CT DEEP - Bee-Intelligencer at Bee-News

CT DEEP - Bee-Intelligencer at Bee-News

CT DEEP 2017 FISHING REPORT NUMBER 16 Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) 8/3/2017 Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Black Sea Bass (Centroprist...

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CT DEEP

2017

FISHING REPORT NUMBER 16

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

8/3/2017

Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)

Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata)

YOU CAN FIND US DIRECTLY ON FACEBOOK. This page features a variety of information on fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching in Connecticut. The address is www.facebook.com/CTFishandWildlife.

INLAND REPORT LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing is generally fair to good, with night fishing in full swing and producing fish for anglers (try black jitterbugs and surface poppers). Places to try include Highland Lake, Lake McDonough, Black Pond (Meriden), Candlewood Lake (flipping weeds and working edge lines should find you some bass), Lake Lillinonah, Lake of Isles, Quinebaug Pond, Mashapaug Lake, East Twin Lake, Lake Saltonstall, Lake Wononskopomuc, Rogers Lake, Gardner Lake, Cedar Lake, Qounnipaug Lake, Pickerel Lake, Lake Hayward, Congamond Lakes, Dog Pond, Crystal Lake, Ball Pond, Hatch Pond, Halls Pond, Lake Williams, Billings Lake, Wauregan Reservoir, Park Pond, Burr Pond, Stillwater Pond, Mudge Pond, Pachaug Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Bishop Swamp, Red Cedar Lake, Winchester Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, and Bashan Lake Tournament angler reports are from Beseck Lake (fair fishing for most and tough for a few, good average size per fish of 2.47 lbs and a 3.94 lb lunker), Gardner Lake (fair to good action, and not all the typical “dinks” from this lake, with 3 fish over 3 lbs including the 3.5 lb lunker), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (tough fishing with a 2.25 lb lunker for one club, fair to good action on 1-lb fish and a 1.6 lb lunker for a second club), Quaddick Lake (“on and off bite”, 4.12 lb and 3.26 lb lunkers), Candlewood Lake (fair to good, 5.43 lb and 4.75 lb lunkers), and Connecticut River (fair to good, 3.47 lb lunker for a club out of Salmon River, fair with a 3.17 lb lunker for a club out of Riverside Park),

SMALLMOUTH BASS are providing some action with the best reports from Candlewood Lake (getting better, they’re starting to move to deeper spots around humps), Highland Lake, Lake Lillinonah and Colebrook River Lake. Fishing for river smallmouth was good in the Housatonic River

CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report

Attention Anglers: PROPOSED CHANGES TO INLAND FISHERIES REGULATIONS. DEEP‘s Fisheries Division is currently proposing to make changes to the Inland sport fishing regulations and to establish trout and salmon stamps. The proposed changes to the regulations will establish trout and Atlantic salmon stamps, and amend regulations concerning methods and gear types, fishing seasons for several waterbodies, harvest regulations for certain species (common carp, catfish and bullheads), Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas, Atlantic Salmon “Broodstock Areas,” Trout Parks, and Trophy Carp Waters. DEEP’s proposed changes to Inland Fisheries Regulations (effective 2018) are currently open for public comment until 4:30 pm on August 25, 2017. A public hearing is also scheduled for August 9, 2017 starting at 6:30 pm at DEEP Headquarters, 79 Elm Street, Hartford. For more information on proposed changes, how to comment on them and the public hearing, go to Connecticut’s “eRegulations” system at https://eregulations.ct.gov or contact the Fisheries Division at [email protected] or by phone at 860-424-3474.

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2017 CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report No. 16, 7/27/2017

(flyfishing with a popper) and the Connecticut River (try the suffield/Enfield area). Tournament angler reports are from Aspinook Pond (few), Pachaug Pond (some caught), Candlewood Lake (fair, 3.6 lb lunker), Lake Lillinonah (some “successful” fishing, with several smallies over 3 lbs each and a 4.13 lb lunker), and the Connecticut River (some action on smallmouth)

WALLEYE fishing is slow but some ‘eyes are being caught, with reports from Gardner Lake (a few 3-4 fish), Lale Saltonstall and Saugatuck Reservoir. Other places to try include Squantz Pond, Batterson Park Pond, Beach Pond, Cedar Lake, West Thompson Lake, Mount Tom Pond, and Mashapaug Lake.

