Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that one of the most sought after freshwater game fish species in the country, the Channel Catfish, has been stocked into twenty-four water bodies across Connecticut (see list of locations below.) This marks the ninth consecutive year DEEP has been able to stock Channel Catfish purchased with Federal Sport Fish Restoration Funds. This year approximately 16,300 fish were stocked.

The “cats” stocked this week include large fish averaging 12-18 inches in length and weighing just under 2 pounds; and smaller fish, averaging 9-12 inches and about ½ pound in weight. Stocking the larger fish provides an immediate summer fishery for a great tasting-high quality fish, while stocking the smaller fish provides a cost-effective investment for great catfish fishing into the future.

“This DEEP program establishes channel catfish in lakes where we know there is sufficient habitat to support a population of large gamefish,” said Bill Hyatt, Chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources. “Anglers have reported taking 5-7 lb fish from several of the lakes. DEEP believes that the combination of a popular gamefish stocked into waters that are selected based on scientific data is a winning combination. We’ve had great success in using this approach to develop exciting fisheries for northern pike and walleye and now we’re looking forward to similar results with catfish.”

Just over half of the locations being stocked are part of DEEP’s Community Fishing Waters Program (CFW). Community fishing waters are located in municipal parks that are in close proximity to hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents. Many of these waters are located along bus stops enabling willing anglers to ride the bus to fish. The intent of the Community Fishing Water program is to create and enhance year-round fishing opportunities in highly populated areas by combining trout stocking (in the spring), catfish stocking (in late spring or early summer), or both. This program began in 2007 and has expanded include Fourteen lakes or ponds.

“Connecticut has a diversity of fishing opportunities, freshwater and marine, all within a short drive or bus ride from most citizens. Stocking catfish in urban areas provides excellent family recreational opportunities close to home for the many local residents,” said Bill Hyatt. “The Community Fishing Program is one of our many efforts to promote fishing throughout the state and to provide opportunities for all to enjoy the great outdoors.”

Tips on fishing for Channel Cats and how to prepare a delicious meal with your catch are easily found with a quick internet search. There is currently no minimum size for harvest or daily catch limit for catfish in Connecticut. DEEP strongly encourages anglers to enjoy fishing and catching this great gamefish, but please only take those fish you intend to eat.

All anglers can find fishing regulations in the 2015 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, found online at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide. Print version of the guides are available at more than 350 locations statewide, including many town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds, or by contacting DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH). Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.

Water Community Approximate number Size
Silver Lake Berlin-Meriden 1,500 9-12” fish
Bunnells Pond (Beardsley Park Pond)* Bridgeport 800 12-18” fish
Birge Pond* Bristol 450 12-18” fish
Lake Kenosia Danbury 600 9-12” fish
Picketts Pond* Derby 400 12-18” fish
Freshwater Pond* Enfield 500 12-18” fish
Batterson Park Pond Farmington 425 9-12” fish
Hopeville Pond Griswold 1,370 9-12” fish
Lake Wintergreen* Hamden 1,380 9-12” & 12-18” fish
Keeney Park Pond* Hartford 275 12-18” fish
Quinebaug Lake Killingly 880 9-12” fish
Center Springs Park Pond* Manchester 325 12-18” fish
Mirror Lake (Hubbard Park Pond)* Meriden 300 12-18” fish
Black Pond Meriden-Middlefield 760 9-12” fish
Rowans Pond (Butternut Park Pond)* Middletown 200 12-18” fish
Stanley Quarter Pond* New Britain 275 12-18” fish
Beaver Park Lagoon (North)* New Haven 350 12-18” fish
Spaulding Pond (Mohegan Park Pond)* Norwich 685 12-18” fish
Maltby Pond #2 Orange-West Haven 190 9-12” fish
Maltby Pond #3 Orange-West Haven 225 9-12” fish
Stillwater Pond Torrington 1,000 9-12” fish
Burr Pond Torrington 850 9-12” fish
Lakewood Lake* Waterbury 1,400 9-12” & 12-18” fish
Scoville Reservoir Wolcott 1,200 9-12” fish
       

*Community Fishing Water