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During this time of social distancing, fishing should be enjoyed as a solitary experience or with members of your immediate household, not as a group activity.
DEEP is encouraging all anglers to follow social distancing practices. Anglers should maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, practice good personal hygiene, and stay home and away from others if you feel sick. If you arrive at a favorite fishing spot and see that crowds are forming, choose a different location, or return another day or time. Anglers are encouraged to purchase 2021 fishing licenses, Trout and Salmon Stamps, and Youth Fishing Passports online, through our mobile friendly site or access via our main fishing web page. Over the coming days, DEEP will be promoting these social distancing practices through social media and other outreach efforts.
Anglers should explore the many sources of important information made available by DEEP through social media, email, and our improved website at https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/CT-Fishing, the 2021 CT Fishing Guide, which will be available by early March (http://www.eregulations.com/connecticut/fishing/), and answers to frequently asked questions below.
DEEP Fisheries and Wildlife information can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife, Twitter at https://twitter.com/CTFishWildlife, and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ctfishandwildlife. Both pages feature a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut. Questions about fish or fishing can be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org who will assist you in as timely a manner as possible during normal working hours.
Anglers are encouraged to follow these guidelines to enhance social distancing:
- If you’re not feeling well, stay home! Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Rather than traveling to some of the most popular spots like Trout Parks and Community Fishing Waters, or the Salmon, upper Farmington, or Housatonic Rivers, try a small stream or pond you may not have visited before or one close to your home. If you arrive at a favorite fishing spot and see that crowds are forming, choose a different location, or return another day or time.
- Observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like – basically a fishing rod distance apart.
- Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene. Wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as streamside trees, boulders along streamside trails, handrails on fishing piers, and docks.
- Bring water or drinks and a trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.
Trout Fishing season is open effective March 4, 2021 per announcement by Governor Ned Lamont
What are the rules and regulations for the various waters stocked and managed for trout now that the season is open?
- Trout Parks: 2 trout per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Trout Management Areas (Rivers/Streams): Catch and Release until April 10, 2021. Please refer to the respective TMA for rules effective on April 10, 2021 and beyond.
- Trout Management Lakes: One fish per day, 16″ minimum length until March 31, 2021, then 5 fish per day.
- Trophy Trout Areas: 2 fish per day (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Wild Trout Management Areas
- Class 1 – No change to regulations – catch and release only year-round
- Class 2 – 2 trout per day, 12 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
- Class 3 – 5 trout per day, 9 inch minimum length (can harvest effective March 4, 2021)
What are the rules for waters that do not have any special trout regulations or management? Effective March 4, 2021 the daily limit is 5 trout per day. Harvest may begin as of March 4, 2021.
Will you be stocking tiger trout again this year? Yes. We will stock about 3,000 tiger trout this spring.
Where can I get a copy of the 2021 Fishing Guide? The 2021 Fishing Guide has been shipped to locations that sell fishing licenses and many town clerk offices. It is available online at Fishing Guide.
Where can I get my fishing license and trout/salmon stamp? We encourage you to get your fishing license online 24/7 through our online licensing system: https://ct.aspirafocus.com/internetsales/.
Where can I find bait and tackle? Many bait and tackle shops, as well as big-box stores that carry bait and tackle, remain open for online sales, curbside pickup, or limited indoor sales. Please call ahead for more information.
Do I have to wear a life jacket while in a kayak? Yes – During the period from October 1st through May 31st, all persons on board a manually propelled vessel must wear a Type I, II, III or V, U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device and no operator, or owner or user of a manually propelled vessel shall allow any person to be aboard who is not wearing such a device.
Are State Parks open for fishing? Many State Parks remain open to fishing, but several measures have been taken to reduce crowding and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. See here for more information: COVID-19 Updates CT State Parks and Forests. For up-to-date information on park closures, follow @CTStateParks on Twitter.
Are Party/Charter Boats open for business? Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7PP allows for-hire fishing (party/charter boats) to resume operation on May 20th, subject to a limit of 5 passengers per vessel.
Are CARE fishing classes cancelled? To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all in person CARE learn to fish classes are running via ZOOM. For more information see here: COVID-19 Updates CARE Program
Are fishing tournaments/derbies cancelled? In line with current state COVID-19 guidelines, DEEP has resumed (as of June 2, 2020) issuing tournament/derby permits with some additional restrictions and limitations.
Is commercial fishing affected? The Commissioner ordered a temporary waiver of the requirement to submit the application and payment for commercial fishing licenses by the March 31, 2020 application deadline. The waiver is extended, without additional approvals, until May 31, 2020, to avoid permanent forfeiture of those licenses due to the disruption of the commercial fishing license renewal process. See full order here: Order of the Commissioner Concerning Licensure of Commercial Fishermen
What else is DEEP doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19? Please see here for more information on DEEP’s COVID-19 response: DEEP COVID-19 Response
Content last updated March 5, 2021