Message from the Director

Fishing Regulations Icon Connecticut Fishing

Thanks for supporting recreational fishing in Connecticut!

Thanks to all of you, the men, women and youth from Connecticut and elsewhere who fish recreationally in Connecticut’s lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and marine, estuarine and other tidal waters. Your personal investment of valuable recreational free time to fish our waters demonstrates that you recognize the high quality of life we experience here in CT for fishing and other outdoor pursuits, due in large part to the state’s publicly open lands and waters and the abundant and diverse fish and wildlife resources supported across CT’s landscape.

As Director of the Fisheries Division, I pledge to you that the highly professional and dedicated men and women of the Fisheries Division take very seriously our charge to provide excellent fishing opportunities in the waters of our state. In doing this, we also recognize that angler behaviors and preferences evolve over time, and for us to remain relevant – and provide the best fishing opportunities – we as a Fisheries Division also need to evolve and change with the times as may be needed. This is why we want to hear from you.

Ways that you can reach out to us include via email at deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov, via phone at 860-424-FISH or 860-434-6043 (Marine Fisheries Program), or by participating in electronic surveys that we initiate from time to time. The best way to participate in our surveys is to provide your email address when you obtain your fishing license via our online sportsmen licensing system. We also sometimes solicit survey responses through our Fish and Wildlife Facebook page. Surveys we have done recently include “How was your Opening Day”- done annually to help us adjust stocking location priorities to improve future Opening Days, “Trout and Salmon Stamp survey”- used to learn about preferences of those who purchased the trout and salmon stamp, and “Channel Catfish Survey”– to improve our management and ultimately fishing quality for catfish.

Another recent survey concerned a suggestion we had gotten from some salmon anglers to extend the fall Catch and Release season for Atlantic salmon in the designated broodstock Salmon Fishing Areas on the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers. The Catch and Release season has run from September 1 to December 1, but based on overwhelming support from our survey, we are extending it until December 15, starting in 2019. We realize that whenever we make a regulation change -no matter how popular with most – there are some anglers who are not in favor of the changes we make. This is an unfortunate reality that in my view is unavoidable. On balance, I am confident that our decisions to make regulatory changes are for the betterment of fishing across Connecticut, especially when supported by the bulk of the recreational fishermen and fisherwomen when we reach out to them to seek feedback. It is certainly better than the alternative of doing nothing, and ultimately losing our relevance with increasing numbers of Connecticut’s recreational fishers over time.

You have likely noticed that this publication has a new name. We changed it from Angler’s Guide to Fishing Guide after learning that a large segment of the non-fishing public (i.e., potential new anglers) thinks that the term “angler” pertains to mathematics as opposed to fishing. This name change also speaks to our focus on maintaining relevance with as broad a spectrum of Connecticut’s citizens as possible. Publishing the Fishing Guide in Spanish (online version beginning in 2018) and with a limited number of printed copies this year also demonstrates our commitment to relevancy.

The list below includes some additional ways that we deliver fishing information to you:

Interactive maps (Trout Stocking, Saltwater Fishing Resources, and CT is Fishy), all available on our website, and

Electronic distribution newsletters and reports (opt in at www.ct.gov/deep/newslettersubscription)

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and FishBrain.

Thank you again for investing your time on the water to pursue some great recreational fishing in Connecticut, and please reach out to us with your suggestions for how to make it even better.

Wishing you tight lines,

Pete Aarrestad

Director, Fisheries Division

Be a responsible angler

Protecting both the resource and your access to the resource requires more than simply knowing and following the fishing regulations!

Respect Private Property

  • Do not cast onto docks or into permitted swim areas (when in doubt, cast elsewhere).
  • Ask permission before fishing from shore, or wading on private property.

Don’t Litter, Don’t Pollute

  • Keep your boat and motor properly maintained.
  • Retrieve all lures and gear.
  • Don’t release live bait.
  • Leave your fishing area cleaner than you found it!

Be A Safe Boater

  • Obey boating regulations, and check your safety gear frequently!
    Call 1-800-842-4357 to report violations.

Be A Good Neighbor

  • Treat fellow anglers, other recreational users and property owners with courtesy.
  • Always be willing to share both the resource and your knowledge.

And always use common sense and be courteous!



The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program provides the sole source of funding for many of the wetland projects that are conducted in the state.

These projects benefit the approximately 274 fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles of the state that rely upon clean, healthy wetlands.

All migratory bird hunters are required to purchase a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. However, anyone interested in supporting wetland conservation is encouraged to purchase a stamp for $17 online at www.ct.gov/deep/SportsmenLicensing (you will need to get a Conservation ID) or by sending a check to DEEP License and Revenue, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106 and requesting a stamp or stamps (ordered stamps will be sent through the mail).