NORTHERN PIKE. Places to try for pike include Bantam Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Pachaug Pond, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Quaddick Lake (try up in Stump Pond), Hopeville Pond, the Connecticut River, the Housatonic River (Bulls Bridge area), and Winchester Lake. Weedlines early and late in the day typically hold pike.

ZEBRA MUSSELS REMINDER

Zebra mussels are now found in a number of locations scattered throughout the Housatonic River and its impoundments including Lake Lillinonah (since 2010), Lake Zoar (since 2010) and Lake Housatonic (since 2011). Prior to their discovery in Lakes Lillinonah and Zoar in 2010, zebra mussels had been found (1998) in CT only in East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake (Salisbury). Anglers fishing in any of these waters and western Connecticut in general should use extra care to avoid transporting water, aquatic vegetation, and possibly zebra mussels to new locations. Information For more information including precautions that should be taken to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to additional waters, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies or the Aquatic Invasive species section of the 2017 CT angler’s Guide (www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide).

CHAIN PICKEREL continue to bite in a number of places throughout the state. PANFISH. This season has been very good. Target the shallows with bobbers, worms or grubs. Small spinners and jigs have been very productive as well. Try small fly rods. Many of your local small ponds can provide great action. Larger waters to try include Mono Pond, Shenipsit Lake, Mohegan Park Pond, Morey Pond, Mudge Pond, Winchester Lake (from the dam), Dog Pond (south of the boat launch), Quinebaug Lake, Schreeder Pond, Roseland Lake, Norwich Pond, Peck Pond, Quaddick Reservoir, Zemko Pond, Wood Creek Pond, Park Pond and Stanley Quarter Pond. Black Crappie continue to provide some action (look for them to be suspended) with good reports from Shenipsit Lake, silver Lake, and lakes in the southeast. Check out and download the FREE- CARE “Let’s Go Fishing” Workbook available on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/care.

TROUT- RIVERS & STREAMS. Conditions for trout fishing have been good this summer, as mostly moderate temperatures and flows generally at or above typical early August levels (see stream flow graphic on page 4) continue. A mixed bag for weather this weekend, with showers and humidity on Saturday and perfectly delightful weather forecast for Sunday. Still some quality fish in many rivers (although you have to put your time in and cover some

REMINDER TO ANGLERSFISHING IN OR CASTING INTO PERMITTED SWIM AREAS IS PROHIBITED. State regulations prohibit fishing in or into a swim area that has been permitted by DEEP. Additionally, vessels cannot be operated within a permitted swim area, and there’s a 100 foot “no-wake” zone around the perimeter. Swim areas that have been permitted by DEEP will be marked by white buoys with orange markings, and there should be a permit number posted on the buoys. They may or may not have small orange barrier floats to further demarcate the area. Should questions arise concerning the validity of the swim area (no permit numbers or the area appears to have been changed/enlarged or keeps moving), please contact DEEP’s Boating Division at 860-434-8638.

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2017 CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report No. 16, 7/27/2017

ground). The West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River, Hammonasset River, Natchaug River, Mount Hope River, Salmon River and Willimantic River are places to try. Terrestrial fly patterns are very important this time of the year and anglers are advised to include them in their offerings. Farmington River – Fishing was very good again last week (especially from New Hartford back up to the dam) and conditions should be very good again for this weekend. West Branch flows are clear, moderate and quite fishable (currently 262 CFS at Riverton, with the Still River adding 66 CFS) and morning water temperatures continue to range from the mid 50’s F below the dam to the mid 60’s F through New Hartford. Rock Snot is still “blooming”. Cymbella janischii is a close relative of Didymo and has been introduced to the West Branch Farmington River (first noticed in 2011). C. janischii is native to the Pacific Northwest and not naturally found on the Eastern seaboard.

Rock snot continues to bloom. Above is Cymbella janischii (rock snot) as observed on June 14, 2017 in the Barkhamsted portion of the West Branch Farmington River (see Notes & Notices for more information).

