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CONNECTICUT FRESHWATER REGULATION CHANGES

Connecticut has made changes to regulations for angling and harvest on several different species for 2018.
By Toby Lapinski  |  February 28, 2018
CONNECTICUT FRESHWATER REGULATION CHANGES
Among other items approved in February, CT anglers will now be required to purchase a trout/salmon stamp in order to fish at certain locations as well as to harvest trout from any water body. (Photo courtesy of Connecticut Fish and Wildlife)

At the Connecticut Legislature’s Regulation Review Committee (LRRC) meeting on February 27, 2018, a slew of new regulations and updates were approved. Among the changes are the final approval of the trout and salmon stamp, designation of trophy carp waters and more. Below is a general summary of the regulations from the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife department.

The new regulations will become effective once they are published on the eRegulations system by the Secretary of State’s office (SOTS). This will occur several days to a week or so after approval by LRRC as there are several additional steps required to formalize the regulations prior to posting by SOTS.

TROUT & SALMON STAMP
A $5.00 trout & salmon stamp is required for any angler 16 years of age and older fishing in a Trout Management Area (TMA), Wild Trout Management Area (WTMA), Trout Park, or Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Area; or keeping trout, Kokanee Salmon or broodstock Atlantic Salmon anywhere statewide.

** See the note at the end of the updates for additional information on the stamp.

FARMINGTON RIVER TMA
A small portion of the West Branch Farmington River in the Riverton area from the intersection of Hogback Road and Route 20 in Hartland downstream to the gas pipeline crossing approximately four-tenths miles downstream of the confluence with the Still River in Barkhamsted will now be closed to all fishing from April First to 6:00 am on the second Saturday in April.

MILL RIVER WTMA & MILL RIVER TMA (Easton-Fairfield)
The Mill River WTMA is extended downstream to the Merritt Parkway and the Mill River TMA is now catch-and-release year round.

FISHING SEASONS
Alexander Lake is open to fishing year round. Baldwins Pond and Green Falls Reservoir are open to fishing from 6:00 am Opening Day through the last day of February.

CATFISH
There is now a creel limit of 6 Channel Catfish and White Catfish in aggregate per day, except in Beaver Park Lagoon, Birge Pond, Bunnells Pond, Center Springs Park Pond, Freshwater Pond, Keeney Park Pond, Lake Wintergreen, Lakewood Lake, Mirror Lake, Picketts Pond, Rowans Pond, Mohegan Park Pond and Stanley Quarter Pond where the creel limit is 3 catfish per day.

COMMON CARP
There is now a creel limit of 5 common carp per day, with no more than 1 fish greater than 30 inches in length, except in Trophy Carp Waters.

TROPHY CARP WATERS
Batterson Park Pond, Connecticut River (including the portions of tributaries open year-round), Squantz Pond and West Thompson Reservoir are designated as Trophy Carp Waters with a one carp per day creel limit and a 26 inch maximum length for Common Carp.

METHODS
Tenkara fishing (a traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing without a reel) is now allowed in fly fishing areas.

ATLANTIC SALMON BROODSTOCK AREAS
The period when broodstock salmon gear restriction applies to all species in broodstock areas is now from September 1 to March 31 (inclusive).

TROUT STAMP SUMMARY
Here is a brief summary of the most often asked questions from the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife department. There is also a dedicated FAQ and a brochure available with additional details.

  1. Applies to everyone age 16 and up including age 65+
  2. 100% of the funds come to Fish and Wildlife - not the general fund - see CTGS 26-15, 26-15a and 26-15b
  3. It is an optional product (meaning not everyone will need to get it).
  4. There is no physical stamp. It will be an add on to your license.
  5. If you already bought a license you MAY need to add it.
  6. It should be available via our license system in about 2 weeks

It is needed for either of these situations:

  1. To FISH in a Trout Management Area, Wild Trout Management Area, Trout Park, or Broodstock Atlantic Salmon Area, OR
  2. If you wish to KEEP any trout or salmon from anywhere (except for places stocked at no expense to the state, like a fish and game club pond.)

Trout management lakes and trophy trout areas are not included in the list of places where it is required. So, in Candlewood Lake (and others) you do not need a trout stamp to FISH, only to KEEP trout.

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