31 March 2015

• Devon RR Bridge to Undergo Repairs

“Beginning in May, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Metro-North Railroad will begin a $1 million state-funded project to repair the Devon railroad bridge, which connects Fairfield and New Haven counties along the Metro-North New Haven Line.

”The bridge is one of several problematic bridges….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

Yes, we know that's the US-1 bascule bridge in the foreground; the RR bridge is back in under the I-95 bridge.

30 March 2015

• Heat Discharge Into Long Island Sound From the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Connecticut

”A resolution to fund the development of a hydrothermal model of the Long Island Sound and Peconic Estuary was approved by the Suffolk County Legislature at its March 24 general meeting....

"The model will help predict future environmental impacts from point sources of heat being discharged into the Long Island Sound from utilities including the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford, Connecticut."

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

29 March 2015

• How Will This Past Winter Affect Fishing?

Photo of the day:

• How Will This Past Winter Affect Fishing?

“With all the cold and snow we had this winter many are wondering what impact it might have on fresh and saltwater fishing. It is not the snow but the snow melt combined with rainfall that could create an abundance of water and lead to flooding. It's the flooding that can impact fishing. And the cold water just slows everything down….

” The way things are going, we're lucky if the water warms by June."

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

28 March 2015

• Prohibition on the Taking of Alewife and Blueback Herring from Connecticut Waters Extended for another Year

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that the prohibition on the taking of alewives and blueback herring from most inland and marine waters in Connecticut has been extended for another year. This action was initially taken in April, 2002, and has been extended each successive year because there has been no improvement in population size during the past year. The current action by DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee extends the prohibition through March 31, 2016.

“Despite the conservation efforts taken by this agency and others over the past decade, the runs of river herring in Connecticut are still diminished,” said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen. “The best available data from this past year indicates that the closure of these fisheries must therefore remain in place.”

River herring is a term used collectively to refer to alewife and blueback herring. Both species are anadromous, which means they hatch in freshwater, migrate to the ocean to grow, then return to freshwater to spawn. Historically, millions of river herring returned to Connecticut’s rivers and streams each year. More than 630,000 blueback herring were passed over the Holyoke Dam (Massachusetts) on the Connecticut River in 1985. By 2006, only 21 passed the Holyoke Dam, the lowest number in the history of the Holyoke Fishlift. Numbers have fluctuated since that time but have never surpassed 1,000. In 2014 the number of fish passed was 648. While river herring are not typically consumed by humans, they are important food to many species of freshwater and marine gamefish, as well as ospreys, bald eagles, harbor seals, porpoises, egrets, kingfishers and river otters.

“Anglers on the Connecticut River last spring will agree that there were more blueback herring than we’ve seen in many years,” said William Hyatt, Chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources. “But the numbers were well shy of what we had prior to the decline that began in the mid-1980s. Furthermore, the number of alewives along the shoreline actually decreased in 2014. We need to ensure that any recovery is real and sustainable before we lift harvest restrictions.”

“We don’t want to re-open our fisheries only to have the numbers drop back down again,” Hyatt said. “We must continue to protect both river herring species until both populations have recovered to the point where they could safely support some level of harvest.”

Non-migratory alewife populations are established in several lakes and ponds in Connecticut. The DEEP prohibition does not include landlocked alewives from Amos Lake, Ball Pond, Beach Pond, Candlewood Lake, Crystal Lake, Highland Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Lake Quassapaug, Lake Quonnipaug, Squantz Pond, Uncas Pond, and Lake Waramaug. Alewives in these lakes may still be taken by angling and scoop net as established in state statute and regulation. Rogers Lake was previously on that list but with the completion of the latest fishway there, sea-run alewives can now enter Rogers Lake to spawn. To avoid any confusion between the two types of alewives, the protection has been extended to landlocked alewives in Rogers Lake.

The DEEP continues its other efforts to enhance river herring stocks by transplanting adult herring from streams with healthy runs into streams where runs have been eliminated or greatly depleted, removing obsolete dams and building fishways that allow fish to migrate past remaining dams.

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• DEEP Reminds Anglers that Opening Day is Saturday, April 11th

2015 preseason trout stocking well underway despite challenging winter conditions Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding anglers that recent changes to sport fishing regulations included moving the date of Opening Day of trout season forward by one week, from the third to the second Saturday in April. This means Opening Day for the 2015 season is April 11.

“We are excited about the additional fishing opportunities provided to anglers with this change to an earlier Opening Day,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “This change provides an additional week of fishing opportunities for both resident and non-resident anglers targeting trout or fishing for other species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass found in trout waters.”

“Additionally, most of the state’s school-age anglers will also now have the opportunity to fish for trout during their spring breaks, as Opening Day will now come at the beginning of that school vacation for most school systems in Connecticut,” said Klee.

