ATLANTIC SALMON – Stocking Update –
DEEP EXPECTS TO STOCK ANOTHER 490 ATLANTIC SALMON THIS WEEK. These fish are being released into the Shetucket River (200 salmon) and Crystal Lake (Ellington, 45 salmon) on Thursday (10/10) and into Mount Tom Pond (45 salmon) and the upper (150 salmon) and lower (150 salmon) sections of the Naugatuck River on Friday (10/11). These stockings bring the total number of salmon stocked so far this fall to nearly 1,700 fish with Crystal Lake (145 salmon) Mount Tom Pond (145 salmon), the upper Naugatuck River (350 salmon), lower Naugatuck River (350 salmon) and Shetucket River (700 salmon) all stocked at least twice.
The group of Atlantic salmon being released this week for the fishery range in weight from 2-6 pounds each. Following spawning later this fall, DEEP expects that approximately 150 additional salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will be available for stocking in November. These fish will range in weight from 3 to 15 pounds each.
TROUT STOCKING – There are no stockings this week. This fall’s stockings have been completed in western CT and DEEP will complete fall stocking next week by releasing 5,500 rainbow trout into a total of 15 lakes and ponds in eastern CT. A total of 23,500 trophy and adult sized trout have been stocked so far this fall. Approximately 12,800 were trophy size brown trout (all greater than 12 inches in length) and the 10,700 adults are standard size (9-10 inch) rainbow trout.
RIVERS & STREAMS – Conditions should be good for fall trout fishing. There are plenty of recently stocked trout, flows have been refreshed by recent rain and are now at or above typical levels for mid-October (see stream flow graphic on page 4), and mostly dry, but cloudy weather is currently in the weekend forecast. Good reports last week from the Housatonic River, Naugatuck River, Salmon River TMA, West Branch Farmington River and Hammonasset River.
Fall is streamers & nymphs time (try early mornings and late afternoons). For streamers, white, yellow and brown are typical colors and common patterns to try include White Wooly Buggers, Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). Bottom bouncing nymphs with Caddis pupa (#14-16), Serendipity (#14-16), Prince (#6-18) and Hare’s ear (#8-20) is a fine choice.
Farmington River – Fishing continues to be good. West Branch flows are clear, moderate and quite fishable (currently 134 cfs at Riverton, plus an additional 98 cfs from the Still River) and water temperatures are in the low 60’s °F.
Hatches/patterns include Isonychia bicolor (major hatch, #12-14, fast water, afternoon/evening), Blue Wing Olives (Drunella & Baetis sps., #18, 22-24, mid-late afternoon), Caddis (tan #16-18, all day; green #22-26, evening; summer pupa #18-20 morning), Midges (#22-32, morning) and Golden Stonefly (#16-16). Anglers using Centerpin fishing are getting the nymphs down to the fish.
Housatonic River – Trout fishing should be good this weekend. There are plenty of recently stocked fish, flows have increased due to recent rains, but remain clear, moderate and very fishable (currently 481 cfs at Falls Village and 821 cfs at Gaylordsville) and water temperatures are currently in the mid 50’s °F (mornings, and rising some through the day).
Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (#18-26, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Leadwing Coachman (#10-14 evening) and Brown caddis (#14-16, early morning & evening), Sulfur (#16-18), Midges (#20-24) and Light Cahill (#12-14). Large streamers & nymphing the pockets, deeper riffles and pool heads should be productive.
LAKES & PONDS – Trout anglers are finding some action at Wononskopomuc Lake, West Hill Pond, East Twin Lake, Highland Lake, , Squantz Pond, Mount Tom Pond and Crystal Lake (Ellington).
LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as fair to good. Places to try include Bantam Lake, Mono Pond, Ashland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Wononskopomuc Lake, Winchester Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Silver Lake (Berlin/Meriden), North Farms Reservoir, Bashan Lake, Congamond Lakes, Lake Saltonstall, East Twin Lake, Babcock Pond, Halls Pond, Hatch Pond, Hanover Pond, Griggs Pond, Red Cedar Lake, Dog Pond, Gardner Lake, Pickerel Lake and Rogers Lake. Tournament angler reports are from Coventry Lake (fair to good fishing, with a 5.53 lb lunker, but many 1-lb fish among the bags), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (fair to good fishing, 2.96 lb lunker), Pachaug Pond (fair, 3.64 lb lunker), Pickerel Lake (good, but no size to the fish, lunker was 2.11 lbs), Amos Lake (slow, with a 4.75 lb lunker), Hopeville Pond (fair, 4.68 lb lunker) and Candlewood Lake (fair, with some fish in the 5-6 lb range).
SMALLMOUTH BASS fishing is reported as fair to good at Candlewood Lake, Shenipsit Lake, Gardner Lake, Bashan Lake, Colebrook Reservoir and Highland Lake. River smallies are still providing some action, with reports from the Shetucket river and Naugatuck river. Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood Lake (smallie fishing is picking up, recent bags include some fish in the 3.5 to 4.5 lb range) and Coventry Lake (nothing).
ATLANTIC SALMON have been giving anglers some great action at Crystal Lake (11 catches reported), Naugatuck River (upper) and Mount Tom Pond.
CATFISH are reported at Mohegan Park Pond, Black Pond (Meriden) and Lake Wintergreen. NORTHERN PIKE fall bite is here! Anglers should target Bantam Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Quaddick Reservoir,
Pachaug Pond, Hopeville Pond, Bantam Lake (4 fish to 30”) and Winchester Lake. WALLEYE are coming to net at Squantz Pond, Coventry Lake, Mashapaug Lake and Batterson Park Pond.
Flows have increased some due to the front that moved through Tuesday, but remain comfortable for fishing. BLACK CRAPPIE continue to provide good fall action in the coves throughout the river (small jigs tipped with shiners work well). SMALLMOUTH BASS are being caught in the Windsor/Windsor Locks/Enfield area. LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing has been fair, with a 5.4 lb fish among the catches. Fair NORTHERN PIKE (to 28”) fishing was reported as very good. Fish are being found in Portland, Haddam Meadows and the mouth of the Salmon River. Target coves, brush piles and any structure available for some great action on these tackle busters. Cut-bait and worms are bringing CHANNEL CATFISH in. Target the coves up and down the river near deep drop offs and on the outside edges of bends in the river, as well as brush piles. One angler has had great success chumming the area before fishing. With the water temperatures cooling and their feeding increasing, boilies and sweet corn baits are bringing many CARP in (this time of the year they’ll bulk up for the winter). The upper river has produced fish from 18 to 26 lbs in weight and good reports also from coves (Wethersfield Cove, White Oaks Cove and Keeney Cove). Try any area with slow current and about 10 feet of water for some heart pounding action.
BESECK LAKE…A 13 foot drawdown to facilitate dam repairs began Oct. 4.
CONNECTICUT RIVER. Haddam. The Connecticut Yankee-Haddam Neck Power Plant discharge canal has
been closed to public access due to security concerns.
HOUSATONIC LAKE. A rowing event (The Head of the Housatonic Regatta) is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8 am to 7 pm, with course setup occurring on Friday, Oct. 11th. Although this event will be using the boat launch in Indian Well State Park, room will be available to the general public to launch. Boaters should however use additional caution on the lake.
LAKE LILLINONAH (rowing regatta). A high school rowing event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 2 to 4:30 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.
LAKE LILLINONAH (boat launch). The Lake Lillinonah state boat launch (Route 133, also referred to as the “Steel Bridge” launch) is closed for renovations. This closure is currently expected to last through December 31, 2013. Anglers/boaters can continue to access the lake using the Pond Brook state boat launch.
