Connecticut DEP bans taking of herring - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 02-19-2002, 10:31 AM
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Connecticut DEP bans taking of herring

The DEP of CT has recently banned the fishing for and taking of herring from any CT waters. The populations are slim compared to those of only a decade ago, and the department blames the decline on the resurgence of the stripers. This is the right step to take, albiet a bit late. Had this been instituted a few years ago, the herring might not have fallen to such critical levels.

Also, IMHO, the department might want to blame the decline on something other than the stripers. How about those ships in the Sound and along RI that take herring? We've all seen what they can do to bunker populations, and I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to see this happening with the herring too.

One more thing: if the herring numbers are down, what else will the stripers follow up the rivers this spring? I know that they will follow shad, but with the herring on the down side is there any other prey out there that might fill this niche? Just wondering, because I'm still relatively new to the state.
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Old 02-19-2002, 10:30 PM
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Mark, if Stripers are to blame then I would expect similar declines all the way up the coast to Mass. and beyond. I'm not sure if thats the case.

When I stopped at the Herring Run at CC Canal last year in May they were so thick you could walk across the water on their backs.

I hope that CT DEP are looking at other causes and coordinating their efforts across State boundaries. Am I wrong in thinking that seals eat herring too?

Intercepting the migating schools at sea and loss/degradation of spawning habitat through pollution and development would also be high on my list of suspects.
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Old 02-20-2002, 07:59 AM
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Adrian, I agree with you 100%. When I suggested that the DEP look at other possible causes for the decline (besides the stripers), it was full of sarcasm. This department needs to look at pollution and loss of spawning habitat as you've suggested.

I have also seen thick schools of these baitfish as recently as last year. I was headed to Enfield one day last spring and saw thousands of them from the I-91 bridge.
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Old 03-08-2002, 02:11 PM
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For very detailed and up to date info on the herring ban in CT waters, check out:

http://dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/fishing/herring.pdf

It appears that the ban extends out into the Sound as well.
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Old 03-08-2002, 03:54 PM
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Without the option of snagging and using live herring it may now be worthwhile to try fishing the Enfield stretch of the CT River and below the derby dam on the Housy. I fished there a several years ago but then it got too crowded. The snagging itself was a major hazard and the bait longliners made it difficult for anyone else to fish. Maybe I'll get a CT license this year!
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Old 03-08-2002, 05:43 PM
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Quenitin, Mark - Derby dam is one of my Yak attack targets this season! I checked shore access last year and fly casting would be extremely challenging from shore.
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Old 03-08-2002, 07:25 PM
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Question

I tried to psot a reply before but I ended up on top of my soap box, got too long winded, and the sight kicked me out. If you really want my opinion about the State of Connecticut and its management policy, I'll give it at the casting clave. I've lived here all my life. Western Long Island is my home. To blame the striped bass for the decline of herring, is like giving credit to the rooster for the sun rise. The state needs to look harder at other reasons. Sounds like the easy way out.
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Old 03-08-2002, 10:30 PM
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Jimmy -

Sorry to hear your reply got knocked out... we recently heard this from others too. Did you mean that you got kicked off the dial-up connection? As you all know I am pretty long winded too and the only problem I've seen is that the connection times out. Typing into the message box generates no internet traffic and the dial-up thought I was asleep at the wheel. Try hitting <back> and cutting and pasting what was typed before.

anyway...

I love your rooster analogy. For millenia the natural balance of herring biomass and predatation worked it's way out just fine, then it's as if suddenly the fish are to blame.

What's next - increased kill limits on stripers to reduce the "problem"?

Looking forward to seeing you at the casting shindig!
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Old 03-09-2002, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adrian
Quenitin, Mark - Derby dam is one of my Yak attack targets this season! I checked shore access last year and fly casting would be extremely challenging from shore.
A yak or other small craft would be a tremendous advantage provided that you are able to find a good place to launch. I seem to recall that parking is not very convenient. (or maybe I just don't know the good spots!)

I haven't been there in a few years so my memory may be fuzzy, but I believe that at low tide you can wade out to the deeper channel and get away from the steep shore and shoreline anglers. This is on the west side of the river, not sure about the east side. I also wonder if they have expanded the "off limits" zone which may prevent you from accessing the wadeable water.

I hope to fish the Stratford area in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll make a side trip to Derby to check it out.

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Old 03-11-2002, 09:58 AM
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herring

I would tend to agree about the cause of the decline. I am unsure about CT waters and their runs but I looked at my sonar this weekend and saw no shortage of herring in NY. I would tend to beleive that it has more to do with the life cycle. I remember a few years ago you would be hard pressed to find good numbers of bunker or stripers. Last year the sound was loaded with both. I am not a biologist but it seems to be more a natural occurance than anything else. Remeber the lack of Weakfish a few years ago? Now they seem to be on the upswing again.
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Old 03-11-2002, 10:31 AM
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Quentin- You bring up an excellent point about Enfield. That area usually has raging water in the spring, but with this winter's lack of precipitation it could be a different story. The lower water combined with no live-lined herring could make for some practical flyfishing opportunities. I'll keep my eyes and ears open.
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