Newtown, CT, United States (4E Sports) – Despite wintry conditions, the Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has stocked around 400,000 trout in water across the state as the fishing season opened last Saturday.
“Stocking nearly 400,000 fish prior to Opening Day is a monumental task in the best weather,” said Pete Aarrestad, director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “We’ve had to postpone several days of stocking due to morning temperatures in the single digits, and a number of other scheduled stocking runs were shifted to sites with better winter access.”
“However, we still plan to stock all of the usual water bodies that have historically been done for Opening Day. Hatchery staff have endured and prevailed under prolonged winter conditions unseen in Connecticut in over 50 years. It is a testament to their ‘can do’ attitude and dedication on behalf of recreational anglers,” he added.
Aarrestad said more than 200 truckloads of trout were released into 100 lakes and ponds and 194 rivers and streams in time for Opening Day.
Usually, DEEP stocks nearly all these areas as soon as they are accessible by the hatchery trucks. However, due to snow cover, frozen snowbanks, and shoreline ice cover, a number of the TMAs were inaccessible this year, forcing the agency to postpone the stocking.
“Barring more winter weather, we plan on having most of the trout management areas (TMAs) stocked by the end of next week,” Aarrestad said.
Trout anglers looking to test out their gear prior to the start of trout season can visit one of the state’s 15 TMA, all open for preseason catch-and-release fishing.
TMAs are located on the Farmington River, Hammonasset River, Hockanum River, Housatonic River (two TMAs), Mianus River, Mill River (Fairfield), Mill River (Hamden), Moosup River, Pequabuck River (including Coppermine Brook), Naugatuck River, Salmon River, Saugatuck River, Willimantic River, and Yantic River.
In addition to the TMAs, Class I Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA) are also open year-round for catch-and-release fishing, and are located on Deep Brook, Eightmile River, Hawleys Brook, Beaver Brook/Merrick Brook, Macedonia Brook, Mill River (in Easton), Quinnipiac River, Tankerhoosen River, and Wachocastinook (Riga) Brook.