CT Begins Stocking Broodstock Salmon

A mature male kokanee in spawning form. Mature fish are typically 2-3 years old. Photo/CT Fish and Wildlife.

The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that its 2012 autumn stockings of broodstock Atlantic salmon have begun. DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division recently released 700 salmon into the Naugatuck River, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake (Ellington). Early next week, DEEP will be releasing 300 salmon into the Shetucket River.

The broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked in Connecticut were raised in state hatcheries to provide eggs for the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program and are the progeny of sea-run fish that returned to the Connecticut River. Beginning in 1992, surplus and spawned fish have been made available to provide a recreational fishery for Connecticut anglers.

Crystal Lake was stocked Thursday (9/27) with 200 salmon. On Friday, September 28, Mount Tom Pond was stocked with 100 salmon and the upper Naugatuck River was stocked with 200 salmon. Earlier today (Monday, October 1) the lower Naugatuck River was stocked with 200 salmon. DEEP expects to stock the Shetucket River with 300 salmon on Monday, October 9, following completion of certain repairs to the Scotland Dam by FirstLight Power Resources.

This first group of broodstock Atlantic salmon being released range in weight from 2 to 6 pounds each. Later in October, several hundred additional fish may also be available for stocking. These fish will range from 2 to 15 pounds each. Following spawning later this fall, DEEP expects an additional 800 to 1,000 salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will be available for stocking in November. These fish will range in weight from 4 to 15 pounds each.

Atlantic salmon broodstock stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers are typically released into three designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas: 1) between Scotland Dam (Scotland) and Occum Dam (Norwich) on the Shetucket River; 2) the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston); and 3) the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls).

Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor).

In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only from October 1 through November 30. From December 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.

In 2007 DEEP began stocking selected lakes with broodstock Atlantic salmon. This fall, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake are again being stocked. This past spring, 600 smaller (1-2 pound fish) were stocked into Long Pond (Ledyard/North Stonington) Crystal Lake, Mount Tom Pond and Nells Rock Reservoir (Shelton). Anglers may also occasionally catch salmon that have held over from previous stockings of Beach Pond and Mashapaug Lake.

The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon are the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit is one salmon per day. The specific regulations for salmon fishing in lakes that have been stocked with Atlantic salmon can be found in the 2012 Connecticut Angler’s Guide and are also provided at the conclusion of this news release. The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked into lakes and ponds will also be posted at each water body. Anglers can also contact DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH) for more information.

All other regulations, including those for broodstock salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, can also be found in the 2012 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).

Additional fishing and fisheries related information, including the Weekly Fishing Report, can be found on the DEEP web site by CLICKING HERE. Additionally, you can now find Fisheries and Wildlife directly on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.  This page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut. This fall, anglers can find updates on DEEP’s broodstock Atlantic salmon stockings and news fall trout stockings in both the Weekly Fishing Reports and on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page.

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