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With over a hundred and eighty lakes and waterways, Connecticut's waters teem with trophy-sized trout and bass. Trout Park is a popular destination for tourists and fishing enthusiasts who hope to get a glimpse of these beauties first hand.

There are quite a few fishing licenses to choose from, which is why it is crucial to confirm your location first before purchasing one. The links in this section will give you all the information you need to accomplish this task. You may purchase one online or through authorized retailers such as tackle shop or your local athletic stores.

Before you leave for your trip, make it a point to research on Connecticut's rules and regulations on fishing. Also, you must keep an eye out for regular updates as some laws change from time to time, depending on the climate, month or the current population of fish in the area.

Reeling in trophy-sized catches is every angler's dream. However, Connecticut advocates the catch and release practice to protect and conserve marine life in the region. It is best to familiarize yourself with the local protocols regarding the size and length of fish you are allowed to bag for a hassle free vacation.


Connecticut is one of the most underrated places to go fishing. The state has over 180 public lakes and ponds, including thousands of rivers and streams. Many of these fishing spots are permeated with game fish and panfish such as trout, bass, large walleye, bluegills, and pike. 

Connecticut is known best for its Farmington and Housatonic rivers, which are the favorite spots for local fishers for the best catch, especially when catching the coveted prized fish. The state’s fish hatcheries ensure that the Connecticut ponds and streams are filled up weekly with fresh trout.

If you're down to explore the rich waters of Connecticut for the first time, the first thing you need to secure is a fishing license. We've prepared a complete guide in procuring a Connecticut fishing license, including the rules and regulations that you MUST follow.

How to get a Connecticut Fishing License?

For those of you looking to fish, inland fishing licenses are required for any individual over the age of 16 in the Inland District. For Marine Waters Fishing Licenses, individuals are required to have these licenses if over the age of 26. These specific Marine Water Licenses are needed when fishing from shore or the boat in the marine district or landing marine fish or bait specific in Connecticut taken from offshore waters. The fishing licenses themselves are issued on a calendar year basis and expire on December 31st. To get a fishing license, you’ll have the option to the following places:

Types of Licenses and Costs

 

License Type

Fee

(as of 1/1/15)

Resident Inland Fishing 

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

$28.00

$14.00

Resident All Waters Fishing

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

$32.00

$16.00

Resident Inland Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting 

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17


 

$38.00

$19.00

Resident All Waters Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting 

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17


 

$40.00

$20.00

Resident All Waters Fishing and Bow and Arrow Permit to Hunt Deer and Small Game

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

 

$65.00

$33.00

Trout and Salmon Stamp - New for 2018

 Trout and Salmon Stamp FAQ's

                                          Age 18-64

Age 65 and Older

Age 16 and 17

 

$5.00

$5.00

$3.00

Resident Senior Citizen (65 and older) - Inland Fishing

Free   (Requires Annual Renewal)

Nonresident Season-Inland Fishing

$55.00

Nonresident Season-All Waters Fishing

$63.00

Nonresident Three Day Inland Fishing

$22.00

Nonresident Inland Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting

$110.00

Nonresident All Waters Fishing and Firearms Hunting

$120.00

Armed Forces Members*  Inland Fishing

$28.00

Armed Forces Members* All Waters Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting

$40.00

Armed Forces Members* Inland Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting

$38.00

Intellectually Disabled or Blind** - Inland Fishing

Free

Physically Disabled Persons*** - Inland Fishing

Free

Physically Disabled Persons *** - Inland Fishing and Small Game Firearms Hunting

Free

Source: Ct.gov - State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environment Protection

 

Marine Water Fishing Licenses 

License Type

Fee

Resident  Marine Waters Fishing

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

$10.00

$5.00

Resident One Day Marine Waters Fishing

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

$5.00

$3.00

Resident All Waters Fishing

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

$32.00

$16.00

Resident Senior Citizen (65 or older) - Marine Waters Fishing

Free (Requires Annual Renewal)

Resident Marine Waters  Fishing and Firearms Hunting

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

 

$25.00

$13.00

Resident All Waters Fishing and Firearms Hunting

Age 18-64

Age 16 and 17

 

 

$40.00

$20.00

Nonresident  Marine Waters Fishing

$15.00

Nonresident Season-All Waters Fishing

$63.00

Nonresident Marine Waters Fishing and Firearms Hunting

$94.00

Nonresident All Waters Fishing and Firearms Hunting

$120.00

Nonresident Three Day Marine Waters Fishing

$8.00

Armed Forces Members* Marine Waters Fishing

$10.00

Intellectually Disabled or Blind** - Marine Waters Fishing

Free

Physically Disabled Persons*** - Marine Waters Fishing

Free

Source: Ct.gov - State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environment Protection

Who needs a Connecticut Fishing License? 

