Document Type



Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology | Marine Biology


The Connecticut River is the largest and most diverse inland fishery resource in the State of Connecticut. Significant improvements in water quality over the past 30 years have led to progressive increases in recreational use, presumably increasing fishing pressure on some species and possibly decreasing overall fishing quality. To address this concern, the Inland Fisheries Division (IFD) of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) conducted an angler survey on the entire portion of the Connecticut River within the state during March-October of 2008-09. The survey used a similar design as a smaller-scale survey of the river’s fisheries conducted during 1997-98. The objectives of the 2008-09 survey were to assess contemporary angler effort, catch, and harvest, as well as to quantify changes in these quantities since the 1997-98 survey. In addition, the 2008-09 survey assessed angler demographics and attitudes towards harvesting fish. Anglers spent an estimated 263,264 hours annually fishing on the Connecticut River during March-October of 2008-09, catching 35 different fish species. Total angler effort declined by 29-32% between 1997-98 and 2008-09. Declines in effort were largely the result of declines in shore angling effort as well as reduced angling activity during July-August. Total catch of species typically targeted by shore anglers declined by 26-82% between 1997-98 and 2008-09; harvest rates for almost all species either decreased or did not change. Overall, there was no evidence that angler impacts to Connecticut River fish populations have increased over the last decade.