DEEP reminds School-age anglers ages 16 and 17 that they can obtain their 2015 Fishing, hunting and trapping licenses at 1⁄2 the adult price (most hunting permits, stamps and tags will also be 1⁄2 price for 16 and 17 year olds). DEEP expects to stock over 341,000 trout in waters across the state in time for Opening Day of the 2015 trout fishing season April 11th. Nearly 100 lakes and ponds and 190 rivers and streams are scheduled for stocking. The very cold temperatures, prolonged heavy snow pack and icy conditions have been challenging for DEEP stocking efforts.

“Stocking well over three hundred thousand fish prior to Opening Day is a monumental task in the best weather,” said Pete Aarrestad, Director of DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division. “Due to the prolonged winter freeze and morning temperatures in the single digits, trout stocking got off to an unprecedented slow start in late February and early March. In spite of significant weather related setbacks we still hope to stock most of the usual water bodies that have historically been done prior to Opening Day. Should some areas not get stocked, we will provide that information to anglers prior to Opening Day via both print and electronic media.”

Trout anglers looking to test out their gear prior to the start of trout season can visit one of the state’s fifteen Trout Management Areas (TMA), all are open for pre-season catch-and- release fishing. While many of the TMA’s have yet to be stocked, they should all have reasonably good fishing from fall trout stockings.

So far this spring, the Farmington River (above and below the year-round catch-and- release area), Hockanum River, Naugatuck River, Sleeping Giant (Mill River, Hamden) and Willimantic River TMAs have been stocked. Other TMA’s scheduled for stocking before Opening Day are located on the Hammonasset River, Hockanum River, Mianus River, Mill River (Fairfield), Moosup River, Pequabuck River (including Coppermine Brook), Salmon River, Saugatuck River and Yantic River. Anglers can access up-to-date information about where and when trout are stocked on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ctfishandwildlife.

Anglers should consult the 2015 CT Angler’s Guide for detailed information on specific locations and angling regulations. Printed versions of the 2015 Angler’s Guide are now available at more than 350 locations statewide, including town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds. Anglers are advised that there are several errors in the print version where the date for Opening Day was not updated to reflect the recent change in Opening Day from the third Saturday in April to the second Saturday in April. The electronic versions of the Guide can be found on the DEEP website at (www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide) and have been fully corrected.

Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at www.ct.gov/deep/fishing. The web site has a wealth of information including; trout stocking location maps, annual fish stocking summary report, the very popular Youth Fishing Passport Program, and when you catch the big one, criteria for Trophy Fish Awards.

Save the last minute running around and purchase your 2015 fishing licenses directly online, or if you prefer, at one of the many participating town halls, tackle retailers and DEEP offices. For a complete list of vendors, visit the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing) or call DEEP Licensing and Revenue (860-424-3105).

• CT Pumpout Operations Kept Almost One Million Gallons of Sewage Out of the Sound….

But first, the photo of the day:

Remembering sunset, Islamorada, FL...March 2015

• CT Pumpout Operations Kept Almost One Million Gallons of Sewage Out of the Sound….

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says that during the 2014 boating season, pumpout facilities removed a record level of 995,000 gallons of recreational marine sewage from vessels in Long Island Sound and Candlewood Lake....

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

27 March 2015

• “Fish Hatcheries Funding Bill Clears Environment Committee”

Photo of the day:

Cormorant: "Honest fellas, it was a smelt...and it was this big!!!"

• “Fish Hatcheries Funding Bill Clears Environment Committee”

”Legislation aimed at preventing the closure of any of Connecticut’s fish hatcheries and to find new ways to pay for state recreational fishing program got a boost this week from the General Assembly’s Environment Committee…

”Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed shutting down one of the state’s three fish hatcheries – the one in the Kensington section of Berlin – to save an estimated $196,000. It was the third time this governor has proposed closing the hatchery….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: Hartford Courant

26 March 2015

• Connecticut Fishing Report

But first, the photo of the day:

Photo by Deb Persson of a bald eagle taking building materials back to the nest located near the mouth of the Housatonic River. See more of Deb's photos at: http://www.debpersson.exposuremanager.com/g

• Connecticut Fishing Report

“It is definitely feeling more like spring. Warmer days have snow and ice melting, and they are also giving anglers that itch. We are starting to see more open water. Tidal rivers are open and moving from the thaw and rains. Some anglers are taking advantage of that and have been getting back on the holdover schoolie striper bite.

”Alabama rigs and various soft plastics anywhere from 4” to 7″ on ½-ounce jigheads have been productive. When that water is moving, the fish get chewing….

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

25 March 2015

• Feds Looking To Protect Herring

But first, the photo of the day:

You've heard of a fishing guide who has a nose for finding fish? Well, as shown in this photo, Wayne has overdone it...a bit.

