BURLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– Anglers here in Connecticut probably have a big circle around this coming Saturday on their calenders. That’s when trout season opens.
There are three fish hatcheries here in Connecticut. What they do is simple, but it has a big impact.
“We raise trout so there are fish out in the lakes and streams for people to catch,” said James Hays.
James Hays is the supervisor at the hatchery in Burlington. He says the process begins with the breeding of mature fish.
“We have all three stages here. We have our frye which is after egg, they hatch and become frye. Then we have our yearling trout and then outside in the bigger ponds we have, the adult trout which will be stocked out this year,” said Hays.
The life cycle takes about 18 months. The adult trout are then taken out of these hatchery ponds, loaded into trucks and sent to various waterways across the state.
News 8 was there as nearly 500 trout were placed into Birge Pond in Bristol.
“We’re expecting about 125,000 anglers to be out opening day that are going to be wanting to fish for fresh trout so it’s critical we get our 2,100 stocking points stocked,” said Justin Wiggins, DEEP Inland Fisheries Division.
When all is said and done, roughly 650,000 trout will be stocked in the various ponds, lakes and rivers here in Connecticut.
The stocking of trout takes place through the end of May and then again in the fall. If the state’s hatcheries weren’t producing all the fish, there wouldn’t be much for anglers to catch.
“We do have wild, self sustaining trout populations in Connecticut but they are very few and far between. We just don’t have the habitat for them to sustain themselves,” said Wiggins.
“If we didn’t do what we do the fishing population, wild population would be over fished,” said Hays.