All customer facing DEEP services have returned to normal business operations. For detailed information on what this means, visit our “New Normal” website: DEEP New Normal Information


Species Regulations


Statewide Inland Fisheries Regulations
(As of June 30, 2021)

The following is being provided as a simple summary. The official regulations may be viewed here: Official Sport Fishing Regulations for the Inland District Unless otherwise indicated in the Lakes and Ponds and Rivers and Streams listings:
  • Lakes and ponds are open year-round.
  • Rivers and streams are open from 6:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in April through the last day of February (Closed to all fishing from March 1st to 6:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in April).

The statewide open seasons listed do not apply in areas closed to all fishing during a period of the year (If a waterbody has a closed season, all fishing there is prohibited, regardless of the statewide season for a particular fish species).

Lower River/Tidal Waters

Designated rivers and streams with no closed season. These include the entire Connecticut and Thames Rivers, and downstream portions of the Coginchaug, Farmington, Housatonic, Mattabesset, Mystic, Naugatuck, Niantic, Quinnipiac, Salmon and Yantic rivers. Check individual waterbody listing for boundaries.

For more information on Legal Methods and Gear, Length Limits, Creel and Possession Limits, and Species, refer to the "definitions" option on the left menu.

Note: Regulations for several marine species found in the Inland District are subject to change.

Quick Species Look Up (select the species to jump to the statewide regulation)

Species Species Species
Alewife/Blueback Herring Bowfin, Tench, Suckers, and Lampreys Striped Bass
American Eel Chain Pickerel Sturgeon, Burbot
American Shad Hickory Shad Trout (Brook, Brown, Rainbow, Tiger, other hybrids)
Atlantic Salmon Kokanee White Perch
Bass (Largemouth, Smallmouth) Northern Pike/Tiger Musky Walleye
Catfish (Channel, White) and bullheads Panfish**  
Common Carp Smelt  

 

Alewife or Blueback Herring

Taking of anadromous alewife and blueback herring from all Connecticut waters is prohibited. Emergency closure is in effect. See Broodstock Atlantic Salmon and River Herring for more information.

Exception: Landlocked alewife only may be taken from specific lakes. See Broodstock Atlantic Salmon and River Herring for list of lakes. Methods, seasons, and creel limits for these lakes are as follows:

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling Lakes and Ponds Open year-round* No minimum length 25
Scoop Net Lakes and Ponds April 1 – June 15 No minimum length 25

 

American Eel

Spearing and bow and arrow use prohibited in streams or stream sections stocked with trout. Spearing prohibited in all lakes and ponds. The taking of elver eel, glass eel, and silver eel is prohibited.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
 A 15-inch American eel. Angling, Ice fishing, Bobbing, Bow and Arrow, Spearing All areas Open year-round* 9" 25

 

American Shad (about shad assessments)

Harvest of American shad allowed only in the Connecticut River system.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
 50 cm American shad. Angling Connecticut River (including tributaries open year-round) Open year-round* No minimum length 6

 

Atlantic Salmon (about Atlantic Salmon Management Areas)

Taking of Atlantic Salmon is prohibited. Exception: Atlantic Salmon Management Areas (see Broodstock Atlantic Salmon and River Herring)

 

Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass (about bass management) (about bass tournaments)

Daily creel limit is for both species in aggregate.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
36 cm largemouth bass. Largemouth Bass
Angling, Ice Fishing Lakes and Ponds Open year-round 12" 6
24 cm smallmouth bass. Smallmouth Bass
Angling, Ice Fishing
Rivers and Streams Open year-round*
No minimum length 6
  Angling, Ice Fishing
Connecticut Rivers Open year-round
12" 6

 

Catfish (Channel Catfish and White Catfish) and bullheads (brown and yellow) (about catfish fisheries)

Daily creel limit is for both catfish (Channel Catfish and White Catfish) species in aggregate. No creel limit for bullheads.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing, Bobbing All areas Open year-round No minimum length Catfish – 6
Bullheads – No limit

Channel Catfish

White Catfish Brown Bullhead Yellow Bullhead
47 cm channel catfish.
52 cm white catfish.
34 cm brown bullhead.
20 cm yellow bullhead.

