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Broodstock Atlantic Salmon & River Herring

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The DEP stocks surplus broodstock Atlantic salmon during the fall, generally from mid-October through early December. Approximately 800 to 1,600 surplus salmon are stocked each year into three designated Broodstock Areas. Beginning in 2007, fish have also sometimes been released into several lakes and ponds (Beach Pond, Crystal Lake, Mashapaug Lake and Mt. Tom Pond). These fish are typically two to five years old and weigh from 2 to 20 pounds. They are the progeny of sea-run Atlantic salmon that have been raised in hatcheries for the purpose of producing eggs for the Connecticut River restoration effort. Surplus broodstock are fish that are no longer needed in the restoration program. Stocked salmon surviving until March will begin to move downstream to the saltwater during the high spring flows. Consequently, broodstock are seldom caught after March.

Broodstock Atlantic Salmon:
Seasons, Creel Limits & Methods for the Period from December 1, 2010 – March 31, 2012

Open Season

Daily Creel Limit

Legal methods (all seasons)

December 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011

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, 2011 to 6:00 a.m., April 16, 2011

Salmon fishing closed

6:00 a.m., April 16, 2011 through September 30, 2011

One (1) salmon per day

October 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011

Catch and release only

December 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012

One (1) salmon per day

Fishing for broodstock Atlantic salmon 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 salmon broodstock areas 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 3rd 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 Notes

The availability of surplus Atlantic salmon broodstock, stocking dates, and the regulations governing the fishery are subject to change. Details are provided to newspapers and are posted on the DEP website at Several lakes (Beach Pond, Crystal Lake, Mashapaug Lake, and Mount Tom Pond) have also recently been stocked with broodstock salmon. Regulations for salmon in lakes differs from those for rivers, please see the entries for these lakes in the Lakes & Ponds section for more information. If you are unsure of the regulations, please contact DEP Fisheries staff at Hartford (860-424-3474), Marlborough (860-295-9523), Harwinton (860-485-0226), or Litchfield (860-567-8998).


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 DEP 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 DEP 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 2012 and will likely be extended. Check the DEP website ( or contact DEP 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 (see article: Aquatic Nuisance Species). Landlocked alewife may be taken by angling or scoop net only from the following lakes:

Amos Lake

Crystal Lake (Ellington)

Rogers Lake

Ball Pond

Highland Lake

Squantz Pond

Beach Pond

Quassapaug Lake

Uncas Lake

Candlewood Lake

Quonnipaug Lake

Waramaug Lake

Atlantic Salmon




Blueback Herring


Blueba small.eps




Alewife small.eps


Illustrations © Joseph Tomelleri

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