For the angler who enjoys winter fishing, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Inland Fisheries Division has begun stocking approximately 400 broodstock Seeforellen strain Brown Trout in selected waters throughout the state. These fish are some of the largest trout that DEEP has stocked, with fish averaging 15 pounds each and some weighing in at more than 20 pounds.
“We are excited for the angling community — fish of this size and quality are extremely rare and for the anglers fortunate enough to catch one, they will certainly provide the thrill of a lifetime,” said Peter Aarrestad, Director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “With the exception of some broodstock Atlantic Salmon, these Seeforellen strain Brown Trout are the largest fish we stock, with some exceeding the current state record of 18 pounds, 5 ounces.”
These 400 Seeforellen strain Brown Trout are being stocked into eight lakes: Black Pond (Meriden/Middlefield), Cedar Lake (Chester), East Twin Lake (Salisbury), Highland Lake (Winchester), Long Pond (Ledyard/North Stonington), Mashapaug Pond (Union), Squantz Pond (New Fairfield) and West Hill Pond (Barkhamsted/New Hartford), with each lake receiving approximately 50 fish. Stockings began this week and are scheduled to be completed on Christmas Eve.
This group of broodstock are from the Kensington State Fish Hatchery, are five years old and have served their purpose well by producing millions of eggs and offspring to support stocking efforts during their time at the hatchery. The winter stocking is taking place now since the hatchery is not able to hold these fish over until the spring.
DEEP advises that these exceptionally large fish may require a shift in fishing gear. “Anglers who are targeting these Seeforellens may want to upsize from traditional ultra-light trout gear, to gear robust enough to land one of these very large and powerful fish,” said Aarrestad.
Regulations vary on the waters being stocked with these fish. The DEEP advises anglers to check fishing regulations in the 2014 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found online at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide. Print versions of the guides are available from many Town Clerks and bait & tackle stores, or by contacting DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH). The 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guides are expected to be available in late March, 2015.
Additional fishing and fisheries related information, including the Weekly Fishing Report, can be found on the DEEP Fisheries web pages at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife. Anglers will find additional information and updates on DEEP’s December trout stockings on the Fisheries webpage and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page.
Anglers are also reminded that 2015 fishing and hunting licenses are now available and can be purchased directly online, or at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. Remember that 2015 Fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 16 and 17 year olds will be ½ price (most hunting permits, stamps and tags will also be ½ price for 16 and 17 year olds). For a complete list of vendors, visit the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing) or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).