Currently this type of “Rock Snot” is very abundant and should continue to grow through July. The primary area of the river is from New Hartford upstream to Riverton. Note: Didymo is still present primarily in the West Branch above the Still River in Riverton. To help prevent the spread to other rivers and streams, all anglers should take extra care to clean and dry waders that have been in contact with rock snot. We recommend having a pair just for use only in the Farmington River. Hatches/patterns include Isonychia (#10-14, fast water), Caddis (#18-24, good all day), Cahill & Light Cahill (#12-14), March Brown nymphs (#10-12), Blue Wing Olives (#18-20, also some smaller ones, #2224, in the evening), Sulphur (Epeorus vitreus duns #16-18, afternoon to early evening for spinners), Black Ants (#14-18, midday in fast water), Black Beetles (#12-16, midday), Flying Ants (#18-22, midday, when windy/humid), and Midges (#20-32, morning). Try terrestrials throughout the day and nymphing from late morning to early evening. Housatonic River – fishing continues to be good and conditions for the weekend should be good again. Flows are clear, continue to be around typical levels

Anglers are reminded that the thermal refuge areas on the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers are now closed to fishing (as of June 15). These areas will reopen on September 15. There is no fishing within 100 feet of signs indicating such closure at or near the mouths of tributaries to these rivers.

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2017 CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report No. 16, 7/27/2017

for mid-summer (currently 292 CFS at Falls Village and 740 CFS at Gaylordsville), and are just perfect for wading. Morning water temperatures continue in the upper 60’s F. On hotter days switch from trout to Smallmouth, Pike, Fallfish, and Carp, they’re on fire now hitting a variety of poppers and streamers. Hatches/patterns include Alder/Zebra Caddis (#8-10, Alder flies are very active during hot days), Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#16-18, cloudy days, early morning; spinner fall in evening), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), (Isonychia bicolor, #10-12 has been active lately, fast water, evening) and Black caddis (#14-18, early morning & evening). Midges (#20-26) and stoneflies are found at tributary mouths. Streamer fishing and nymphing with big stoneflies have been very productive. Streamer patterns to try include White Zonkers, Wooly Buggers (#2-12), Muddlers,Lion Buggers, and Grey or Black Ghosts (#4-10). TROUT-LAKES & PONDS Summer trout fishing is generally quiet with few reports. Crystal Lake has been fishing well, but most fish have been in the slot (try shiners at 20 feet).

CONNECTICUT RIVER. The river continues to be comfortable for fishing and boating, but flows are a bit turbid and back at typical mid-summer levels, so boat access to those hard to get into places will be more difficult. STRIPED BASS continue to hang out near the mouth (with schools of bunker - lots). CATFISH are being caught throughout the river. We recommend using some really stinky bait and setting up just upstream of a deep “hole”. SMALLMOUTH BASS are providing some nice action in north of Hartford through Enfield. Try top water plugs and 4 inch Mr. Twisters, and Wacky Style salted worms in motor oil or chartreuse for these feisty jumpers. Good reports for LARGEMOUTH BASS, from below Hartford to Hamburg Cove (especially around the Salmon River).

Stream flow conditions Data in the state graphic to the left are generated by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) and are available on line at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/rt A percentile is a value on a scale of one hundred that indicates the percent of data in the data set equal to or below it. For example streamflow greater than the 75th percentile means only ¼ of the streamflow values were above the value and thus would be considered “above normal”. Stream flow between the 25th and 50th are considered to be “normal flows” and those 25th or less are considered to be “below normal”.

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NOTES & NOTICES: BRANFORD RIVER (boat launch). The Branford River state boat launch has reopened. CONNECTICUT RIVER (invasive species alert). Hydrilla was recently found in the main stem Connecticut River in Glastonbury (near Glastonbury’s Riverfront Park & Boathouse). See the Coventry Lake entry below for what river users should do to prevent spread of this invasive plant to other waterbodies. COVENTRY LAKE (invasive species alert). Hydrilla, a very highly invasive aquatic plant, has been found growing in Coventry Lake. All lake users should take extra care to check and clean their boats (including canoes, kayaks and rowing sculls), trailers, and fishing equipment before leaving the boat launch, or leaving the lakeshore. Coventry Lake (Wangumbaug Lake) boaters should avoid the area outlined in red to avoid fragmenting and spreading hydrilla. This is only area in the lake where hydrilla has been found.

