New Inland Fishing Rules Take Effect to Expand Connecticut Opportunities

HARTFORD, CT – The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announces new inland fishing regulations effective immediately that are intended to enhance existing and provide new fishing opportunities.

The new regulations were initiated by DEEP in 2019 with a Notice of Intent issued November 12, 2020, followed by a public hearing and comment period concluding December 15, 2020. Revisions to the proposed regulations were made following consideration of the public comments and the proposed regulations were approved by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee June 22, 2021, and formally posted to the state’s eRegulations system yesterday.

The following are highlights of some of the new regulations:

Bow fishing. The definition for “bow and arrow fishing” is updated and cross bows will be allowed. Any fish shot by an arrow will count against the daily creel limit.

Catfish. The creel limit for catfish at Colony Pond (Ansonia, Shelton), Crescent Lake (Southington) and Rogers Park Pond (Danbury) is changed to 3 fish per day.

Common Carp. Regulations specific to bow fishing (12 fish creel limit, only 3 fish over 30 inches) for carp are established for West Thompson Lake and portions of the Connecticut, Coginchaug, Mattabesset, Housatonic and Quinnipiac rivers.

Fishing seasons. The open season for fishing at Black Rock Pond, McGovern Pond and Walker Reservoir (East) will be from 6:00 am Opening Day through the last day in February.

Northern Pike/Tiger Muskie. Clarifies that creel and length limits for Northern Pike apply to Northern Pike hybrids and establishes a one fish per day, 38-inch minimum length limits for Northern Pike/tiger muskie at Lake Lillinonah.

Trout Management Lakes. Black Pond (Woodstock) and Mohawk Pond are designated as Trout Management Lakes with an extended March season and managed as a Brook Trout fishery with special regulations for Brook Trout.

Trout Parks. McGovern Pond (West Hartford) is designated as a Trout Park (2 trout per day, Trout & Salmon stamp required).

Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA). The Session Woods WTMA is reclassified as a Class I WTMA (from a Class III) and the name of the stream in this WTMA is updated to “Freeman Hill Brook”.

The new regulations have been incorporated into the 2021 Connecticut Fishing Guide, and are in red font and noted as “Change effective in June, 2021”. The Guide can be found online at www.ct.gov/deep/fishingguide.

If anglers have any questions or would like additional information on the inland regulations, they can also contact the Fisheries Division (email: DEEP.Inland.Fisheries@ct.gov, phone: 860-424-FISH).

Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.