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Guide to Inland Regulations

Inland District Regulations Expected to Change in 2021

There are a number of changes to the regulations that are expected to take effect later in June 2021. These changes include:

Atlantic Salmon

The “Broodstock Areas” are renamed as “Atlantic Salmon Management Areas.”

Bow fishing

The definition for “bow and arrow fishing” is updated and cross bows will be allowed. Any fish shot by an arrow will count against the daily creel limit.


The creel limit for catfish at Colony Pond (Ansonia, Shelton), Crescent Lake (Southington) and Rogers Park Pond (Danbury) is changed to 3 fish per day.

Common Carp

Regulations specific to bow fishing (12 fish creel limit, only 3 fish over 30 inches) for carp are established for West Thompson Lake and portions of the Connecticut, Coginchaug, Mattabesset, Housatonic and Quinnipiac rivers.

Fishing seasons

The open season for fishing at Black Rock Pond, McGovern Pond and Walker Reservoir (East) will be from 6:00 am Opening Day through the last day in February.

Tiger Muskie & Northern Pike

Regulations are established for fishing for Tiger Muskie. They will be considered as Northern Pike for the purpose of statewide regulations. Additionally, new regulations are established at Lake Lillinonah for Northern Pike and Tiger Muskie, 1 fish (either a pike or a muskie) per day with a 38 inch minimum length.

Trout Management Lakes

Black Pond (Woodstock) and Mohawk Pond are designated as Trout Management Lakes with an extended March season and managed as a Brook Trout fishery with special regulations for Brook Trout.

Trout Parks

McGovern Pond (West Hartford) is designated as a Trout Park (2 trout per day, Trout & Salmon stamp required).

Wild Trout Management Areas (WTMA)

The Session Woods WTMA is reclassified as a Class I WTMA (from a Class III). The name of the stream in this WTMA is updated to “Freeman Hill Brook”.

Expected Changes Highlighted in Red

Areas affected by these changes will be posted with new signs when the regulations become effective. DEEP will also issue press releases and post notices on the DEEP web site ( and the Fish & wildlife Facebook page (

Determining Regulations

A summary of the Statewide Species Open Seasons, Legal Methods and Length & Daily Creel Limits is listed in the table on Inland District Statewide Species Regulations. The regulations on many waterbodies differ from the statewide regulations.

Use this two-step process to determine regulations on a specific waterbody:

  1. Check the table on Inland District Statewide Species Regulations for the general statewide regulations.
  2. Refer to the specific waterbody in the alphabetical listings of Lakes & Ponds or Rivers & Streams for special site-specific regulations. If no site-specific regulations are listed for a waterbody, statewide regulations apply for seasons, methods, and/or limits.
Unless otherwise indicated in the Lakes & Ponds and Rivers & Streams listings:
  • Lakes and ponds are open year-round.
  • Rivers & streams are open from 6:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in April through the last day of February (Closed to all fishing from March 1st to 6:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in April).
The statewide open seasons listed in this table do not apply in areas closed to all fishing during a period of the year (If a waterbody has a closed season, all fishing there is prohibited, regardless of the statewide season for a particular fish species).

Lower River/Tidal Waters

Designated rivers & streams with no closed season. These include the entire Connecticut and Thames Rivers, and downstream portions of the Coginchaug, Farmington, Housatonic, Mattabesset, Mystic, Naugatuck, Niantic, Quinnipiac, Salmon and Yantic Rivers. Check individual waterbody listing for boundaries. For more information on Legal Methods & Gear, Length Limits, Creel & Possession Limits and Species, refer to the definitions on Inland Regulations & Definitions. Note: Regulations for several marine species found in the Inland District are subject to change.