Yankee Fisherman, Thursday, Aug. 3

Fisheries chief explains proposed Connecticut regulation, trout stamps

Proposed new fishing regulations, including requiring the purchase of trout and salmon stamps by some anglers, are explained by Peter Aarrestad, director of the Fisheries Division of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, on Yankee Fisherman on the HAN Network Thursday, Aug. 3, at 1 p.m. 

Watch the show below:

 The proposed changes are up for a hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Headquarters, 79 Elm St., Hartford. The deadline is Aug. 25 to submit comment to the DEEP.

Requiring the purchase of a $5 trout stamp and $10 broodstock Atlantic salmon stamp ($12 for a combination stamp) to fish for trout and Atlantic Salmon would generate an estimated $300,000 that would go directly to fisheries and recreation programs, by law, according to the DEEP. Aarrestad explains that federal and state law requires that license revenue and money raised by fees and taxes on hunting and fishing equipment be dedicated to those purposes, and talks about efforts by state wildlife officials to let sportsmen know that the money they pay for licenses and related fees does not go to the state’s general fund..

If passed, all anglers 16 and older fishing for any species in Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas and Trout Parks, as well as any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep trout they’ve caught in state waters, would be required to purchase a trout stamp. All anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in the designated Broodstock Areas of the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers from September 1 through March 31, and any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep broodstock Atlantic Salmon they’ve caught anywhere (where fishing for Atlantic salmon is allowed) throughout the state would be required to purchase a salmon stamp. A combination stamp, less expensive than purchasing both separately, would cover both waters.

Another proposal would extend the Mill River Wild Trout Management Area to stretch from the first bridge crossing below the Easton Reservoir to the Merritt Parkway. Currently, the catch-and-release-only WTMA extends from South Park Avenue to downstream of the third bridge crossing. Signs would indicate the WTMA.

DEEP officials said the changes would better protect the populations of naturally reproducing trout and stocked trout from undue depletion by eliminating harvest throughout this stretch of river. The “catch-and-release only” Class I Mill River Wild Trout Management Area would be expanded downstream to the Mill River Trout Management Area and fishing in the Mill River Trout Management Area would be limited to “catch-and-release only” year-round; currently some harvest is allowed from Opening Day through Aug. 30.

A short closed season would be placed on a small portion of the Farmington River TMA in the Riverton area, intended to restore a traditional Opening Day atmosphere to the upper West Branch Farmington River. As many anglers view the traditional Opening Day when the fishing season first opens for the spring as a longstanding rite of spring passage, DEEP officials expressed hope the change would increase the number of anglers fishing this section of river on Opening Day, and also enhance participation in a traditional Opening Day fishing derby held in Riverton since 1949. Participation has declined since this section of river became open to fishing year-round in 2012.

Restrictions on fishing in Atlantic salmon broodstock areas would begin on Sept. 1, rather than the current Oct. 1, if changes were adopted. Those rules would end March 31, as they currently do.

Regulations regarding carp could be altered, with the establishment of Trophy Carp Waters and the setting of a five-fish creel limit, of which only one may be longer than 30 inches. There would be an exception to the length limit in Trophy Carp Waters, and in catch-and-release tournaments.

Language changes would define Tenkara, fishing with a fly on a fixed line, fly fishing, establish a definition for maximum length and spell out rules on bubble floats.

The proposed regulations and other related information can be downloaded at eregulations.ct.gov. Copies are also available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division, 6th Floor, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106-5127. These documents can also be obtained by contacting Bill Foreman at the above address, by phone at 860-424-3474, or by email at deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov.

Written comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25. Based on public comment, the proposed regulations may be adjusted to meet the objective of the proposal. Comments may be submitted using one of the following methods:

  • Online via the eRegulations system (https://eregulations.ct.gov) on the Secretary of State’s website. Go to “Open for Public comment,” select this regulation and follow instructions for submitting comments.
  • By mail or delivery service to Bill Foreman at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Fisheries Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT, 06106-5127.
  • By email to william.foreman@ct.gov.
  • By fax to 860-424-4070 (attention: Bill Foreman).
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