WEST BRANCH FARMINGTON RIVER (invasive species alert). Cymbella janischii is a close relative of Didymo and has been introduced to the West Branch Farmington River (first noticed in 2011). C. janischii is native to the Pacific Northwest and not naturally found on the Eastern seaboard. Currently this type of “Rock Snot” is very abundant and should continue to grow through July. The primary area of the river is from New Hartford upstream to Riverton. Note: Didymo is still present primarily in the West Branch above the Still River in Riverton. To help prevent the spread to other rivers and streams, all anglers should take extra care to clean and dry waders that have been in contact with rock snot. We recommend having a pair just for use only in the Farmington River. HIGHLAND LAKE (boat parade). The annual Highland Lake boat Parade will be held on Saturday, August 5th from 8 pm to 9:30 pm. Beginning and ending at Holland Beach, boats will complete a clockwise circuit along the shoreline. PHOTO CONTEST: Do you have the next Angler’s Guide cover shot? Email us your high quality (high resolution) photos at [email protected] and include photo contest in the subject line. You have until November 1 to send us your entry for the 2018 Angler’s Guide Cover contest. Youth Fishing Passport Fishing Challenge Scorecard: Download the new scorecard for your Youth Fishing Passport Holder on the program web page at www.ct.gov/deep/yfp. Top anglers will receive a great prize pack of fishing gear.

CT FISHIN’ TIPS is our monthly e-newletter dedicated to providing information, tips and pointers about fishing in Connecticut. Get CT Fishin’ Tips delivered automatically to your in box by subscribing at www.ct.gov/deep/newslettersubscription

Attention: OUTDOOR GROUPS/CLUBS/BUSINESSES. DEEP would like to invite you to attend our upcoming Hunting and Fishing Day, September 23, 2017 at Cabela’s in East Hartford, CT from 10 am to 4 pm. There is no charge for the event and you can showcase your group, business, organization with a tabletop display. If you are interested in attending, please contact Andrew Labonte at [email protected] For more information on the event go to: www.ct.gov/deep/huntfishday. Page 5 of 8

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MARINE FISHING REPORT Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) continue in the low 70 0F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions: http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/stationstat.html http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

http://marine.rutgers.edu/mrs/sat_data/?nothumbs=1 http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/AN/330.html

Saltwater Fishing at Fort Trumbull State Park Saltwater Fishing Event: Our annual CARE and No Child Left Inside Summer Fishing Event will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 (coinciding with free fishing license day). The event will be at Fort Trumbull State Park from 10 am to 3 pm. Feel free to bring your own fishing gear or you can borrow ours. We will have bait too! A great time will be had by all. Youth Fishing Passport holders- This is a great chance for you to “check off” several of the saltwater species on the “Fishing Challenge Scorecard”. WHALES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN LONG ISLAND SOUND, PLEASE CHECK WHALE WATCHING GUIDELINES. Note: All marine mammals are protected by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Following these recommended operational guidelines helps minimize chances of harassing or injuring whales and violating Federal law. Guidelines apply to all large whales from Maine through Virginia, except North Atlantic right whales. It is illegal to approach a right whale within 500 yards (1500 feet) unless granted specific exemption or authorization. SHARK SPECIES YOU MAY ENCOUNTER IN COASTAL WATERS OF CONNECTICUT: Anglers may catch Sand Tiger and Sandbar (Brown) Shark which are protected and prohibited species and must be released unharmed. IF YOU DON’T KNOW, PLEASE LET IT GO! Coastal shark information. SEE A TANGLED TURTLE? CALL THE HOTLINE: 1-860-572-5955 ext. 107. This is the time of year when leatherback, loggerhead, green, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles return to northern waters, with many sightings around Long Island Sound. LICENSE RECIPROCITY & CT RESIDENTS: Anglers please note: Although Connecticut has reciprocity with neighboring states (New York, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts), residents of Connecticut are required to have a CT Resident Marine Waters or all-Waters Sport Fishing License to fish in the Marine District.

STRIPED BASS fishing continues to be fair throughout the Sound (56 inch bass caught in the Six Mile Reef area). Fishing should improve around the upcoming full moon. Try fishing from sundown to sunrise for trophy-sized “cow” stripers. Casting swimming lures, surface poppers, and bouncing jigs off the bottom in the shallows at low light has been productive. Also, live lining bunker (Atlantic menhaden), hickory shad or scup on the reefs has been effective on “cow” bass. Bunker (Atlantic menhaden) schools are in the major tidal rivers and harbors with stripers following close behind. Look for hovering or diving ospreys which is an indication of bunker (menhaden) schools. The usual striper spots include the Watch Page 6 of 8

