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Statewide Inland Fisheries Regulations
(As of March 20, 2020)

Use this two-step process to determine regulations on a specific waterbody:

  1. Check the table on Inland District Statewide Species Regulations for the general statewide regulations.
  2. Refer to the specific waterbody in the alphabetical listings of Lakes and Ponds or Rivers and Streams for special site-specific regulations. If no site-specific regulations are listed for a waterbody, statewide regulations apply for seasons, methods, and/or limits.

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 & Gear, Length Limits, Creel & Possession Limits and Species, refer to the definitions on Inland Regulations and Definitions.

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

 

Alewife/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 & 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 & ponds. The taking of elver eel, glass eel and silver eel is prohibited.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Icefishing, Bobbing, Bow and Arrow, Spearing All areas Open year-round* 9" 25

 

American Shad

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

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

 

Atlantic Salmon

Taking of Atlantic Salmon is prohibited. Exception: Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Fisheries (see Broodstock Atlantic Salmon & River Herring)

 

Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass 

Daily creel limit is for both species in aggregate.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing Lakes and Ponds Open year-round* 12" 6
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

Daily creel limit is for both catfish (Channel Catfish & 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

 

Common Carp

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, 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 & 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

 

Chain Pickerel 

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
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.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing, Scoop Net All areas Open year-round* No minimum length 6

 

Kokanee

Trout & salmon stamp may be needed.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing All areas 2nd Saturday in April – last day in February No minimum length 5***

 

Northern Pike

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing All areas Open year-round* 26" 2

 

Panfish**

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

 

Smelt

Taking of smelt in rivers and streams is prohibited.

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Angling, Ice fishing Lakes and Ponds Open year-round* No minimum length 50

 

Striped Bass

Legal Methods Area Open Season Slot Length Limit Daily Creel Limit
Angling All areas Open year-round* 28"-35" 1

 

Sturgeon, Burbot

Taking of sturgeon and burbot prohibited.

 

Trout (Brook, Brown, 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 2nd Saturday in April – last day in February No minimum length 5***
Angling, Ice fishing Lower Rivers/Tidal Waters Open year-round* 15" 2***

 

White Perch

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
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

Legal Methods Area Open Season Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
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, White Perch, Calico Bass (Crappie), Rock Bass, and all species of sunfish.

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

 

Content last updated March 2020.