Something fishy was afoot (or ‘a-fin’?) this past Monday, March 8, as staff members from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were in Wilton stocking the Norwalk River with brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout.
The fish are bred at the state’s Burlington Hatchery in Burlington, which runs a “survivor” program to breed fish that are more likely to survive in the wild. Stocking rivers around the state with the fish born at the hatchery increases the chance that they will grow and spawn in the wild, and increase native species in Connecticut.
Wilton resident Jeff Woodring volunteers with the Burlington Hatchery once a week, March through May, helping DEEP employees as they stock rivers across the state. On Monday, they released over 1,800 fish at various locations along the Norwalk River, including Wilton Center.
He sent us great video and photos to share with readers.
Gov. Lamont Opens Fishing Season Early
Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order removing closed seasons for fishing on all inland waters in Connecticut, and opening additional lakes, ponds, as well as rivers and streams to fishing statewide, effective Thursday, March 4. The governor signed a similar order last year to open the state’s fishing season early at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Order No. 10B removes prohibitions on fishing for trout, effectively advancing opening day of trout season from April 10, 2021 to March 4. The governor said that opening the fishing season early permits anglers to enjoy additional access to outdoor recreation, which has been a help to residents’ mental and physical health.
“Opening the fishing season early helps to reduce opening day crowds and limit the potential for spread of COVID-19,” Lamont said. “Anglers are encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, and we encourage fishing to be enjoyed only with members of your immediate household and not as a group activity.”
While Executive Order No. 10B opens water to fishing, all other fishing laws and regulations, including requirements for a fishing license and trout and salmon stamp when needed, and all methods, creel limits and length limits remain in effect. The executive order does not change the regulations for Trout Management Areas that are currently open for catch and release fishing only nor does it change the one fish per day, 16-inch minimum length, currently in effect at Trout Management Lakes.
Connecticut saw a 17% increase in new fishing and hunting license sales last year, evidence of how residents are enjoying the state’s fisheries and natural resources as a safe respite during the pandemic.
The Fisheries Division of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) began its 2021 spring stocking of all traditional trout fishing areas in early February. There are now opportunities to fish for bass, pike, walleye, catfish, and carp in areas that are usually closed at this time of year. Anglers are reminded to purchase 2021 fishing licenses, Trout & Salmon Stamp, and Youth Fishing Passports online, through DEEP’s mobile friendly website or access through DEEP’s main fishing website.
Anglers are reminded to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, practice good personal hygiene, and stay home and away from others if they feel sick. Choose a different location If there are crowds at a favorite fishing spot, or return another day or time.