Following is the weekly Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report, fourth of the season, issued May 16.
Rivers & streams — Conditions should be good for the weekend. Last week’s rains and some cool overnight temperatures earlier this week have refreshed streams, although flows in many areas throughout the state are again well below typical mid-May levels (see box on page 4). Trout fishing has generally been good and anglers are catching many of the brood stock trout stocked earlier this spring.
Anglers have been finding success using shiners (one angler caught and released 12 trout with this technique). Good reports last week from the Saugatuck River, Norwalk River (2 dozen caught & released for one happy angler), Pomperaug River, Natchaug River, Naugatuck River, Bantam River, Salmon River, Housatonic River, West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Willimantic River, Norwalk River, Blackberry River, East Aspetuck River, Hammonasset River, Tankerhoosen River, Yantic River, Quinebaug River and Eightmile River (Lyme).
Housatonic River – Lots of good reports last week, and conditions should be good for this weekend. Flows are clear but somewhat low and very fishable, currently 674 cfs at Falls Village and 1,050 cfs at Gaylordsville. Morning water temperatures are in the low to mid 50’s °F (TMA area) and rising through the afternoon.
Hatches/patterns — Current hatches include Green Caddis (main hatch), Tan Caddis, March Brown/Gray Fox (starting to show up), Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olives, Brown/Tan Caddis and Midges. Caddis (#14-18, green, olive & tan, just starting), Hendrickson Spinner (Rusty, #12-14), Adams (#12-20), March Brown (#10-12) are working well. Caddis, Gray Fox, March Browns, Sulphurs and Blue Wing Olives patterns are also working. Look for the rainbow trout to hold in faster water. Streamers fished around 6:30 p.m. on sinking-tip line have been very effective on overcast days. For those nymphing, go low & slow. Bottom bumping is catching some fish.
Many families took advantage of Free fishing Day and participated in the fishing activities last Saturday at the Great Park Pursuit event at Osborndale State Park.
Farmington River – Fishing has been excellent and conditions should great for the weekend. Flows are clear and moderate, currently 265 cfs at Riverton with the Still River adding another 56 cfs. Water temperatures continue in the upper 40’s to low 50’s°F.
Current hatches include Hendrickson (a.k.a. red quills; #12-14 were hatching in the afternoon from Riverton to Collinsville), Blue Winged Olive (#14-18), Blue Quill (a.k.a. paralep; #18), Early Stonefly (#6-16), Quill Gordon (#14), Green Caddis & Brown/Tan Caddis (#16-18) and Sulphurs (#16-20). Successful fly anglers are using Blue Winged Olives (#18-20), Winter/Summer Caddis (#18-22), Sulphur Emerger (#16-20), Rusty Spinners (#16-20), Midges (#22-32), Blue Quill (#16-18), Pheasant Tails (#14-18) and Mahogany Duns (#16-18).
Rivers and streams stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, the Shetucket River, Quinebaug River (Putnam), Snake Meadow Brook , Quanduck Brook, Mount Hope River, Fenton River, Hammonasset River (including the TMA), Jeremy River, Salmon River (including the TMA), Natchaug River, Willimantic River (including the TMA), Hop River, Skungamaug River and Scantic River (upper & lower sections) are all scheduled for stocking.
In western CT, the Naugatuck River (middle & lower sections – Thomaston/Waterbury/Beacon Falls), Leadmine Brook, Pequabuck River (Rockwell Park area), Hall Meadow Brook, East Branch Naugatuck River, West Branch Naugatuck River, East Aspetuck River, Pond Brook, Pootatuck River (lower), Pomperaug River, East Branch Salmon Brook, Mad River, Blackberry River and Mill River (Hamden — including the TMA), Naugatuck River (Harwinton/Litchfield/Torrington), Pequonnock River (Trumbull/Bridgeport, including in Trumbull Basin State Park and Beardsley Park) and Little River (Oxford) are scheduled to be stocked this week.