2017 CT DEEP Weekly Fishing Report No. 16, 7/27/2017

Hill reefs, Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, lower Mystic and Thames River, the Race, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, the “humps’ south of Hatchett Reef, lower Connecticut River, Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor and the upper reaches, Charles Island area, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around the Norwalk Islands, and Cable and Anchor Reef.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing is fair with some big fish caught off Montauk and Black Point measuring in the mid to high 20 inch range being reported. Shore anglers give Fort Trumbull a try…there have been some very impressive fluke caught there recently. Summer flounder spots include the south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River over to Groton Long Point, Twotree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic Bay including the Bloody Grounds, Sound View Beach, Long Sand Shoal, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, off the mouth of the Housatonic River during the flood tide, and around the Norwalk Islands. Minimum size is 19 inches and the daily creel limit is 3 fish per person. CT Bait & Tackleshop List

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, is a

FREE FISHING LICENSE DAY

The second 2017 (and final) Free Fishing License Day is Saturday, August 12, 2017 (and also the day of the NCLI/DEEP CARE program Saltwater fishing event at Fort Trumbull State Park – see page 7 for more information on this event). Anyone can obtain a free one-day fishing license to fish this day. The free 1-day license can be obtained through our mobile friendly site at www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensin g and at the same vendors (Designated vendor (tackle shop), Town Halls and DEEP offices where other licenses are available (DEEP Offices).

BLACK SEA BASS fishing is fantastic. The hot spot continues to be Falkner Island/Guilford/Branford Beacon/Stratford Shoal. Fishing over deep water structure/cobble/gravel in 80 to 120 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks on baited jigs or gulp. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure and fish around slack tide (stay close to the bottom) to find these beautiful and awesome eating fish.

SCUP (porgy) fishing is the best it has been in a decade or more. “Reef Slammers” measuring 14-18 nches (“hubcap size”) in length being reported at every fishing pier, reef or rock pile in the Sound (They are everywhere…go out enjoy the fast paced action). Try Gardners Island, Milford (Charles Island), Montauk and Niantic (Bartletts and Hatchetts Reef). Porgy fishing has also been reported at these very accessible shore fishing locations: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and SHORE FISHING SPOTS & TIDE TABLE INFORMATION Penfield beach, Seaside Park, To find a saltwater shore fishing spot close to where you live, go (Milford), Bradley Point Park to the following website: (West Haven), New Haven, http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/. Harkness State Park, Rocky Neck For Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing sites and other fishing State Park, Kimberley Reef information including a site map go to the following website (Guilford), Meigs Point http://www.depdata.ct.gov/maps/saltwaterfish/map.htm. Hammonassett State Park and Please see page 64 of the 2017 CT Angler’s Guide for CT tide Fort Trumbull State Park. Locate information. your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these

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hard fighting and excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “panfish of the sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid or any other small piece of bait. Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information.

BLUEFISH fishing has improved on the major reefs and rip areas. Vertical jigging diamond jigs in deep water locations and using fresh bunker chunk baits on three way rigs in shallow water has been the ticket. Typical bluefish fishing spots include the reefs off Watch Hill, the Race, Thames River, Sluiceway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, lower Connecticut River (CT DEEP Headquarters Fishing Pier), Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor and upper reaches, lower Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef. SNAPPER fishing is improving in the tidal creeks and rivers. The DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier and Fort Trumbull fishing pier are two great spots to bring kids fishing & crabbing. Look for the schools of “peanut” bunker and you will find the snappers.

BLACKFISH (TAUTOG) fishing is pretty good this summer. There are plenty of these “Reef Bullies” around the local reefs and pilings. The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches. Tautog love eating crabs and mussels...try green, Asian and hermit crabs for bait. Look for “Togs” over shellfish beds, pilings with mussel beds and rock (reef) piles (10 to 45 ft). The daily creel limit is 2 fish per person and the minimum size is 16 inches.

BLUE CRAB fishing is good in most tidal creeks. Time to get out and try your favorite spot and enjoy the scenery and catch some crabs for dinner (crab cakes). Remember… all egg bearing females must be released without avoidable injury. Minimum carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab. Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for most updated information (local hot spots), legal crab traps and bait to use for your fun-filled crabbing. Legal gear types include: scoop (dip) net, hand line, star crab trap, circular (topless) trap not exceeding 26 inches in diameter. Maryland Style crab traps are prohibited. Chicken with the skin on it (along with a long handle net) is the preferred method to capture these tasty crabs. Blue Crab Fact Sheet.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact us at (860) 418-5910 or [email protected] if you have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.

DEEP WEEKLY Fishing Report Connecticut Department of ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106

www.ct.gov/deep

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