Habitat Conservation and Enhancement (HCE)

The Habitat Conservation and Enhancement (HCE) program serves as a vital liaison for the Fisheries Division with other DEEP Program personnel who take primary responsibility in issuing permits for regulated activities that potentially impact fish populations and their habitats.

HCE staff interact directly with federal, state and local regulatory and planning agencies, as well as private conservation organizations and individuals to provide timely information to conserve, restore and enhance the state's aquatic environments.

On average, staff annually review over 200 projects and activities that had the potential to affect fish habitat and fish populations. For many of these projects staff provide recommendations to applicants and regulatory staff that result in the protection, restoration or enhancement of fish habitat and ensure that fish populations are not harmed.  For example, recommendations for new culverts might request design changes relative to culvert slope and outlet elevation to ensure that fish can enter and swim through the culvert.  Recommendations often include restricting the time-of-year when instream work can be done to protect spawning fish.  In 2019, the review of regulated projects involving bridges, culverts, dams, bank stabilization, habitat enhancement and habitat restoration resulted in maintaining or restoring the connectivity of 75 river miles, the restoration or protection of 28 acres of riverine habitat, and the restoration or protection of 13 acres of estuarine habitat.

The HCE program also manages the introduction of sterile Grass Carp for the use of aquatic vegetation control in Connecticut’s lakes and ponds.  Permits are needed to release Grass Carp into state waters and the HCE program has established criteria such as onsite inspections and screening requirements that need to be met in order to obtain such permits.  Annually, over 125 permit applications for stocking fish are processed.

Stream Habitat Restoration Projects

Fact Sheets and Related Information

Final Report:  Brook Trout Stream Passage Assessment and Monitoring Study  (2020)

Inland Fisheries Division Riparian Policy

Large Woody Debris (LWD) Fact Sheet

Inland Fisheries Division Riparian Position Statement

Stream Crossing Guidelines

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Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions. 

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

Content Last Updated June 2020