ROGERS LAKE. The lake is currently (as of 10/1) drawn down approximately one foot to facilitate dam repairs. The launching of trailered boats may be difficult at this level of drawdown and the launch may be unusable by larger boats or those with deeper draft. Note that refill has begun but may be slow, as the rate of refill is dependent on rainfall amounts in the watershed.
WEST BRANCH RESERVOIR (Hogback Reservoir). The West Branch Reservoir is being drawn down 70 feet to facilitate an inspection of Colebrook River Lake outflow structures (as of 10/2, down approximately 25 feet).
NOTES & NOTICES:
TIPS & TRICKS – FLYFISHING FOR NORTHERN PIKE The boat slowly drifts into a large bay on the slightest of breezes. Your eyes strain against the mid-day sun. Suddenly you realize that what looks like a large stick has just shifted positions. Ah… your quarry, you make a quick survey of the area and wind conditions, a couple of false casts to release the necessary amount of line, casting to just past the large Northern Pike. You let the fly settle for a few seconds, and then begin a jerky retrieve, just as your fly passes the fish the water explodes with a fury seldom seen while freshwater fly fishing.
• Fly fishing for pike is best in the spring and fall.
• Where aquatic weeds are absent look for woody cover.
• Target cover along drop-off.
• Use sinking fly line.
• Let the line sink and begin striping it in.
• Let the fly drop down as the water gets deeper.
• Let the streamer stop in the middle of the second strip.
• Don’t make it very rhythmic.
• In cool water the pike will be energetic.
• When hooked work fish away from the cover.
• Unhook using needle nose pliers.
• Use a strong leader; wire (12”-18”) or heavy pound test floro-carbon (4-6’ of 30-60 lbs.).
• A 9-weight fly rod helps in throwing large flies.
• Use large brightly colored (orange, lime green or chartreuse) streamers.
• Try this streamer; red back/white belly Flashabou for glitter & a big red eye.
Atlantic salmon fishing regulations and areas summary
§ Regulations for Atlantic salmon on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers. In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon is one fish per day through September 30, 2013. From October 1 through November 30, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only. From December 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock” Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
§ On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor). The salmon are stocked into one designated Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Area”, from the Scotland Dam to the Occum Dam.
§ Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. The salmon are typically stocked into two designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas on the Naugatuck River, the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston) and the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck, from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls). From October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in these designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.
§ The regulations for Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon will be the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit will be one salmon per day. (Please refer to the 2013 CT Angler’s Guide for trout regulations).
MARINE FISHING REPORT
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low to mid 60’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
BLUEFISH fishing is rated good. Bunker (Atlantic menhaden), hickory shad, and other baitfish are concentrated in many of the tidal rivers, harbors and coves and that’s where you will find monster choppers on the prowl! Bluefish spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Pigeon Rip, Plum Gut, Thames River, Bartlett Reef, Harkness Memorial State Park, Black Point, Connecticut River including DEEP Marine Headquarters Fishing Pier and the fishing pier at the Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Southwest Reef, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Madison to Branford, Branford Harbor, inner New Haven Harbor, Charles Island-Milford area, lower Housatonic River, inner Bridgeport Harbor, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
STRIPED BASS fishing is good but should get better as water temperatures drop and bluefish start to depart. Striper spots include the Watch Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, Hatchett Reef, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Sixmile Reef, outer Southwest Reef, the reefs off Madison to Branford, New Haven Harbor, Charles Island/Milford area, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Bridgeport Harbor, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
SCUP (porgy) fishing remains excellent and is near peak! Any of the major rocky reefs and shoreline areas with structure will be holding scup.
BLACK SEA BASS fishing is good to excellent over deep (90+ ft) rocky, cobble bottom areas, submerged structure and wrecks.
HICKORY SHAD fishing remains good to excellent in the lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier).
ATLANTIC BONITO and LITTLE TUNNY (false albacore) are hit or miss as usual. Fishing spots worth checking out include the Watch Hill area, Pine Island area to the Race including Little Gull Island, Bartlett Reef, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef.
TAUTOG (blackfish) fishing season reopens on October 10th!