October 24, 2014

Connecticut DEEP Fishing Report for June 13

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides).

INLAND REPORT

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has been mostly good to very good with reports from East Twin Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Mudge Pond, Highland Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Candlewood Lake, Lake McDonough, Hatch Pond, Babcock Pond, Dog Pond, Tyler Lake, Lake Hayward, Gardner Lake, Rogers Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Miller Pond, Burr Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Lake Winnemaug, Woodcreek Pond, Winchester Lake, Park Pond, Quonnipaug Lake, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Ball Pond, Beseck Lake, Red Cedar Lake, Pachaug Pond, Billings Lake, Pickerel Lake, Coventry Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir and Bigelow Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (a 5.5 lb and a number of 4 lb plus bass in bags, note that largemouth are making up about 50% of bass catches now), Gardner Lake (very good), East Twin Lake (very good, lots of keepers, better fish were found deep with a 4.5 lb lunker), Highland Lake (very good, with 4.84 & 4.83 lb lunkers), Wononskopomuc Lake (good, 4.26 lb lunker), Pickerel Lake (good, 4.35 lb lunker) and Coventry Lake (fair, mostly 1 lb fish, nothing over 1.8 lbs).

SMALLMOUTH BASS are reported at Highland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Lake McDonough, Rainbow Reservoir, Bantam Lake and Squantz Pond. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (good), Gardner Lake (a few, including a 3 lb smallmouth), Highland Lake (very slow) and Coventry Lake (a few, nothing notable).

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good in Bantam Lake and Winchester Lake.

KOKANEE SALMON are being caught at West Hill Pond. Try fishing at 20‐25 feet for these great fighters.

WALLEYE are being reported from Saugatuck Reservoir and Batterson Park Pond.

TROUT

Lakes & Ponds Anglers had been enjoying some good fishing, with reports from West Hill Pond, Highland Lake, Beach Pond, Crystal Lake (Ellington), Coventry Lake, Mad River Flood Control Impoundment, Mashapaug Lake, Pattaconk Lake, Black Pond (Meriden) and Bashan Lake.

Rivers & streams Conditions for fishing will be difficult in many areas throughout the state as flows have again increased due to frequent and sometimes heavy rain events. Currently flows in all areas are above (and well above in some areas) typical mid‐June levels. Nice weather is forecast for the weekend, so anglers should keep smaller streams and tributaries in mind as they’ll drop quickest (streamflows for a number of areas can be found at waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt).

Some good reports from last week include the West Branch Farmington & Farmington (mid‐ week), Housatonic River (for several days flows had dropped to fishable levels), Hammonasset River, Quinebaug River, Salmon River, Willimantic River, Saugatuck River TMA, Natchaug River, Quinnipiac River and Naugatuck River.

Farmington River – West Branch flows are currently high (269 cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding 991 cfs), and flows farther downstream on the Farmington River are very high and unfishable (3,590 cfs at Unionville and 4,910 at Tariffville). West Branch anglers should expect flows to be variable and may fluctuate widely as West Branch Reservoir/Colebrook River Lake levels and releases are actively managed for flood control purposes. Water temperatures have been in the upper 50’s to near 60 °F.

Housatonic River – The Housatonic River is unfishable and will remain so through the weekend and well beyond (depending on further precipitation). Flows are very high and turbid, currently 5,360 cfs at Falls Village and 7,580 cfs at Gaylordsville. Anglers can call FirstLight Power Resources at 1‐888‐417‐4837 or check the USGS website (waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated Housatonic River flow information.

CONNECTICUT RIVER – Conditions and fishing had improved earlier last week with some good action, but have since deteriorated. Flows are currently very high (with some debris) and turbid, making boating and fishing difficult to dangerous. STRIPED BASS fishing has been tough due to flow conditions. Trolling tube & worm and casting soft plastics works best in stained water for those willing to venture out. Some anglers are using cut bait and are reporting success. Fish are starting to move out onto the reefs. NORTHERN PIKE were reported in the coves and the main stem downstream from Hartford to Haddam (smaller fish). CATFISH action is off the charts in the lower river and fish are being taken on chunk bait. The coves can be good places to try.

