WOODS ‘N’ WATER: State waters rich with stocked salmon

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: State waters rich with stocked salmon


“Fish On!” A familiar cry when fishing, but who ever thought for one moment that the fish would be an Atlantic salmon, especially here in Connecticut?

Many years ago, there was a fish hatchery in Monroe that allowed fishing in one of the ponds on the property. It held salmon, both Coho and Atlantic. It was a wonderful place to fish simply because of the variety of trout and salmon that it held, but like all good things it was sold and then closed to the public.

The DEEP was still trying to get a salmon run on the Connecticut River. It was just about an impossible task, but you do have to credit the DEEP for trying.

When that program ended, a new fishing adventure was offered: fishing for Atlantic salmon right here in Connecticut waters.

Not everyone took to it, but those who did swear by it and are thankful to have an opportunity to catch an Atlantic salmon without having to travel a thousand miles to enjoy fishing for them.

Just as recent as the middle of October, broodstock Atlantic salmon were stocked into the upper Naugatuck River (80 fish) and into the lower Naugatuck River (81 fish). The fish range from 1-10 pounds. Most are 4-5 pounds. A few are in the 10-pound range.

Those fishing for these salmon should be aware there are regulations regarding fishing for salmon in various waters. First off, a Trout and Salmon Stamp is required to fish broodstock areas on both the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers, and fishing for them on these two rivers is catch-and-release only through Nov. 30. From Dec. 1 to March 31, 2019 the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon is one.

Atlantic salmon taken from Mount Tom Pond or Crystal Lake may be kept IF you have a Trout and Salmon Stamp. If you are practicing catch-and-release, the stamp is not required.

The regulations for Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are a bit different from those for the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific body of water. The daily creel limit is one salmon per day.

For those fishing the rivers for Atlantic salmon during the open season, the legal method is limited to using a single fly or an artificial lure with a single free-swinging hook. No additional weight may be added to the line above the fly or lure.

Also, from Sept. 1 to March 31, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic salmon broodstock areas is restricted to the gear used to fish for the salmon.

Regarding the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam in Windham to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich. The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic salmon broodstock from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.

In the Naugatuck River, anglers can fish for Atlantic salmon from the confluence of the East and West branches in Torrington downstream to the Housatonic River in Derby. Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of the Derby dam.

The salmon are stocked into two designated broodstock areas on the Naugatuck River. One is the Campville section of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam. The other Naugatuck River stocking area is from Prospect Street in Naugatuck downstream to Pines Bridge, Route 42 in Beacon Falls.

Again, from Sept. 1 through March 31 of the following year fishing for other species in these Atlantic salmon broodstock areas is restricted to using only gear that is legal for the Atlantic salmon.

Trout fishermen now have the fall stockings of trout to look forward to. According to the DEEP Fishing Report, the Naugatuck River Trout Management Area was recently stocked with 50 broodstock brown trout in the 3-4 pound range.

The Salmon River got 1,200 12-inch rainbow trout and 800 went into the Chatfield Hollow TMA and 400 in the river downstream.

The Shetucket River received a stocking of 500 rainbow 12 inches and up. The Hammonasset River received a stocking of 300 rainbow trout.

Bass fishing has been fair at Silver Lake and some anglers have come away with some nice catfish from its waters.

Yes, I know that it is hunting season, but this is also a good time to get in some open-water fishing before everything freezes up and, with the past couple of winters we have had, who knows how good the ice will be?

That’s it for today, gang. It’s the fall of the year — a beautiful time to be outdoors. See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be.

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