 

Common Carp (about Trophy Carp Management Areas)

Spearing and bow and arrow use prohibited in streams or stream sections stocked with trout. Spearing prohibited in all lakes and ponds.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Common carp.
Angling, Ice Fishing, Bobbing, Bow and Arrow, Spearing All Areas Open year-round No minimum length, only 1 fish >30" 5

 

Bowfin, Tench, Suckers and Lampreys

Spearing and bow and arrow use prohibited in streams or stream sections stocked with trout. Spearing prohibited in all lakes and ponds.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice Fishing, Bobbing, Bow and Arrow, Spearing
All Areas Open year-round*
No minimum length
No Limit

Bowfin Tench White Sucker Lamprey
26 cm bowfin in a tank.
Tench.
48 cm white sucker.
Adult sea lamprey.

 

Chain Pickerel

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
42 cm chain pickerel.
 Angling, Ice Fishing Lakes and Ponds Open year-round
15" 6
  Angling, Ice Fishing
Rivers and Streams Open year-round
No minimum length
No Limit

 

Hickory Shad

Daily creel limit is in aggregate with American shad.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
42 cm hickory shad.
Angling, Ice Fishing, Scoop Net All Areas Open year-round* No minimum length
6

 

Kokanee (about Kokanee fishery)

Trout and Salmon Stamp may be needed.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Female kokanee during spawning season.
Angling, Ice Fishing
All Areas 2nd Saturday in April - last day in February No minimum length
5***

 

Northern Pike (about Pike Management) and Tiger Muskie

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
33 cm northern pike.
Angling, Ice Fishing
All Areas
Open year-round*
26" 2

 

Panfish** Black Crappie, All Sunfish Species, Yellow Perch

Except White Perch, see below.

 Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice Fishing, Bobbing
All Areas Open year-round*
No minimum length
No Limit

Black Crappie Bluegill Pumpkinseed Rock Bass Yellow Perch
21 cm black crappie.
18 cm bluegill.
14 cm pumpkinseed.
14 cm rock bass.
Yellow perch.

 

Smelt

Taking of smelt in rivers and streams is prohibited.

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
14 cm rainbow smelt.
Angling, Ice Fishing
Lakes and Ponds Open year-round*
No minimum length
50

 

Striped Bass

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Slot Length Daily Creel Limit
Striped bass.
Angling; Circle Hooks required when using bait - get details. All Areas Open year-round*
28"-35" 1

 

Sturgeon, Burbot

Taking of sturgeon and burbot prohibited.

 

Trout (Brook, Brown, Lake, Rainbow, Tiger and other hybrids)

Trout and Salmon Stamp may be needed.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice Fishing Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams Open year-round* # No minimum length 5***
Angling, Ice Fishing
Lower Rivers/Tidal Waters Open year-round* 15" 2***

Brook Trout Brown Trout Rainbow Trout Tiger Trout
Adult male brook trout in spawning colors.
Wild brown trout.
Hatchery-raised rainbow trout.
Hatchery-raised tiger trout.

 

White Perch

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
22 cm white perch.
Angling, Ice Fishing, Bobbing
Connecticut River (including coves and tributaries)
Tidally influenced Rivers and Streams
Open year-round*
7" 30
  Angling, Ice Fishing, Bobbing
Lakes and Ponds
All other Rivers and Streams
Open year-round*
No minimum length None

 

Walleye (about Walleye Management)

Photo Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Walleye.
Angling, Ice Fishing All Areas Open year-round* 18" 2

 

* Except in areas closed to all fishing during a period of the year.

** Yellow Perch, Calico Bass (Crappie), Rock Bass, and all species of sunfish.

*** Trout and Salmon Stamp required to keep fish.

05/21/2021 - Governor Lamont signs a bill (Public Act 21-12) that removes the closed season for trout. The Fisheries Division is working to adjust the impacted regulations and will have a public comment and public hearing prior to submitting the new regulations to the Legislative Regulations Review Committee- later in 2021).

instagram logo  facebook logo   youtube logo

Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions. 

Phone: 860-424-FISH (3474)
E-mail: deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov

Content last updated August 2021