Yup, that's about a 5/0 hook with a wacky worm on it that Wayne has right through his nose. The fish he had on spat out the hook and the slingshot effect of the rod propelled the hook smack into his right nostril.

This, of course, is one of the dangers of fishing...although perhaps not a statistically significant one.

Remember this line from My Fair Lady? "But with a little bit of luck, a man can duck!"

Not in this case. It happens way too fast...and it's one more reason why fisherfolk should always wear protective eyeglasses.

• Feds Looking To Protect Herring

“The health of the Atlantic herring — a little forage fish that lives in massive schools that can number in the billions — is critical to the future of the New England fishing industry, and new steps need to be taken to ensure the strength of the fishery, regulators said.

”Federal regulators are working on a plan to change the rules they use to set catch limits that make sure Atlantic herring aren't overfished….”

Ed. Note: Be nice if they did more for the bunker as well.

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

24 March 2015

• “2015 Striped Bass Regulations by State”

Photo of the day:

• “2015 Striped Bass Regulations by State”

For example, this interesting comment on New York's new reg: “The current rule in the Hudson, will cause “CULLING”, people will catch a 26″ fish, tie it to the side of the boat or along the shoreline by rope. THEN, if they get a 40″ fish to Net, they’ll want to release the 26″ fish, and we know that the longer it’s tied up, the less chance of it being released healthy. DUMB Rule….”

Please visit this link to read the regs for several states:: LinkToArticle

23 March 2015

• Seals On the Sound — Shakespeare On the Sound — Contamination On the Sound

Photo of the day:

Here's Wayne with a 35-lb. permit caught on a small crab, Islamorada, FL...March 2015.

Fish was safely released.

• Seals Bask On Long Island Sound In the Winter

“…One seal even tried to get a closer look at the boat, bobbing in its wake.

”Because they are federally protected you have to keep your distance and you can’t disturb them, but you can enjoy a sight which may warm you up on a cold winter day….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• A Hotel On the Grounds May Bring Shakespeare Theater To Life

“A development plan that would place a hotel on the site of the former American Shakespeare Theatre got the green light Thursday night by the Stratford Town Council.

”The Stratford Stage Group…will now enter into negotiations with the town to obtain a long-term lease on the property…..”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• Contamination In Stratford’s Tidal Flats

“…According to DEEP’s supervising environmental analyst…a sediment study of the tidal flat region was conducted last summer and confirmed that the contamination posed an ecological risk that requires specific remediation to remove.

”The report is not available online, but as a matter of public record, it can be viewed (in person) at DEEP’s Hartford offices….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

22 March 2015

• For Fly Fishin' Folk

• All About Wire Leaders

“If you fly fish in saltwater, at some point you’ll need to add a trace of wire to your leader in order to catch fish. Bluefish, mackerel, barracuda and sharks all require wire tippet.

”Or, you could donate lots of flies to the fish in question, especially bluefish and mackerel….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• All About Fly Lines

“Different fly lines impact not only your casting, but also your fishing overall.

”Every fly-rodder should, therefore, understand the basics of line design and learn what to look for when selecting a fly line that best suits his or her needs….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• Fly Casting In the Wind

“…I have been trying to learn to cast with my left hand, forced into it by developing tendonitis in my right elbow. It ain’t easy….

”Casting ability does not automatically transfer from dominant to off hand. Think of how you throw a baseball with your off hand. No, it takes some time, practice and considerable frustration tolerance.”

”There’s a simple solution to this problem….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

21 March 2015

• History of the Fishing Rod – Carrying Your Gear – Hook Selection

• The Fishing Rod’s Been Around for A Long Time

“While I have been fortunate in finding old fishing rods and other gear at flea markets and yard sales I have also received gear from friends. One of my favourites is an old wooden fly rod made from greenheart.

”The history of fishing rods goes back a long time. The earliest drawings of fishing with a rod were found on an Egyptian tomb that dates back to 2000 BC.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• How To Take It With You When You Go…Fishing, That Is

“;;;I’ve learned the hard way that many fishing resorts/charters a) don’t provide tackle; or b) provide tackle not really right for what I want to do; or c) provide tackle that, while pretty good, still isn’t as good as my own, or might have quality reels that lack full spools or were rode hard and put away wet….

”I think bringing your own gear helps ensure that your time and money are well spent….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• Choosing the Right Hook

“Walk down the hook aisle at your local tackle shop these days and you might just get dizzy. There’s more styles, sizes, and manufacturers than an angler could possibly fathom.

"So, what’s the best way to get down and dirty and outfit your tackle box with the best hooks to get the job done…?”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

20 March 2015

• Stripers in Decline – CT Cuts Stocking $ – How to Spool Fishing Line

• Stripers in Decline – States Cutting Limits

“Stripers, as they are often called, spawn in Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson River, then as summer approaches, they make their way northward along the coast in their hunt for prey. They usually arrive off Plum Island and Salisbury Beach in mid-May. The shores of Plum Island and the Merrimack River become crowded with fishermen.

