Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that changes to sport fishing regulations have been approved – including moving forward the date of opening day of trout season by one week, from the third to the second Saturday in April. This means opening day for the 2015 season will now be April 11.

The changes in the date for opening day and in other regulations were approved today by the General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee.

“We are excited about the additional fishing opportunities provided to anglers with this change to the date of opening day,” said Pete Aarrestad, director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “This change provides an additional week of fishing opportunities for both resident and non-resident anglers targeting trout or fishing for other species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass found in trout waters.”

“Most of the state’s school-age anglers will also now have the opportunity to fish for trout during their spring breaks, as opening day will now come at the beginning of that school vacation for most school systems in Connecticut,” said Aarrestad. “Additionally, Connecticut’s opening day will now be aligned more closely with those of the other states in the region.”

The legislature’s Regulations Review Committee also approved several other changes in regulations that were recommended by DEEP.  Among those of most immediate interest to anglers:

  • Fishing seasons. Batterson Park Pond (Farmington), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (Mansfield), and the Yantic River below the falls at Indian Leap (Norwich) will now be open year-round, the fishing season will now close at Scoville Reservoir (Wolcott) on the last day of February and the season at East Twin Lake is extended through the end of March.
  • Methods. Anglers will now be able to use up to three lines (instead of two) at one time when fishing, except in specially designated trout areas (Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas, Trout Parks, Sea-run Trout Streams and Trophy Trout Streams) where the limit will remain two lines at one time.
  • Creel & length limits. The creel limit for Kokanee Salmon is reduced from 8 to 5 fish per day, the special limits at East Twin Lake for Brown Trout are removed, and for American Eel the creel limit is reduced to 25 fish per day and the minimum length is increased to 9 inches.
  • Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA). The portions of the Tankerhoosen River in Vernon located in the Tankerhoosen Wildlife Management Area becomes a class I WTMA (open year-round, catch-and-release fishing only) and will be combined with the Belding WTMA to become the Belding-Tankerhoosen Wild Trout Management Area.

DEEP ADVISES ANGLERS THAT ALTHOUGH THESE REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN APPROVED, THEY ARE NOT EFFECTIVE until they are formally posted on the Secretary of the State’s website (www.sots.ct.gov). It typically takes a week or so following Regulations Review approval to finalize the regulations and have them posted.

There are a number of other changes to the regulations not mentioned above. Anglers can find more information concerning these regulations on the DEEP Fisheries web pages at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing, on the Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife, in the in the 2014 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found online at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide, and the 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guide which will be available in late March. 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).