We kind of knew it was in the works, or at least there was a chance of it happening, as the rumor mill was filled with talk of an early opening to trout season in Connecticut for the past few weeks. This was likely sparked and fielded by a proposed bill that was filed in February which would abolish Opening Day altogether and make trout fishing open year-round in the state. This has received mixed but primarily supportive responses from the public, but for 2021 at least, this is now a non-issue.
Released at 4:45 pm on March 4, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Executive Order 10 B which, among other things, announced the opening of trout season immediately. It further states that this order shall, “remain in effect for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergencies declared on March 10, 2020, September 1, 2020, and January 26, 2021.”
The full order may be found online, with the pertinent information as to trout fishing noted below.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, NED LAMONT, Governor of the State of Connecticut, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Connecticut, and pursuant to the public health and civil preparedness emergencies declared on March 10, 2020 and renewed on September 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021 and the new public health and civil preparedness emergencies declared on January 26, 2021, do hereby ORDER AND DIRECT:
- Early Opening of 2021 Fishing Season. Notwithstanding Section 26-112 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, effective immediately and through the remainder of the 2021 fishing season, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no closed season for fishing in the inland waters of Connecticut. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may extend or modify the open seasons for inland waters fishing without notice and public hearing and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary consistent with this order. All other regulations for fishing, including, but not limited to, licensing, stamps, methods, catch-and-release areas, creel limits and length limits shall remain in effect. Anglers shall practice social distancing measures, including remaining six feet apart, and wear masks or cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth wherever and whenever such distancing is not possible, and not travel in groups.
In response to the above order, Connecticut Fish & Wildlife made the following announcement on their Facebook page. It is worth noting that just because trout season is open effective March 4, harvest of trout is not open in all waters so be sure to take note of the following harvest restrictions.
The Fisheries Division has started stocking trout as would be expected for this time of year, however, as the season is now open, not every water has been stocked. We will be working daily between now and mid-May to get all of the trout we have raised for the spring of 2021. Please be patient as it will take time for us to get everywhere.
Here are some details of what this means for trout fishing now that the season has been opened by Gov. Lamont:
- Trout Parks: 2 trout per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Trout Management Areas (Rivers/Streams): Catch and Release until April 10, 2021. Please refer to the respective TMA
for rules effective on April 10, 2021 and beyond.
- Trout Management Lakes: One fish per day, 16″ minimum length until March 31, 2021, then 5 fish per day.
- Trophy Trout Areas: 2 fish per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Wild Trout Management Areas:
- Class 2 – 2 trout per day, 12 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Class 3 – 5 trout per day, 9 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)