”But along the East Coast last year, the catch was smaller than in previous years, according to the advocacy group Stripers Forever. Also, the fish that were caught were smaller in size….”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• Connecticut Cutting Back $ for Stocking Programs

“Connecticut sportsmen are about to get hosed by the Governor’s budget for 2015! Governor Malloy’s budget calls for the closing of the Kensington Fish Hatchery and cutting the pheasant program by $8,000!

”When I first heard about this, I thought that it was just a rumor. Now I find that it really is in the 2015 budget…!”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

• Proper Spooling of Fishing Line

“…You now have a bird’s nest of epic proportions, requiring cutting off the mess, pulling out the loops and retying the lure. You curse the brand of line you bought.

:In all likelihood, it isn’t the line’s fault. Properly loading fishing line onto a spinning or baitcasting reel is a skill many anglers take for granted, but often do incorrectly…”

Please visit this link to read the full article: LinkToArticle

19 March 2015

• #53: Islamorada Journal 2015…Back To Snow Land

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

Final day in the Keys. Boat's already been taken to the marina to await shipment north.

Final sunset.

We flew past the mouth of the Housatonic River on our way north.

Arrived home to find six does savaging the rhododendrons.

• CT DEEP Sets 1 @ 28” Limit for Striped Bass

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection has reduced the number of striped bass that anglers can take from Connecticut waters from two fish a day to one.

The decision retains the previous minimum size of 28 inches.

Rhode Island and New York have established similar regulations.

Please visit this link to see the full set of marine fish limits for 2015: CTDEEP

14 March 2015

• #52: Islamorada Journal 2015…March 13,14

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

Clouds, Friday morning.

Being a windy day with Coast Guard warnings for winds up to 23 kts. we stayed on the beach.

Pelican crash-landing...

...and formal portrait.

On Saturday this anole sat with us at breakfast...seemed to enjoy the view.

We had hits from a bunch of sharks today but had problems keeping them on the line as they seemed constantly to bite in back of the hook.

Of course one way to deal with this is to use a second "stinger" hook set in the rear portion of the baitfish....

I did get a four-foot spinner or blacktip up next to the boat, but he eluded capture so no catch photo.

The fish gods paid me back for disrespecting the sharks.

Had a smallish barracuda on the line, was reeling him in, he spit out the hook which, propelled by the energy stored in the now unbending rod, flew through the air and imbedded itself in my right calf.

Going to have to call my doc back home to see when he last gave me a tetanus shot.

I removed the hook myself...which was made relatively easy because I'd flattened the hook's barb. See this link for the method.

13 March 2015

• #51: Islamorada Journal 2015…12 MAR, Thursday: Caught A Few Nice Fish

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

Chris C. caught...

...a very nice ladyfish and...

...a spinner or blacktip...


...that was just about manageable to bring onto Shoo-Fly for a catch photo.

Wayne was the mackerel king of the trip...

...catching two including this large one.

Mackerel are no slouches when it comes to teeth either.

Wayne also pulled in this small bonefish, caught, of all things, on a deerhair jig.

Thursday evening's sunset.

you might ask, where are the photos of Capt. Skip? Truth be told, the fishing gods have abandoned me. Other than one large barracuda back in January and one good spinner or blacktip shark in February, I haven't caught a single, photo-worthy fish...just a bunch of small trout, ladyfish, and jacks.

But it still beats shoveling snow.

12 March 2015

• #50: Islamorada Journal 2015…Photo Catch-Up

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

It rained on Sunday...

...and this gang got caught out in it.

Doesn't look like they minded it much.

How many people were on that boat???

Two shots of Sunday evening's sunset.

This is from Tuesday...

...Wayne fighting a blacktip or spinner shark that...

...he released at the side of the boat without bringing it aboard for a formal portrait.

Wednesday evening's sunset.

Critter pic #1: Pelican

Critter pic #2: Nurse shark, maybe four feet long, right next to the boat basin.

Critter pic #3: Large manatee, also right next to the boat basin; animal looked to be possibly as long as ten feet.

10 March 2015

• #49: Islamorada Journal 2015…09 MAR: Monday: Fishing Continues To Be Slow

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

But it's still better than being up north right now. These two photos are from Deb...

...and are from the vicinity of the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford, CT.

Chris C. joined Wayne and me on Shoo-Fly on Monday.

He landed two sharks on this trip.

This was as close as I got to landing a shark: All that was left of my ladyfish bait after a shark got through with it.

His second shark.

All sharks released and still swimming around out there.

Monday's sunset.