Connecticut Stocks State Record Brown Trout

The Connecticut DEEP will be stocking 400 Seeforellen-strain brown trout in December averaging a whopping 15 pounds each. Some will exceed 20 pounds, making them larger than the current Connecticut state record brown trout of 18 pounds, 5 ounces caught by angler Tony Urbanowicz from the Saugatuck Reservoir in 2011.

Seeforellen brown trout are a German strain of large, lake-dwelling brown trout. These fish are capable of reaching very large sizes, preferring deep cool water lakes.

Connecticut stocks brown trout

The Connecticut DEEP stocked Highland Lake in Winsted with 50 jumbo Seeforellen Brown Trout on December 15, 2014. Stay tuned for other lakes which will be stocked over the next couple of weeks.

On the Connecticut Fish and Wildlife Facebook page, several anglers questioned the state’s decision to stock brown trout large enough to qualify as the state record.

“This is a great opportunity for Connecticut anglers, thank you! But I don’t like the idea of having one of those newly released fish as a state record brown trout,” commented Kierran Broatch.  

“Don’t think it’s a good idea to stock fish larger than a state record. Tony Urbanawiecz worked very hard to catch his state record. That was a fish that grew in the Saugatuck Reservoir and was smart. These fish were raised in a tank and are uneducated as far as angling is concerned,” commented Ron Merly.

An administrator for the page responded, “A good debate and discussion. Many states struggle with the same issue. For now DEEP will be keeping the process the same. Meaning, yes, one of these fish could be the new state record fish. Thanks all.”

UPDATE 12/25/2014: The following water bodies have each been stocked with 50 Seeforellen brown trout:

  • Long Pond (Ledyard/North Stonington)
  • East Twin Lake (Salisbury)
  • West Hill Pond (Barkhamsted)
  • Cedar Lake (Chester)
  • Black Pond (Meriden/Middlefield)
  • Highland Lake (Winsted)
  • Mashapaug Pond (Union)
  • Squantz Pond (New Fairfield) 

What do you think about Connecticut stocking trophy-sized brown trout?

  1. Mike Davendonis

    Not a very good or smart idea ! Why not stock them just under the state record and give them a chance to grow to be a state record or not recognize the seeforellen browns as a state record if and when they are caught do to them being a non-native species

    Reply
    • Jerry Plaaten

      All brown trout are non-native. Maybe set up a separate category for these special fish in the record book?

      Reply
    • Bob NH angler

      Absolutely Not! Stock all you want but the state record should stand as is until broken by a native fish to a deserving angler. All others caught that are not native to the lakes should not be it the books private photos only and those fish should have been tag for I.D on release.

      Reply
  2. Joe

    While it seems like an incentive to get more people fishing I tend to agree with Ron Merly. Don’t get me wrong,, I would love to be able to claim one as a record but it does give an unfair advantage to others to do what the current record holder did WITHOUT an advantage.

    Reply
    • David tobojka

      I think it’s great all the trout are stocked re godless you still have to catch them !!!!

      Reply
    • pete sacco

      I’ve already talked to a very reliable source that an 18+ lber was caught in highland lake early this week and have heard of at least 5 or 6 more in the 10 lb range they will b close to gone by ice

      Reply
    • Mike Plymouth

      This is why we call it “fishing ” not catching fish. I do agree there should be a specific category for these great fish, but John is right you still gotta catch them. Deep water fishing is tough. These big browns might be a target and “uneducated” but I’m sure they are no easy catch.

      Reply
  3. Tyler

    i agree with mike they should stock them around 14lbs if the record is eighteen and give them time to grow up. heck i would be very happy to catch a 5lb trout let alone a 15lb trout.

    Reply
    • Larry

      Yeah me too! 5lbers on a regular basis works for me. Stock 100 5lbers instead of 50 15 lbers.

      Reply
      • Jesse

        The size of these fish being stocked is due to the fact that they were used as breeders for years (with their young being stocked) but as they age they produce fewer young. Better they get stocked than just die while taking up room at the hatchery. DEEP did a great job drumming up interest imo.

        Reply
  4. Bill

    The real question is why are they releasing them at a nearly full grown maximum size instead of releasing them much earlier. It’s fine to introduce the larger fish genetics to their fishery program, but it would be better if they stocked more fish of a smaller size rather then spend precious resources (money) growing fewer fish to a larger size.

