Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that for the twelfth consecutive year, one of the most sought after freshwater game fish species in the country, the Channel Catfish, has been stocked into twenty-four water bodies across Connecticut (see list of locations below.) DEEP would also like to remind catfish anglers of new daily limits on the number of catfish each angler may keep.
This year approximately 17,000 fish were stocked. The “cats” stocked include adult fish (about 6,600) averaging 14-18 inches in length and weighing just under 2 pounds; and juvenile fish (about 10,600), averaging 9-11 inches and about ½ pound in weight. Stocking the larger fish provides an immediate summer fishery for a great tasting-high quality fish, while stocking the smaller fish provides a cost-effective investment for great catfish fishing into the future. “This DEEP program establishes Channel Catfish in lakes where we know there is sufficient habitat to support a population of large gamefish,” said Peter Aarrestad, Director of DEEP’s Fisheries Division. “Anglers have reported taking five-to-ten pound fish from several of the lakes. DEEP believes that the combination of a popular gamefish stocked into waters that are selected based on scientific data is a winning combination. We’ve had great success in using this approach to develop exciting fisheries for Northern Pike and Walleye and now we’re seeing similar results with catfish.” Each year this fishery has gained popularity and as a result the new daily harvest limit put in place will serve to spread the quality catches among more anglers.
Just over half of the locations stocked are part of DEEP’s Community Fishing Waters Program (CFW). Community fishing waters are located in municipal parks that are in close proximity to hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents. Many of these