Lakes & Ponds – Connecticut lakes and ponds are fishing very well. Places to try include Highland Lake, Coventry Lake, West Hill Pond, Mount Tom Pond, Crystal Lake, Beach Pond, Lake McDonough, East Twin Lake, Mohawk Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Bigelow Pond, Wononskopomuc Lake, Long Pond, Colebrook Reservoir, Lake Hayward, Rogers Lake, Billings Lake and Wyassup Lake.
Lakes and ponds stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change): This week in eastern CT, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Amos Lake, Wyassup Lake, Beach Pond, Billings Lake, Wauregan Reservoir and Moosup Pond are scheduled to be stocked.
In western CT, West Hill Pond, Scoville Reservoir, Stillwater Pond, East Twin Lake, Lake McDonough, Mad River Impoundment, Baummer Pond, Fountain Lake and Colebrook Reservoir are scheduled to be stocked.
Trout Parks – Fishing is good at most Trout Parks. The Chatfield Hollow, Southford Falls Pond, Wharton Brook Pond, Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond), Black Rock Pond, Stratton Brook Park Pond, Kent Falls, Day Pond, Valley Falls Park Pond and Natchaug River were all stocked this week.
Recent Trophy Fish Awards include a 7.435 lb, 24.5 inch brown trout (7.435 lbs, 24.5”) caught from West Hill Pond by Daniel Cassidy, a 5.5 lb, 20 inch brown trout caught in the Farmington River by Felicity Zanger and a 7.69 lb rainbow trout caught in Farmington River by George Riccucci.
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally fair to good with reports from Fitchfield Pond, Seymour Reservoir, Halls Pond, Bantam Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Bashan Lake, Candlewood Lake, Hatch Pond (5 lb plus bass), Wononskopomuc Lake, Wood Creek Pond, Winchester Lake, Lake McDonough, Lake Saltonstall, Lake Lillinonah, Moodus Reservoir, West Hill Pond, Breakneck Pond (walk-in access here), Babcock Pond, Black Pond (Woodstock), Bishop Swamp Pond, Mudge Pond, Quonnipaug Lake, Lake Zoar, Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Silver Lake, Red Cedar Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Mono Pond, Halls Pond, Beseck Lake, Dog Pond, Pickerel Lake, Kenosia Lake and Quaddick Reservoir. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (very good, lunkers include a 6.7 lb largemouth caught by Dave Milardo fishing a BITE tournament, and several others in the 6-7 lb range), Bashan Lake (very good, 12 of 13 anglers got their five fish limit, with a 4.56 lb lunker), Quaddick Reservoir (fair), Highland Lake (very good with lots of action, 4.2lb and 3.3 lb lunkers), Moodus Reservoir (fair, nothing over 2 lbs) and Powers Lake ( a bit tough, with a 3.2 lb lunker).
SMALLMOUTH BASS action reported from Candlewood Lake, West Branch Reservoir, Colebrook Reservoir, Bashan Lake and Highland Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (very good, lots of 3-4 smallies in the bags), Bashan Lake (very hard to find), Highland Lake (good for those targeting smallmouth, with several in the 2.5 to 3 lb range) and Lake Lillinonah (fair to good).
KOKANEE SALMON are being caught at West Hill Pond. CARP are increasing in popularity and are being reported from the Naugatuck River in the Seymour area,
Mirror Lake (Meriden), Kettletown State Park, Huntington State Park and Squantz Pond (fish up to 3 inches).
ATLANTIC SALMON– Broodstock catches have been reported from Mount Tom Pond and the Lower Housatonic River.
WALLEYE are being reported from Batterson Park Pond.
ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER
Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011).
Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). Anglers fishing in any of these waters and western Connecticut in general should use extra care to avoid transporting water, aquatic vegetation, and possibly zebra mussels to new locations. Information
For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2013 CT angler’s Guide( www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).
CONNECTICUT RIVER – Flows continue to be below typical levels for mid-May, and continues to be slow to warm.