As mentioned above, all individuals over the age of 16 must have a fishing license. The type of fishing license that you’ll need primarily depends on many factors such as your age, residency, location, and type of fish you’re looking to fish. 

How do I renew my Connecticut license?

To renew your fishing license, simply go to the locations available to get a new fishing license. The fee for a marine permit is $10 for residents aged 16-64. For seniors who are above the age of 65, the license is free. For non-residents ages 16 and older, the fee is $15. Anglers must possess a fishing license to fish in Connecticut waters. 

Connecticut Fish Size and Limits 

As an angler, it is essential to know specific fishing regulations in the state you are fishing. These Fishing laws aim to conserve and improve fishing populations and protect the species' ecosystem. Hence, fishing biologists study large bodies of water to check on the number and the health of various fish species.

In the state of Connecticut, there are different types of fishing regulations, including size and catch limitations. Check the complete guide below:

 

Species

Notes

Minimum Length

Daily

Creel Limit

(fish per angler)

Open Season

Alewife/

Blueback Herring

The taking of Alewife and Blueback Herring is prohibited.

   

American Eel

Eel Pots limited to 2 pots per person, personal use only.

Legal Methods: Angling, Snagging, Spearing, Eel Pot

Silver eel harvest is prohibited.

9″

25

Year-Round

American Shad

All state waters closed except the Connecticut River.

None

6

Year-Round

Atlantic Cod

Visit this link for updated federal regulations.

23″

10

Year-Round

Black Sea Bass

Length excludes the tendril (tail filament).
See this link for Party/Charter fishing regulations.

15″

5

May 19 – December 31

Bluefish

 

None

10

Year-Round

Haddock

Visit this link for updated federal regulations.

18″

None

Year-Round

Hickory Shad

 

None

6

Year-Round

Menhaden

 

None

50 fish or 5 gallons 

Year-Round

Pollock

Visit this link for updated federal regulations.

19″

None

Year-Round

Red Drum

No person shall possess any red drum greater than 27 inches measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. Any red drum greater than 27″ shall, without avoidable injury, be returned immediately to the water from which taken.

None

None

None

Scup (Porgy)

See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwaterfishing for Party/Charter fishing regulations.

9″

30

Year-Round

At Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Access Sites (see Appendix A on Enhanced Fishing Opportunities)

8″

30

Sea-Run Trout

(Brown, Brook, Rainbow)

 

15″

2

Year-Round

Striped Bass

No spearing or gaffing

28″

1

Year-Round

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

On the water, fillets must meet the minimum length or be accompanied by a legal-sized rack (carcass) See www.ct.gov/deep/saltwater fishing for updated regulations

19″

4

May 4 – September 30

At Enhanced Opportunity Shore Fishing Access Sites (see Appendix A on Enhanced Fishing Opportunities)

17″

4

May 4 – September 30

Tautog (Blackfish)

 

16″

2

April 1 – April 30

and July 1 – August 31

16″

3

October 10 – November 28

Weakfish

 

16″

1

Year-Round

White Perch

 

7″

30

Year-Round

Winter Flounder

 

12″

2

April 1 – December 31

Sharks/Tuna*

Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit is required to take, possess, or land any shark species, other than smooth or spiny dogfish. To obtain an HMS permit see this link or call NMFS Customer Service at 888-872-8862

   

Source: Connecticut Angler’s Guide Inland & Marine Fishing

What are the Top Fishing Spots in Connecticut? 

Crescent Lake in Southington is a beautiful lake with a hilltop location that is stocked filled with freshwater trout and catfish. Another spot great among the Angler community is the Farmington Rivers in Windsor, which is known for lures to work well in this body of water. Other notable spots that anglers love are Cockaponset State Forest in Haddam, Fort Trumbull State Park in New London, Quinnipiac River in South Meriden, Connecticut River from Middletown to Hartford, Lake McDonough in Barkhamsted, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield, Satan’s Kingdom in New Hartford and Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury.