DEEP stocks Norwalk River with 3,770 trout

Opening day for baseball is done, but opening day for the trout fishing season is still a few weeks away — Saturday, April 19. In anticipation, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)  stocked the Norwalk River on March 19 with 3,770 brook, brown and rainbow trout.

According to Brian Eltz of DEEP, there were 3,650 fish in the 10- to 12-inch range, 20 in the five-pound range, and 100 greater than 12 inches. The fish were dispersed from above Stonehenge Road in Ridgefield down to Schenk’s Island park. Greater numbers of fish were released at Merwin Meadows, the parks and bridges.

Mr. Eltz said most of the fish will typically stay where they were let go, and some will swim upstream. They could go as far as a kilometer away, but, he added, “with the heavy rain we’ve had, we’ve seen fish move miles.” Generally, he said, they will find refuge so as not to be carried too far away.

Last weekend, some 3.5 inches of rain fell on Wilton from Saturday morning through Monday morning. The Norwalk River was moving swiftly, discharging almost 700 cubic feet of water per second on Sunday. The median is 89 cubic feet and had been under 40 cubic feet on Thursday and Friday, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The state will stock the river again in May.