STRIPED BASS are coming to net. Keepers are now in the river north of Hartford with schoolie fish being found throughout. Catches include a nice 41 inch striper. Fish are responding to tube & worm, surface poppers, stick bait (faster the better), bait, eels and soft plastics. Anglers are reminded that taking alewife & blueback herring from the river is prohibited.
NORTHERN PIKE fishing in the Hartford and Haddam Meadows area is reported as good.
CATFISH are being caught on dead bait, chunking & sandworms in the Hartford to Middletown area of the river.
AMERICAN SHAD fishing is reported throughout the river and the Holyoke (MA) fish lift reports passing over 198,000 fish so far this season (as of May 14). It’s game on for shad fishing!
SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught in the mid to upper section of the river.
CARP catches went way up this week with the big fish coming in at over 20 lbs. The Charter Oak Landing area is a great place to take the family carp fishing. There’s plenty of room and the fishing is good due to constant pre-baiting of the site by anglers. Give these bulldogs a try.
LAKE LILLINONAH — A high school rowing event is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm in the uppermost two miles of the lake (and up through Lover’s Leap to Addis Park in New Milford) Boaters should however use additional caution on the northern portion of the lake.
LOWER BOLTON LAKE — A sail boat regatta is scheduled for Sunday, May 19th from 9:00 am to4:00 pm in the central area of the lake. boaters should extra care on the lake.
HOP BROOK LAKE & HANCOCK BROOK LAKE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hop Brook Lake and Hancock Brook Lake recreation areas are currently open for walk-in access only. Both areas are scheduled to be open for full vehicular access on May 18, 2013, and close for the season after September 8, 2013.
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the low to mid 50’s°F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:
http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html http://marine.rutgers.edu/mrs/sat_data/-nothumbs=1 http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/330.html
STRIPED BASS fishing continues to be in the spotlight. Tidal rivers and harbors are your best bet for schoolies and keeper size fish. Striper spots include the Pawcatuck River, Thames River, Millstone warm water discharge, Niantic River, Connecticut River by Great Island (Wood Lot) to Essex, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Housatonic River, and around the Norwalk Islands.
BLUEFISH are finally here in LIS! Bluefish spots include the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Gardiners Bay and along the north shore of Long Island (NY waters), mouth of the Thames and Connecticut Rivers, Millstone warm water discharge, and New Haven Harbor.
WINTER FLOUNDER fishing is rated just fair. Flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River and the Pine Island area including Baker Cove, Niantic River including the bay, New Haven Harbor, and Norwalk Harbor.
SCUP along with SUMMER FLOUNDER have showed up in LIS! The scup fishing season opened May 1st and the summer flounder season opened on this past Wednesday, May 15th.
HICKORY SHAD have also made an appearance in the major tidal rivers.
For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the 2013 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Current regulations, electronic versions of the Angler’s Guide and additional information can all be accessed on the DEEP website at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing.
In 2013 DEEP is issuing free vouchers to anglers fishing Connecticut waters (both Inland and Marine) to take 4,025 striped bass in a size range (at least 22 inches in length but shorter than 28 inches) below the current recreational minimum length for stripers in CT.
– Each voucher allows the angler to keep one “bonus” striper and can be used anywhere on Connecticut waters. The vouchers are valid through June 30, 2013.
– Vouchers can be obtained in person at a number of DEEP Offices (all that sell licenses, plus several coastal state parks and Dinosaur SP — for a complete list, see link below), from DEEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Officers, and from Riverfront Recapture Rangers.
– Anglers can obtain one voucher per day and use a maximum of two vouchers per day to keep “bonus” fish.
– Use of these vouchers does not affect an angler’s ability to keep their regular daily limit of striped bass. Each angler participating in the program can also keep up to two striped bass a day, 28 inches or larger in total length.
For more information, visit: Bonus Striper Vouchers or call: 860-424-3474 or 860-434-6043
Striped bass image courtesy Duane Raver/USFWS.