Spring 2015

In the spring of 2015, the DEEP Fisheries Division stocked Alewife and American Shad in the Naugatuck River at the Riverbend Park in Beacon Falls.

1,000 Alewife came from Brides Pond ( Old Lyme)
163 American Shad from Holyoke, MA Fishlift.

Naugy Shad 2014 June 13, 2014

Here’s the report researched by Bob Gregorski with information from Inland Fisheries Division (IFD)
June 2014 Report; data has been confirmed by Tim Wildman – Fisheries Biologist Diadromous Fisheries / Marine Headquarters.

AMERICAN SHAD – DEEP June 2014 Inland Fisheries Division Report
Transplanted 323 adult pre-spawn American Shad: (Farmington River = 160) and (Naugatuck River = 163 stocked at Riverbend Park Beacon Falls). Shad were transported from the Holyoke Fishlift (Connecticut River) to spawning habitat upstream of fishways to accelerate restoration.

Another success story: TU & NRWA assisted Mike Horbal & Don Mysling in designing Riverbend Park so stocking of: shad, herring, trout & salmon would be easy.

Hopefully the young-of-the-year shad will use the new by-pass channel to return to the ocean this fall and later return as adults.

Alewife—Beacon Falls (5/8/2014) 800 were released that came from Bride Brook in Niantic, CT.

By Bob Gregorski

Tiger Trout that was reproduced in the wild
Stocked Tiger Trout that was reproduced in a State Hatchery

Tiger Trout that was reproduced in the wild
Photos are by Bob Jacobs a DEP Fishery Biologist

Are wild tiger trout being produced in Naugatuck River system is the question that came to mind after reading a recent Email from Steve Arkenbout. Arkenbout was one of the writers on our staff at The Connecticut Fisherman’s Review magazine 1993-1995. The idea piqued my mind and prompted me to do some research about Tiger Trout in Connecticut.

The following is the essence of Arkenbout’s Email. “I have been busy fishing for wild trout. I just recently fished a small feeder to the Naugatuck River and caught two tiger trout. I know the state has been stocking tiger trout in the Naugatuck. This stream is not stocked so I would assume they migrated into the brook. But what is more interesting is the two I caught were both around 5 inches. The state says they stock 9-12 inchers. Perhaps it stocked smaller ones. I have caught one tiger trout in the past that I know was wild with brilliant colors. Just the fact that I caught two tells me they are more likely stocked. Was wondering if you have any insight as to whether any streams have been stocked with tiger trout.”

I in turn emailed Ed Machowski, a DEP Fisheries Biologist to get information from the Fisheries Division. The essence of Machowski’s reply was that it is possible that those are wild fish. While not common, we do find tigers on occasion in streams where browns and brookies exist. “What is interesting is not every stream with good brown and brook abundance produce tigers. An example of a stream with a large number of tiger trout is Weewaka Brook (tributary to Lake Lillinonah). Many, many years back I caught naturally spawned tigers in Sandy Brook,” noted Machowski. I searched my library and found other two sources of reliable information. Here’s some of what John Holt said in his book ALL ABOUT TROUT. Tiger trout are a hybrid produced mostly from the eggs of a female (hen) brown trout being fertilized by the milt from of a male (cockish) brook trout. “The cross has the brookie’s vermiculations (worm-like markings on its sides) and the brown’s coloring,” stated Holt.

