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Atlantic Salmon & River Herring

Atlantic Salmon: Seasons, Creel Limits & Methods for the period from December 1, 2020 –March 31, 2022


Open Season

Daily Creel Limit

Legal methods (all seasons)

December 16, 2020 through March 31, 2021

One (1) salmon per day*

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

Snagging is strictly prohibited.

April 1, 2021 to 6:00 a.m., April 10, 2021

Salmon fishing closed

6:00 a.m., April 10, 2021 through August 31, 2021

One (1) salmon per day*

September 1, 2021 through December 15, 2021

Catch and release only

December 16, 2021 through March 31, 2022

One (1) salmon per day*


Seasons and Methods in lakes stocked with 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.

Atlantic Salmon Fishing

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 adults each year. To support the unique 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 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 "Management" 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 “Atlantic Salmon Management” Area Fishing Restriction

From September 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. Don't forget, if you are fishing for, or catch and plan to keep an Atlantic Salmon, even if outside one of the “Management” Areas, you must be using the legal gear for Atlantic Salmon. Anglers are reminded that the season is closed from March 1st to the 2nd Saturday in April for all species other than Atlantic Salmon except in the upper Naugatuck River “Management” Area. This area is within the Naugatuck River TMA, which is open year-round for trout (catch-and-release only). A Trout & salmon stamp is required to fish the designated “Atlantic Salmon Management” Areas.

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. We would appreciate the reporting of any such accidental captures to Tim Wildman at 860-447-4315.

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, DEEP believes there could be a number of factors, most of which are affecting the species out in the ocean. 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 2021 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