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Broodstock Atlantic Salmon & River Herring

Fishing Regulations Connecticut Freshwater Fishing

Broodstock Atlantic Salmon:
Seasons, Creel Limits & Methods for the period from December 1, 2015–March 31, 2017


Open Season

Daily Creel Limit

Legal methods (all seasons)

December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016

One (1) salmon per day

Fishing for Atlantic Salmon is limited to use of a single fly or artificial lure with a single free-swinging hook. Additional weight may not be added to the line.

Snagging is strictly prohibited.

April 1, 2016 to 6:00 a.m., April 9, 2016

Salmon fishing closed

6:00 a.m., April 9, 2016 through August 31, 2016

One (1) salmon per day

September 1, 2016 through November 30, 2016

Catch and release only

December 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017

One (1) salmon per day


Seasons and Methods in lakes stocked with broodstock Atlantic salmon are the same as for trout in that water body except that the Daily Creel Limit is
One (1) salmon per day. See specific water body listing in the Lakes & Ponds section.

The regulations for broodstock Atlantic Salmon are different between lakes and rivers and also vary by date. If you have any questions about these regulations please contact DEEP fisheries staff at 860-424-FISH (3474) (Hartford), 860-295-9523 (Marlborough), or 860-485-0226 (Harwinton).


While the Federal Government and other New England states have discontinued the restoration program, Connecticut has transitioned to a “Legacy Program” and will be maintaining enough Atlantic Salmon to preserve genetic integrity of the Connecticut River strain. As a result DEEP will continue stocking, in reduced numbers, fry and surplus broodstock each year. To support the unique broodstock Atlantic Salmon fisheries that have been established on the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers, as well as selected lakes and ponds stocked at various times (Beach Pond, Crystal Lake, Mashapaug Lake and Mount Tom Pond), DEEP will also produce about 1,000–1,200 2–3 year old fish (average weight of 2–5 pounds) annually. These fish are being grown and stocked specifically for this recreational fishery and are stocked before they produce eggs.

Fishing for broodstock Atlantic salmon in rivers is allowed only in the following areas:

  • Naugatuck River: From the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River.
  • Housatonic River: Entire river downstream of the Derby Dam.
  • Shetucket River: Downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge (Norwich).

Salmon are Stocked Into Three Designated Broodstock Areas:

  • Naugatuck River:
    • From Route 118, Litchfield-Harwinton, downstream to the Thomaston Dam (Upper section).
    • From Prospect Street, Naugatuck, downstream to Pines Bridge Road, Beacon Falls (Lower section).
  • Shetucket River: From the Scotland Dam, Scotland, downstream to the Occum Dam, Norwich.

Designated Broodstock Area Fishing Restriction

From October 1 to March 31, angling for all species in the designated salmon broodstock areas on the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers is restricted to fishing methods that are legal for Atlantic salmon (a single fly or a lure with a single free-swinging hook only). Additional weight may not be added to the line. Anglers are reminded that the season is closed from March 1st to the 2nd Saturday in April for all species other than broodstock Atlantic salmon except in the upper Naugatuck River Broodstock Area. This area is within the Naugatuck River TMA, which is open year-round for trout (catch-and-release only).

Important Note

Adult Atlantic Salmon returning from saltwater to freshwater in the Connecticut River system are no longer being captured, removed, and held at a hatchery. There is a possibility that an angler could catch one of these large returning fish. These salmon are protected and it is illegal to fish for them and any fish accidently captured must be released to the water immediately. Some of these fish may have a yellow tag present just behind the dorsal fin. We would appreciate the reporting of any such accidental captures to Steve Gephard at 860-447-4316.

Alewife & Blueback Herring

Emergency Fishery Closure is in effect:

Taking of anadromous alewife and blueback herring is prohibited from all Connecticut waters including Long Island Sound.

Alewife and blueback herring (collectively termed “river herring”) runs have been declining. While the reasons for the decline are not fully understood, the DEEP believes it is mostly due to predation by increasingly abundant striped bass. Healthy river herring populations are needed to provide food for many species.

To restore herring runs, the DEEP is taking a number of actions including removing dams, building fishways, reintroducing pre-spawn adults into streams that had previously supported runs, and eliminating harvest. An immediate recovery is not expected. However, this closure may reduce the threat of further declines and enable river herring populations to recover more quickly in favorable years.

This emergency closure will be in place through at least March 2017 and will likely be extended. Check the DEEP website ( or contact DEEP Inland Fisheries (860-424-3474) or Marine Fisheries (860-434-6043) for more information.

Landlocked Alewife

Landlocked alewife populations are established in several Connecticut lakes and ponds. Landlocked alewife may be taken by angling or scoop net only from the following lakes:

  • Amos Lake
  • Ball Pond
  • Beach Pond
  • Candlewood Lake
  • Crystal Lake (Ellington)
  • Highland Lake
  • Mount Tom Pond
  • Quassapaug Lake
  • Quonnipaug Lake
  • Squantz Pond
  • Uncas Lake
  • Waramaug Lake