starting in 2012 Mt Tom Pond (Litchfield); Cedar Lake (Chester) and West Thompson Reservoir (Thompson).
Walleye populations in these lakes are completely supported by annual fall stockings of 4 to 6-inch fingerlings purchased from a commercial supplier located in the mid-west. Currently the state stocks more than 33,000 fingerlings into 10 public lakes. An additional 10,000 fingerlings are stocked by South Central Regional Water Authority (Lake Saltonstall) and Aquarion Water Company (Saugatuck Reservoir) into their lakes that allow fishing through permit access. Statewide walleye regulations in Connecticut are an 18-inch minimum size limit and a 2-fish creel limit.
Trophy fish awards of walleye catches greater than 23 inches (released) or greater than 6 pounds (kept) have been awarded to anglers from every lake stocked with walleye (since 2001). Most trophy fish awards have come from Lake Saltonstall and Squantz Pond. Check out the link on our Facebook page to see how the Fisheries Division uses electrofishing techniques to sample walleye populations. The Fisheries Division is continually exploring new options to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of this program with a priority to assess angler harvest rates to ensure that current walleye regulations are adequate to sustain quality fishing. Please visit one of our walleye lakes and get in on the fast action and excellent table fare that these fish provide!
Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions.
Content last updated January 2021