FARMINGTON RIVER DIDYMO REMINDER

The highly invasive freshwater alga, Didymosphenia geminata, known as “didymo” or “rock snot”, is currently “blooming” (undergoing rapid growth) in the West Branch Farmington River between Route 20 and the confluence with the Still River (Riverton area). Monthly surveys have been on‐ going since the first documentation of didymo in March of 2011. Since that time, many other algae been observed blooming at different times of the year throughout the river, but expansion of didymo has not been noted.

Anyone recreating in the river and who comes in contact with didymo can potentially transport didymo to other waters. The microscopic cells can easily cling to fishing gear, waders (felt soles can be especially problematic), boots and boats, and remain viable for months under even slightly moist conditions. For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of didymo to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies.

We would like to hear from you if you suspect you have found didymo outside of the Riverton area. Please remember that didymo is typically found in cold, shallow streams with rocky substrate. The microscopic didymo cell produces a stalk to attach to the substrate. Under ideal conditions, blooms of didymo can form thick mats of stalk material that feel like wet wool and are typically gray, white and/or brown, but never green in color. Please contact the Inland Fisheries Division at 860‐424‐Fish or email a photo and location of the observation to deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov. If you would like to participate in a citizen monitoring program for didymo observations please see detail on www.threerivers.edu/didymo.

NOTES & NOTICES:

COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE. The boat launch at Colebrook River Lake is closed until further notice due to high water. Boaters should call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at 860‐379‐8234 for updated information.

CONNECTICUT RIVER . The Riverfront Recapture boat launches at Riverside Park, Charter Oak Landing and Great River Park are currently closed due to high river flows (note that at this time the three parks are closed to all activities). Reopening will depend on the river dropping well below flood level.

COVENTRY LAKE. Triathlon training will be conducted from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Saturday, June 15th. The course will run from Patriots Park to the island at the northwestern end of the lake. Boaters should use additional caution on the lake.

LAKE LILLINONAH. Lake Lillinonah is currently being drawn down approximately 9.5 feet from its typical minimum summer level as a flood control measure due to current Housatonic River flows and the additional rains (possibly significant) in the forecast. The use of both state launches (Route 133/steel bridge launch and Pond Brook launch) by trailered boats will not be possible. Anglers can call FirstLight Power at 1‐888‐417‐ 4837 for updated lake levels (and Housatonic River flow) information.

LAKE MCDONOUGH & GOODWIN DAM‐WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR. The MDC recreational facilities, including boat launches, at both Lake McDonough and the West Branch Reservoir have been closed due to conditions (standard flood control measures including releases creating high flow conditions). For more information, visit the MDC website at www.themdc.com.

LAKE ZOAR. A water ski clinic for the disabled is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, in the upper end of Lake Zoar (approximately the upper first mile of the lake below the Shepaug Dam). This event run from 9 am to 4 pm, and boaters are asked to take care when passing through this area (marked by buoys) of the lake, and avoid interfering with the event.

MARINE FISHING REPORT

Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) remain in the high 50‘s to low 60’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:

www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html marine.rutgers.edu/mrs/sat_data/?nothumbs=1

www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/330.html

STRIPED BASS fishing remains good especially around an hour before and after sunrise. With all the rain lately, the tidal rivers will be tough going with all the logs and debris floating around. Striper spots include the Watch Hill area, Ram Island Reef, Thames River, the Race, Bartlett Reef, Millstone warm water discharge, Black Point, humps south of Hatchett Reef, Connecticut River (on the flood tide), Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison to Branford, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Charles Island/Milford area, Housatonic River, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and the reefs off Stamford.

BLUEFISH fishing is good especially at the Race. Most fish are around the 5 to 8 lbs mark. Other spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, lower Thames River, Millstone warm water discharge, lower Connecticut River on the flood tide, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island north rip, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island area, Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands.

SUMMER FLOUNDER fishing is rated good. Fluke spots include south side of Fishers Island, Stonington area in Fishers Island Sound, Ram Island to Latimer Pt., mouth of the Thames River, Niantic Bay including Black Point, Sound View Beach, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, off the New Haven Harbor breakwaters, Charles Island/Milford area to Bridgeport Harbor and off the Norwalk Islands.

SCUP fishing remains fair to good on the major reefs throughout LIS. WEAKFISH fishing has never been consistent overall but reports continue to trickle in from the Branford area,

New Haven Harbor, Milford/Charles Island and off the mouth of the Housatonic River. BLACK SEA BASS fishing season opens on June 15th!