FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that effective Aug. 6 it is closing short sections of the West Branch Farmington River and Farmington River to fishing.
Deep officials said the hot weather is creating unhealthy temperatures for trout. Deep is also augmenting low release levels on the Farmington with an additional 50 cubic feet per second (CFS) or flow from the DEEP fisheries reserves to improve water conditions for fish health.
DEEP said as the river temperatures increase fish congregate near tributaries that bring cooler water to the river. DEEP is closing these tributaries to protect fish populations father near these sources. Fishing will still be open on the majority of the Farmington river but DEEP will clearly mark the closed areas with signage.
High temperatures combined with low stream flows – are causing fish in these rivers to suffer from heat stress,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “I’d like to thank the fishing community for helping to support the continued success of our world- class fishing destinations during these challenging conditions.”
The closed areas, listed from upstream to downstream tributaries, include:
East Mountain Brook (Hallock Brook), New Hartford
Cherry Brook, Canton
Rattlesnake Hill Brook, Canton
Burlington Brook, Burlington
Hawley Brook, Avon
Unionville Brook, Farmington
Hyde Brook, Farmington
Pequabuck River, Farmington
DEEP will post all of the refugee areas with closure signs. All water within 100 feet of the signs are closed to fishing. The closure is scheduled to continue through Sep. 15 but may be shortened if water conditions improve. Violation of the closure is an infraction with a fine of $154,
The DEEP fisheries Division is augmenting the flow of the river by releasing water from the West Branch Reservoir. Deep is rationing the release to ensure it will have enough reserves to last through further weeks of hot weather.
DEEP Fisheries staff have constructed rock walls and small pools to help improve the habitats to support trout. Deep is asking residents not to remove these structures.