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Great Park Pursuit: Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure Begins Saturday May 12th

May 12th is “FREE Family Fishing Day” in Connecticut

No fishing license or Trout and Salmon Stamp required – Excellent opportunity to take the entire family fishing for free
May 12th is a great day to be outdoors with your family – it’s the first day of Connecticut’s No Child Left Inside® Great Park Pursuit: Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure and Family Fishing Day across the state.  
One of several events is “Family Fishing Day”, scheduled as part of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) “Great Park Pursuit: Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure” at Wharton Brook State Park, Wallingford/North Haven. Open to families and children, this free event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will include fishing in the pond, fish stocking, a fish fry, and fun activities for all ages.
“Family Fishing Day is a great opportunity for experienced anglers to encourage family members and friends to join them outdoors for a day of fishing – no fishing license or trout and salmon stamp required, open to residents and non-residents alike, said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “Tying it in with the Great Park Pursuit gives families a chance to fish side-by-side with expert anglers for an exciting fishing experience in one of Connecticut’s 110 state parks. Along with Great Park Pursuit participants, we also hope that visitors will come to our state and try out the many fishing opportunities Connecticut has to offer.”
The Great Park Pursuit is a part of the agency’s No Child Left Inside® initiative, now celebrating its 13th year, focusing on introducing families to the outdoors, building the next generation of environmental stewards and showcasing Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests.  The Family Fishing event is free and no registration is required.  More information on “The Great Park Pursuit Family Fishing Day” can be found at, email or call DEEP State Parks at (860) 424-3200.
“The Great Park Pursuit has been so much fun over the past twelve years – seeing families come back year after year and watching their children grow has been heartwarming and it is wonderful to welcome new families who want to learn about the outdoors and recreational adventures that await them in Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests” added Commissioner Klee.

There are a number of fishing events in addition to the Great Park Pursuit that are scheduled to take place on “Family Fishing Day.” 
Other fishing events for this coming Saturday include:
  • Merwin Meadows, Wilton - Fly Fishing Clinic:
    The Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited is offering a free Fly Fishing Clinic at Merwin Meadows Park in Wilton between 10:00 a.m. and
    2:00 p.m. Fly casting, knot tying, aquatic insect identification and a late barbecue lunch are on the schedule. More information can be found at For reservations email or call 203-216-7078.
  • Mirror Lake, Hubbard Park, Meriden - Carl D’Addaraio Children’s Fishing Derby:
    Annual children's fishing event sponsored by the Meriden Rod and Gun Club and the City of Meriden with prizes in various age groups for biggest fish and most fish caught. Each child also gets a free hotdog and soft drink. Some of the top prizes include bicycles. This event is held rain or shine. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the derby starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 noon. For more information contact Mike Roberts at
  • Naugatuck River, Waterbury: 
    Please join Mayor O’Leary as Waterbury kicks off “The Year of the Naugatuck River” with a free Family Fishing Day. Casting for Kids in partnership with Fishing Northeast will be giving away fishing rods and tackles boxes to the first 100 youth in attendance. The Naugatuck River Revival Group will be providing information and educating attendees on their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Naugatuck River. Food vendors will also be available.   Please register each attendee at The event is free to attend and no fishing license is required. For more information, please contact the Citizens Service Center at 203-597-3444.
Anglers should be aware that although no licenses or the new Trout and Salmon stamp are required, all other Connecticut fishing laws and regulations apply on “Family Fishing Day.”  Anglers are advised to check fishing regulations in the 2018 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found online at  Print versions of the guides are available at more than 350 locations statewide or by contacting DEEP’s Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH).
Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at:  Fisheries and Wildlife can be found directly on Facebook at in to get our monthly e-newsletter “CT Fishin’ Tips” and the Weekly “Fishing Report” delivered right to your fingertips.
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