    Reply
    • Phil

      They were released at a later date so they could extract more eggs to breed future generations of trout…

      Reply
  5. bob

    i think its great but you have to remember these fish have been feed everyday of their lives and are not going to just adapt, i have seen this with the brood stock salmon they release the fish at 20 plus pound and they lose weight as time goes on and look horrible, i have caught salmon that look anorexic, lets hope one they can adapt because there are lots of feeding fish and two they get caught soon and become someones dream catch of a life time…. good luck to everyone

    Reply
  6. Larry

    State records beside (which is another issue) I’ve missed trying to catch this type of trout. We used to catch them at Twin Lakes but they stopped putting them in. The fishing there is now not as exciting. The possibility of catching one of these really makes the trip more than just a day out. We practice catch and release 90% of the time. If I’m catching 5-10 lbers with the possibility of one over that, then I’m not fishing anywhere else. The only thing that needs to happen now is Highland Lake needs to be patrolled and controlled better. There are too many breaking the rules up there. Control the speed plus the laws for that lake as well as the size of the fish kept. Remember the slot limit up there. You can only keep one over 16″ can be kept as part of your daily creel limit of 5.
    As far as a state record being stocked over the record, yes you still need to catch it. But if you do there should be an asterisk stating it is newly stocked fish. Maybe put it in a different category. But if a kid catches this it will be a catch of a lifetime. Do you want to take that away from him over a technicality? Or anybody else? To me I could care less about the record. I just want to catch big fish on a regular basis. I’ll put them back uninjured for that kid to catch. I say go for it.

    Reply
    • Bart West

      I do not have a dog in the fight since I live in Albama. So it’s not likely I will be up there…but the announcement just increased my odds. My comment would be to catch the fish first before complaining about it breaking a record or being from an unworthy source. It’s like it’s a foregone conclusion that one of these monsters will be caught legally and break a current state record.

      Reply
  7. Ctfishjunkie

    These fish can’t possibly qualify as a “record” anything in my eyes. Sure catching one of these beauties would be an amazing accomplishment, but the truth is they spend their lives swimming in circles and eating. That is not the same as a fish growing up in a body of water fighting and foraging to survive. We need to have more respect for the fish we pursue..and the actions we take with our lakes and streams. Just one anglers opinion….

    Reply
  8. troutman

    I understand why people don’t like the idea of stocking a state record BUT think of the opportunities that will exist for hardcore anglers that spend thousands of dollars every year chasing these once in a lifetime fish. i would like to see the state stock more brood-stockAtlantic salmon in our lakes. Between these two types of gamefish, we can have world class fishing without having to travel to far from home

    Reply
  9. Carl

    If you don’t think it should qualify, then release it for someone else. But face the facts, chances are that any trout state record in Ct is going to be a stocked fish. I understand that they have lived in a pool their entire lives, but what if one gets smart and doesn’t get caught for another year?

    Reply
  10. Jack Irvin

    It’s not nice to fool with mother nature, she usually comes back and bites you in the ass

    Reply
  11. Barry Cuda

    Why not stock 5 times more 5-10lb brown trout. More fun and will have a chance to grow naturally in the waters where they are stocked.

    Reply
  12. Rich Strolis

    Fun to catch? Sure. Controversial? Maybe. Record? I think not, unless you make a separate category for this one. If these fish get more people interested in fishing, then it is a win all the way around no matter what your opinion on the matter is.

    Reply
  13. kb

    Lots of extreme views. Let the records keep growing, they’re meant to be broken.

    Great job CT, it’s more fun when you know there’s the big one out there!

    Reply
  14. Jim Bourassa

    For all the people saying not to stock them. What do you want the hachary do with these old fish. Maybe it would be better to put a V in the tail of these fish, so they wouldn’t be eligible for a record

    Reply
  15. Kyle Quine

    I agree 100% with my friend Ron Merly. All I can add is that I hope if someone does catch it that they won’t report it and send it to the smoker so the REAL record will stay in tact. It is really not ok for a new record to be dumped right at peoples feet. That is something that needs to be earned, not handed to you. There are guys who put in a lot of time, research and spend the money to catch trophy fish. You should see how much of a circus it is out there right now at places like Black Pond and Highland lake. But those are mostly guys chucking power bait and haven’t really got a clue on whats going on but want a record fish….

    Reply
  16. Mark

    I like fishing for them caught a bunch one year after ice out..
    Mine were not that big may 8lbs was the largest but fun sight casting to cruising Browns!!!

    Reply
  17. Mike S

    Great you introduce a record trout. We by not just do it and not publish the when were and why. No there are all these people out trying to catch the next record to say look at me. If the state stocked them and said nothing there would not be all this hype and people needing instant gratification. What is next stocking 250 pound 12 point bucks and letting everyone know the location they were released at. Go fish and find them for your self.

    Reply
  18. tony

    I AGREE THAT CATCHING ONE OF THESE FISH WOULD NOT BE LIKE CATCHING ONE THAT HAS SPENT MOST OF ITS LIFE IN NATURAL ELEMENTS, HOWEVER, IT DOES ADD TO THE EXCITEMENT WHEN YOU KNOW THE POSSIBILITY OF CATCHING A HUGE FISH IS PART OF THE EQUATION. I BELIEVE THEY COULD HAVE TAGGED THEM OR MAYBE CLIPPED A FIN TO DESIGNATE THEM AND EXCLUDED THEM FROM COUNTING AS A RECORD. IF AN ANGLER CAUGHT ONE IT WOULD STILL BE A GREAT TROPHY, JUST NOT A RECORD.