Holt went on to say, “This cross has extremely aggressive disposition, but unfortunately only about one-third of the young are able to develop fully because of a disease inherent in the sac-fry. This cross rarely occurs in nature and is unable to naturally reproduce because it is a salmonid mule (sterile adult). My second reference book Trout Biology by Bill Willers confirmed that most tiger trout are produced by a female brown and a male brookie, however, Willers said when brook trout eggs are fertilized by milt from male brown the result is sometimes called tiger trout (less frequently leopard trout). These fish can be quite different in shape and pattern of vermiculation. There is no explanation why this occurs. In one controlled study, when 100,000 female brown eyed-eggs were incubated (fertilized by brook trout milt), 65,000 hatched and 4,000 reached fry stage. That’s a 4% survival rate. When 4,467 eggs from a brook trout were fertilized by milt from a brown trout, 128 hatched and 22 survived to fry stage. That’s a 0.5% survival rate. One can conclude that survival of tiger trout when brown trout eggs are fertilized is more likely to happen. Later I corresponded with Bill Hyatt, Director on CT Inland Fisheries and several of the Division’s biologists and received the following information. The Connecticut DEP stocks only a small number of tiger in its annual trout stocking program. Here’s a sample of what the DEP Fisheries Division stocked prior to Opening Day 2008. Brook Trout - 62,500 (10-11 inch); Brown Trout –214,300 (10-11 inch), Brown Trout – 7,900 (12 inch), Tiger Trout –8,000 (10-12 inch brook/brown hybrid), Rainbow Trout – 89,000 (10-12 inch), Rainbow Trout –18,650 (12-14 inch) and 1,680 surplus broodstock (3-10 pounds). Note: After Opening Day about 5,000 tiger trout (10-12 inch) were stocked. So, about 13,000 of the total 800,000 trout stocked annually in the state were tiger trout. Or approximately 1.7 % of the total was tiger trout. The state stocks tiger trout to add to the diversity of trout species. Recall the some years ago golden trout were stocked. They were easy to spot in the water, but difficult to catch. Tigers are aggressive. Anglers enjoy the fight they display. One additional type tiger trout stocking involves the Sea-run Trout Program. DEP Fisheries Division is trying to establish sea-run trout fisheries in waters that are potentially favorable. In 2008, the following yearling tiger trout were stocked in the lower sections of: Salmon River (500), Saugatuck River (396), Naugatuck River (396), Niantic River (396), Thames River (500) and Latimer Brook (396). The following are listed in the 2008 Connecticut Angler’s Guide as sea-run trout fisheries. Read the Guide for specific areas of river. They include:Eightmile River (East Haddam –Lyme), Farm River, Hammonasset River, Latimer Brook, Mianus River, Oil Mill Brook, Saugatuck River and Whitford Brook.

Thanks to DEP Fisheries Supervisor Bill Hyatt and biologists Bob Orciari, Ed Machowski, Bill Foreman, Bob Jaciobs and Tim Wildman.

By Bob Gregorski

The following fish were stocked by the DEP Fisheries Division this spring: 162 adult American shad and 500 alewife. This has been on on-going program for many years. The goal is to have these anadromous fish species reproduce in the river. Their offspring return to the ocean and return in a few years as adults to reproduce. No sea lamprey were stocked in 2008

In 2007, there were 118 pre-spawn adult American shad from the Holyoke Fish lift stocked into the Naugatuck River in early June. No lamprey were stocked in the Naugatuck River. In 2006, there were 549 Alewife and 72 American shad stocked. In 2005, the Naugatuck River was stocked with 399 alewives. No shad were stocked.

Sea-run trout, American shad and alewives stocked in the Naugatuck River in 2006 on 4/11/06, 250 adipose fin clipped seeforellen strain brown trout yearlings were stocked; 250 unmarked tiger trout yearlings on 4/11/06 and 549 Alewife on 5/5/06 and 72 American shad were stocked on 6/16/06.

In 2005, the Naugatuck River was stocked with 500 seeforellen strain brown trout yearlings and 450 tiger
trout yearlings. No shad were stocked; 399 alewives were stocked.

Anglers who have caught any of the trout (2005 - 2008) are encouraged to contact Bob Gregorski at
bobflybox@sbcglobal.net. with information about the catches. Steve Gephard and Tim Wildman (DEP Marine
Biologists) are interested in the data.

Anglers are encouraged to practice Catch & Release and give these fish a chance to grow.