Opening Day of the trout fishing season is this Saturday, April 13, starting at 6:00 a.m. sharp! Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has the state’s rivers, streams, lakes and ponds stocked and ready. Over 315,000 trout have already been released this spring into nearly 100 lakes and ponds and 130 rivers and streams located throughout Connecticut and are awaiting Opening Day anglers. DEEP’s spring trout stocking effort began in late February and will continue through mid-late May. When the spring stockings are completed, DEEP expects to have stocked approximately 507,000 trout.
“Opening Day is an exciting time for Connecticut’s many trout anglers, and they can look forward to a great fishing season,” said Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner of DEEP. “The fish are in excellent condition, our trout waters are stocked and anglers can enjoy a wide range of fishing options.”
Among the best places for families to fish on Opening Day are the twelve designated Trout Parks. “Trout Parks are easily accessible, have picnic areas and other amenities nearby, and are stocked frequently so that there are plenty of trout for children, families, and novice anglers to catch,” said Rick Jacobson, Chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources. “And as an added feature, families and young anglers will be able to help stock trout at nine of the Trout Parks on Opening Day. We have found that these stocking events are a real highlight for many families. Please come help us stock trout on Opening Day.”
All twelve Trout Parks have already been stocked by DEEP, including the nine areas that are scheduled to be stocked again on Opening Day (see table on last page for Trout Park stocking times). All the remaining Trout Parks will be re-stocked shortly after Opening Day and all Trout Parks will be stocked several times through May.
One new waterbody, Rogers Park Pond in Danbury, now being managed as a Community Fishing Water (CFW), was stocked for the first time by DEEP this spring. The CFW’s are scattered throughout the state in cities and large towns and are managed to provide fishing opportunities in or close to urban areas. Fourteen of these areas have been stocked with trout for Opening Day (see the 2019 Fishing Guide for more information on these areas).
A number of waters were dropped from the stocking schedule in 2017 when DEEP reduced the number of areas stocked that year. Since then, DEEP has brought some of these waters back into the stocking schedules. Keach Pond (Thompson) and Lower Storrs Pumping Station Pond (Mansfield) have been added back for 2019 and Flat Brook (East Hampton), Pattaconk Brook (Chester) and Roseland Lake were brought back last year and will be stocked again this year.
Last year’s storms are still affecting access and stocking in a few areas. Due to ongoing storm damage only the upper portion of Muddy River within the Tyler Mill Preserve will be stocked this spring and the Sleeping Giant Trout Management Area (Mill River in Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden) won’t be stocked until later this year. Other portions of the Mill River in Hamden are being stocked for Opening Day, and nearby Wharton Brook State Park is open and the pond has been stocked (and will be stocked again on Saturday morning).
Finally, three spots along Leadmine Brook (Harwinton) in the Roraback Wildlife Management Area weren’t stocked due to beaver activity. Fewer locations on the lower Fivemile River (Putnam, Killingly) were stocked than in previous years due to loss of access – check the revised online stocking map at:
five_mile_river_upper_and_lower_danielson_killingly_putnam_thompson.pdf, the west shore of Valley Falls Park Pond is closed to the public due to ongoing dam repairs, but the remainder of the shoreline will be open to fishing, due to effects of a dam repair, and the Natchaug River was not stocked at the Eastern Connecticut Fire School (Windham) due to some construction (this area will however be stocked later this month).
With water and air temperatures just beginning to warm up, boaters are reminded to wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Whether fishing from a kayak, canoe, rowboat, or outboard a PFD can save your life should you capsize.
Anglers can find more information on trout stocking online including an interactive trout stocking map (www.ct.gov/deep/troutstockingmaps). This application (mobile friendly) provides the number of days since the last stocking at each of our stocked waters enabling anglers to search for their favorite waterbody, find a new favorite, or look for those that have been stocked most recently.
Trout anglers ages 16 and older are reminded that they may need to purchase a Trout & Salmon Stamp. This stamp is required to fish in any designated Trout Management Area, Wild Trout Management Area, Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area and for anglers harvesting trout or salmon anywhere throughout the state. There are several exemptions from the requirements for a Trout & Salmon stamp. 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. Additionally, those fishing waters that are not stocked by the state, but have been stocked by another entity such as a fish and game club pond or by a town or organization for a local fishing derby, do not need the stamp. 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.
There are no new fishing regulations in inland waters for 2019. Anglers are reminded that many trout fishing areas have special regulations, including Trout Parks, Trout Management Areas, Trophy Trout Streams, Trout Management Areas, Sea-Run Trout Streams and Wild Trout Management Areas. Anglers should consult the 2019 CT Fishing Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. The guide is now available online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishingguide. Print versions of the guides are available at more than 350 locations statewide, including town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds. Fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
DEEP Fisheries and Wildlife information can also be found directly on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife. This page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut. Anglers can find updates on DEEP’s trout stockings on both the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page and on the DEEP website. Maps of all of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/troutstockingmaps.
You can purchase your 2019 fishing licenses and Trout & Salmon Stamps directly online through our mobile friendly site. You can also obtain them at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. Remember that fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 16 and 17 year olds are ½ price (most hunting and fishing permits, stamps and tags are also ½ price for 16 and 17 year olds). For a complete list of fishing license vendors, visit the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing) or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).
Below are the approximate numbers and types of catchable size trout stocked for Opening Day and the list of Trout Parks.
The following species & sizes of trout will be stocked for Opening Day, 2019:
44,100 Brook Trout (10-11 inch)
2,000 Brook Trout (12 -14 inch)
165,000 Brown Trout (10-11 inch)
8,100 Brown Trout (12 inch)
78,800 Rainbow Trout (10-12 inch)
19,500 Rainbow Trout (12-14 inch)
1,150 surplus broodstock (3-10 pound trout – all species)
The following is a list of the designated Trout Parks in Connecticut. The approximate stocking times are given for the areas scheduled to be stocked on Opening Day, 2019 (Trout Parks being stocked on Opening Day are in bold):
Trout Parks Opening Day stocking time
Black Rock State Park* (Watertown) 10:00 am
Chatfield Hollow State Park* (Killingworth) 10:00 am
Day Pond (Colchester)
Mohegan Park Pond (Norwich)*
Kent Falls State Park (Kent)*
Natchaug River (Eastford)
Pasture Pond (Plainfield)
Southford Falls State Park* (Oxford) 8:00 am
Stratton Brook State Park* (Simsbury) 8:00 am
Valley Falls Pond (Vernon)* 8:00 am
Wharton Brook State Park* (Wallingford) 10:15 am
Wolfe Park – Great Hollow Pond* (Monroe) 10:00 am
*Stocked on Opening Day Note- all times approximate