    Reply
  19. Barry Avery

    I don’t think we should be stocking any non-native species in any
    water, Trout or not. It just doesn’t make sense. The Rainbow and Browns displace and endanger our beloved Native Brookies,

    Reply
    • Alan Morrison

      Fish this size often become cannibals and ‘clean out ‘ a sizable stretch of a stream. Their caloric requirements are too big to subsist on just an occasional insects alone. They need good-sized chunks of “meat” to meet their nourishment requirements. I once caught a small brook trout in the Yantic River. It had a large head and a somewhat “hooked” lower jaw. The nose was rubbed raw from nymphing on the stream bed. It was only about 10 inches, but the colors were brilliant. It was either a native or well acclimated hold-over. It was quite a thrill to see it for a minute before releasing it. Would it have been there if a fish as large as these had established this stream as his territory ?

      Reply
  20. bobber

    I also agree that whenever the “record fish” is caught, there should be an asterisk listed as part of the notation…..
    how can a huge fish that was stocked into a (closed) body of water count as the state record???

    why not just let people fish at the hatchery and save all that “extra effort” of going to the lake?

    Reply
    • Bill

      That would be awesome! I could finally catch a trout. In fairness, I’ve only gone trout fishing once (on ice) and caught nothing.

      Reply
  21. Matt

    I don’t mind the state stocking the fish but I do have a problem with telling everyone where they were stocked. Sure tell the people that those big fish were released throughout the state. But why spot burn them.

    Reply
  22. shannon

    Im sure the stocked trout are clipped in some fashion and if one of them is caught and breaks the record it should be noted

    Reply
  23. Manny

    Lots of fun,lots of pics.I personally would not send it in as a record,I would send it to the smoker.

    Reply
  24. troy

    when large breeding trout have reached the end of their usefulness for breeding they are normally released with other stocked trout. these releases just happen to be big. We do the same here in Pa when we stock. there are always a certain number of large breeders released along with the legal size trout.

    Reply
  25. Ralph Daviet

    I am mainly a Striper fisherman,but the thought of catching a monster bass is always in mind, likewise a monster Brown would make my day! I fly fish 85 % ot the time and release all big fish-they taste awful!

    Reply
  26. VIN D THREE DEEP

    HOPE MY SONS HOOK UP IN THE AM! BE THE FIRST TO NET EM! HEADED OUT THANKS CT! BIGGER THE BETA!

    Reply
  27. Nelson

    Stocking these larger browns is not a bad thing it will improve the genetics of the fish all ready out there all trout in Connecticut started out being stocked at some point stop being so rapped up on the state record issue there will always be state records it will just keep going just get out there and have fun

    Reply
  28. West Branch Outfitters

    I think it’s a great idea to introduce these big Browns. If we can get the younger generation involved in this sport in a responsible way, we’ve achieved our goal. It’s a sport that needs to stand the test of time whether it be stocked or not. Catching these on a fly rod with flies that you’ve tied is a tremendous achievement and can be a story for someone to pass down to their children or grand children. Take it for what it is, the sport.

    Reply
  29. Dave Martin

    No question it adds to the excitement of fishing. Continue stocking state records. However, if a state record is stocked, cut an asterisk in the tail or fin and place an asterisk in the record book.

    Reply
  30. dave greensway

    i think its great that they stock these big browns
    id like to see big brookies and rainbows stocked also i think stocking these fish
    gives people a great
    chance at catching a fish of a lifetime i dont think the deep should tell were they stocked them
    then it will be a surprise if you catch one. and it will keep you fishing in diffrent bodys of water
    trying to find them.

    Reply
    • Double T

      All trout you catch in a lake or res is a stocked fish. Asterisk is not the answer. Would you like F & W to put a experation date for asterisk on these fish? 3 asterisks if you catch one by May 1st, 2 if caught by Sept., and 1 if netted by Dec. 31st. After that the record counts! See how silly that would be.

      Reply
  31. Big trout

    I think stocking more smaller fish would be a good idea because it’s much harder to land a 15lb fish rather then something smaller

    Reply
  32. randy lahey

    It’s not a record fish because it was newly stocked? Not a record fish because it’s not native? Get over it.

    You can take half the records away because they arent “native” and were stocked. If and when they were stocked shouldnt make a difference.

    And or the record lol……record breaking is for egos, fishing should be about having fun and sharing that experience with younger generations.

    Most kids these days only catch fish on a video game and most parents (and kids) spend their time together glued to smartphones.

    The state was smart to stock these.

    Reply
  33. benjamin

    BAD IDEA !!! these big fish that where stocked. Think for a sec these fish grew up being fed by humans there whole lives so from what i seen they where chasing people around shore looking for food.so basically people where catching these fish with anything they threw in basically a few feet in front of them and a few feet from shore. people where catching 12lb fish with a snoopy pole with a piece of corn not even casted. which is lame. if u call that fair fishing.then you dont know what real fishing is. all this was basically fishing in a bucket, and you have the new record by this means what you really own is a hollow title that was given to you by a few non thinking individuals at the dep. you cant fix stupid

    Reply
  34. benjamin

    stocking bigger fish is a great idea, but stocking state records isnt

    Reply

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