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DEEP Announces the Winners of the 2022 Youth Fishing Passport Fishing Challenge

Free Youth Fishing Passport Available for Youth Under 16

(HARTFORD)— TheConnecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce the winners of the Youth Fishing Passport Fishing Challenge. Noah Savin (Middlebury) landed 17 of the 21 species, while Emmett Dougherty (Coventry) caught 16, Kiera Mullen (Coventry) 14, and Zakk Wallace (Stratford) 13. Each receive a prize pack with a fishing rod and reel, tackle; the Freshwater Fishes of CT and Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut books; and a Fish CT hat.


“The Youth Fishing Passport program promotes environmental responsibility, stewardship, and a sense of belonging to the sport fishing community,” said Peter Aarrestad, Director, DEEP Fisheries Division. “The program encourages youth to take an active role in responsible fishing, increases awareness of fishing regulations, and makes young people embrace being a true angler.”  “The ultimate goal of the Youth Fishing Passport Program is to get kids and their families excited about fishing,” said Aarrestad. “To keep kids and their families engaged, the Youth Fishing Passport program focuses on activities, incentives from the fishing industry, and a support network to build confidence in fishing skills, including free fishing classes, sharing of fishing successes and failures, and partnering with the No Child Left Inside® Program to create safe and supportive opportunities to fish.”


“Congratulations to each of the winners,” said Mike Beauchene, Supervising Fisheries Biologist. “I am very pleased that we were able to continue to offer this year-long family friendly activity. It is our hope that this great new program will help encourage more families to get out and experience the joys of fishing.”


The free Youth Fishing Passport is available through the online sportsmen licensing system for youth under the age of 16 (detailed instructions are available on the Youth Fishing Passport website), and each youth who registers will be issued a life-time Conservation ID number, identical to what adult sportsmen currently receive. In Connecticut, anyone under the age of 16 can fish without acquiring a youth passport or a fishing license. Those 16 or older who would like to fish must have a valid fishing license.


Youth under 16 are challenged to catch one of each of 21 species of fish listed on the Fishing Challenge Scorecard. As they catch a species on the list, participants upload a picture of their catch using the online angler recognition system. The total number of species for each angler is calculated at the end of the year. 


While fishing is a fun activity that gets people outside, getting started can seem a daunting task. To help young anglers make their first cast, families are offered free “learn to fish” classes through the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) family fishing program. These classes are offered at numerous locations across the state throughout the year. The current listing of CARE classes is available on


Wondering where and when to go fishing?  What are the fishing regulations? Or just need some general pointers? The Fisheries Division staff are always available to answer your questions via phone (860-424-3474) or email at Anglers can find all the fishing regulations (plus other fishing related information) in theConnecticut Digital Fishing Guide, online at Additionally, the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut: 


Noah Savin

Noah Savin (Middlebury)

Emmett Dougherty

Emmett Dougherty (Coventry)

Kiera Mullen

Kiera Mullen (Coventry)

Zakk Wallace

Zakk Wallace (Stratford) 13

Twitter: @CTDEEPNews
Facebook: DEEP on Facebook


DEEP Communications