SOUTHBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– Some of the state waterways are getting a refresh of fish. It’s all to ensure the future of fishing in Connecticut for years to come.

Popular fishing spots like Lake Zoar in Southbury just got a fresh restock of Walleye. This ecosystem maintenance comes at a busy time. DEEP says interest in outdoor activities like fishing has gone way up.

“It’s actually been off the charts, we’ve had about a 13% to 15% increase in participation,” said Mike Beauchene, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

An increase for something that already brings in big bucks for Connecticut.

“What this accomplishes is it helps helps us support our recreational fishing in Connecticut, which is about a half $1 billion industry every year, and Walleye are very popular sport fish that anglers like to target,” said Beauchene.

The state brings in Walleye once a year, and those little fish come a long way.

“We came from New London, Minnesota, which was about a 1,400 mile ride. We got two drivers so we go straight through with the fish to try to put the least amount of stress on them,” said Beauchene.

They’re little now but in four to five years, they’ll be big enough to catch. But DEEP says there’s still plenty of fish in the lakes and streams across Connecticut right now

“It’s not too late to get out there and fish. We are stocking trout too and it’s a great time to be out enjoying the outdoors in Connecticut, especially to relieve some stress and enjoy the foliage while it lasts,” said Beauchene.

It’s not just in Southbury; DEEP is restocking Walleye at 13 different lakes across Connecticut across Connecticut Monday.