Maybe you're aware of the unique trout breeding program run by CT DEEP's Inland Fisheries Division. If you're not, then you should be because it is responsible for some of the better trout swimming in Connecticut waters. These high quality brown trout, known as survivors, are progeny of captured wild and holdover fish from the Farmington River. During the annual sampling of the river, a number of cherry-picked browns are taken back to a state hatchery, they do their thing and are released back to the river. Eventually their offspring are stocked into the Farmington, either as yearlings or two-year-old adults. The spring 2010 batch was stocked last week. The adults can be identified by little orange tags called elastomers inserted in the tissue behind their left eye. The yearlings have yellow tags behind their right eye. You can see an example of one of these colored identification marks below.
|A 2009 Survivor yearling captured one year later.|
Like all trout in the Farmington River, the Survivor strain are forced to wise up fast in its heavily pressured waters. The ones that make it through their first winter in the river should be considered a respectable catch. Some will hold-over multiple years and become real trophies, like the one below caught and released by my good friend Derrick of CT Fish Guides.
|A 2005 Survivor yearling landed in 2010 (Photo credit: Ty Croce)|