Connetquot River - Fall 2008

Bart Lombardo

December 2008

A small group of CJTU members braved the sunny skies and the sixty-degree temperatures and headed out to Long Island to do a little Trout Fishing. The Connetquot River on Long Island has been in the news a lot lately. This is a very unique fishery that unfortunately is on the brink of extinction. It looks like they will be closing down the hatchery that supports fishery due to a virus. In 2006 the state DEC found pancreatic necrosis, a virus that poses no known hazard to humans, in the river's rainbow, brown and brook trout. The virus kills most baby trout, but if the fish survive the virus there does not appear to be any ill effects on adult fish. The hatchery on the river that supports the fishery is looking to close down operations for five years in an effort to eradicate the virus. A nearby river, the Carmans, hosts the largest naturally reproducing population of brook trout on Long Island and I guess there is concern of the virus spreading to other fisheries. Since the hatchery is located right on the river they are able to maintain unnaturally large populations of fish. Without exaggeration, 100 fish days are a possibility on this river. Anyone that fishes knows that a 100 fish day is just about impossible because it requires a fish on just about every cast. This is the kind of thing that happens on this river. In addition to shear numbers there is a very good possibility of tangling with the fish of a lifetime. This river supports sea run brook, brown, and rainbow trout; meaning the fish can get quite large.

The hatchery is closing down on December 31st and all of the remaining fish stocks are being put in the river. The normally catch and release fishery has been changed to a 20 fish a day (2 sessions) limit! The thought being, it is better to let anglers have a shot at the fish than have them end up in a land full. The future of the fishery is in question, so we are not sure if there will be future trips or if it will be worth taking the ride out there.

So with all this bad news was it worth the trip? Absolutely! We had a great time, the fishing has fantastic and one could not ask for better weather in November. A trip a week later with some other T.U. members to the same river started out with an 18-degree morning. Brrrr Here are some images from the trip.

A healthy brown

Nice Healthy Brown Trout

Float Stocking

Hatchery Workers Float Stocking

Streamer Fishing

Streamer Fishing!

Big Fish

They Can Get Big