I don’t know what to think regarding this crazy weather we are having. When I was a kid we would be skating by now, with just about all of the ponds in the area freezing over.
Now, local anglers are still fishing open water.
The DEEP Inland Fisheries has been stocking many of the trout ponds, like Black Pond, and some hardy fishermen are enjoying the fishing.
Also in Connecticut, we now have fishing for Atlantic salmon and I, for one, hail the program.
There was a time when an effort was made to rekindle an Atlantic salmon run in the Connecticut River, but as far as I know it is no longer in operation.
Instead, Atlantic salmon are being stocked into a couple of select Connecticut waters, and why not? Local anglers have no problem with fishing for stocked trout in our state and this does generate a lot of interest in fishing local waters.
The Inland Fisheries does stock some channel catfish, and this is also a good thing. Some of the catfish I have seen coming out of Mirror Lake are real lunkers.
Regarding the Atlantic salmon stocking, the seasons and daily creel limits for Atlantic salmon in open areas of the Naugatuck River, Housatonic River and Shetucket River do have some regulations to be followed:
From September 1, 2021 through December 15, 2021 angling will be restricted to catch and release only in all areas. The daily creel limit is ZERO and all Atlantic salmon should be immediately released without injury in the same waters they were caught in.
From Dec. 16, 2021 through March 31, 2022 the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon is one.
From April 1 to 6 a.m. on April 9, 2022 angling for Atlantic salmon will be restricted to catch-and-release only. The daily creel limit is ZERO.
From 6 a.m. on April 9 through August 31, 2022 the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon is one.
The open season and daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon in Mount Tom Pond is also regulated. Now through February 28, 2022 the daily limit for Atlantic salmon is one.
Another body of water benefiting from the Atlantic salmon stockings is Crystal Lake. Seasons and creel limits mirror the ones listed above.
While there is no minimum length for the Atlantic salmon in all areas open to taking them, Crystal Lake is the exception. There, the minimum length is 16 inches.
During the open season, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon in open areas of the Naugatuck River, Housatonic River and Shetucket River is limited to using a single fly or artificial lure with a single swinging hook.
Additional weight MAY NOT be added to the line. A bubble float attached to the line or leader to adjust buoyancy shall not be considered additional weight.
During the open season, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon in Crystal Lake and Mount Tom Pond is limited to angling and ice fishing.
Regarding safe ice, please remember there is no fish worth dying for. I know that the first sign of frozen water stirs the ice fisherman in many anglers, but we will have to see how Mother Nature treats us this winter. It really has been an odd weather pattern so far.
As for the fishermen using canoes and kayaks to get in some late fishing, make sure you are wearing a life jacket because you will not last long in the chilly water.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again and time to get something for that outdoor person in your life.
This year, they are promoting helping out small businesses. I can’t think of a better one than the Fishin’ Factory at 1426 Meriden/Waterbury Road in the Milldale section of Southington (860-621-8145).
Over the years I have found them to be very friendly and supportive of various causes, like the annual St. Jude fundraiser sponsored by the Meriden Rod & Gun Club.
They can fill just about all of your fishing needs regardless of what species of fish you may be after. They have plenty of rods, reels, lures and all other types of fishing gear, and if they don’t have it, they usually can get it for you.
You can also get your fishing and hunting licenses there. Such a license would make an excellent Christmas gift.
My suggestion for one of the most practical gifts for the fisherman would be a Fishin’ Factory gift certificate. Let the receiver use it to get whatever pleases them most.
For firearms owners and target shooters, check out Blue Trail Range in Wallingford and purchase some shooting time. Again, a gift certificate is a great idea.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.