DEEP's 2019 Fall Atlantic Salmon Stockings Nearing Completion
Anglers are reminded that there has been a change to regulations concerning fishing for salmon in the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) is nearing completion of its 2019 fall stockings of Atlantic salmon. DEEP’s Fisheries Division began stocking Atlantic salmon in early October, and nearly 800 salmon have been released so far.
The upper Naugatuck River (161 salmon), lower Naugatuck River (161 salmon), Shetucket River (377 salmon), Crystal Lake (50 salmon) and Mount Tom Pond (50 salmon) were all stocked at least once. Most of these fish ranged in weight from 2-6 pounds each though some larger fish were also stocked. Following spawning this month, DEEP expects approximately 200 additional salmon from the Kensington State Fish Hatchery will be available for stocking in late November or early December. These fish will generally range in weight from 6 to 20 pounds each.
These Atlantic salmon stockings provide an exceptional fishing opportunity for the state’s anglers. “Atlantic Salmon are renowned for their size, beauty and fighting ability,” said Pete Aarrestad, Director of DEEP’s Fisheries Division. “The Atlantic Salmon recreational fishery has become quite popular, and catching one of these large leapers provides a thrilling experience for anglers.”
DEEP reminds anglers of a change to regulations concerning fishing seasons for Atlantic salmon for 2019. The catch-and-release season for Atlantic salmon stocked into the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers will run through December 15 instead of the end of November as in previous years.
This change to the catch-and-release season was made based on the results of a survey sent to approximately 25,000 license holders and also posted on DEEP’s Fish & Wildlife Facebook page. Approximately two-thirds of the 2,500 anglers who responded to the survey were in favor of extending the catch-and-release season. This survey was originally prompted by requests from salmon anglers for the catch-and-release season to be extended by one month or longer.
All other regulations for fishing for Atlantic salmon on the three rivers and in the lakes that have been stocked with Atlantic salmon remain the same as in the past several years. Complete and up-to-date regulations can be found in the 2019 Connecticut Fishing Guide (also available in Spanish) located online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishingguide and are also provided below). Print versions of the guides are available from many Town Clerks and bait & tackle stores, or by contacting DEEP’s Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH).
Salmon anglers ages 16 and older are also reminded that they may need to purchase a Trout & Salmon Stamp. This stamp is required to fish in an Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Area”, and for anglers harvesting salmon anywhere else (where allowed). Holders of lifetime fishing licenses issued to persons that are blind, have an intellectual disability, or have certain physical disabilities are exempt from the requirement. The fees for the Trout & Salmon Stamp are $5 for resident anglers who are 18 and older, $3 for CT residents ages 16 or 17 and $5 for nonresident anglers age 16 and older. Information on the stamp can be found in the 2019 CT Fishing Guide and online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
The Trout & Salmon stamp can be obtained the same way licenses are, online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing or www.ct.gov/deep/getmyfishinglicense, or in person at one of DEEP’s offices, a town hall that has opted to sell licenses, or at a number of other vendors. View a complete list of vendors on the DEEP website or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105). There is no physical stamp; when a Trout & Salmon stamp is purchased, a line noting that you have obtained a stamp is added to your license document.
Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing. Fisheries and Wildlife can be found directly on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.
Regulations for Atlantic salmon fishing in the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers are as follows:
Atlantic Salmon stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers are typically released into three designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock” Areas:
- Between Scotland Dam (Scotland) and Occum Dam (Norwich) on the Shetucket River
- The “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston)
- The “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).
Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic Salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor).
In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, angling for Atlantic Salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only from September 1 through December 15. From December 16, 2019, through March 31, 2020, the daily creel limit for Atlantic Salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic Salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free-swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from September 1 through March 31, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock” Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic Salmon.
Regulations for Atlantic Salmon fishing in Crystal Lake and Mount Tom Pond are as follows:
- Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing - Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
- Open Season: Second Saturday in April through last day in March.
- Minimum Length: Salmon must be greater than or equal to 16 inches to keep.
- Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon
Mount Tom Pond
- Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
- Open Season: Second Saturday in April through last day in February.
- Minimum Length: None
- Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon