Farmington River Church Pool Poachers (call the TIP line: 800-842-4357

This hook came out of the mouth of a trout recently caught by one of my clients. The reg is clear: single barbless hooks only within the TMA. (Of course, you’re fishing barbless everywhere, right?) Later that day I witnessed an angler (fishing with bait or eggs) who was landing and releasing trout by grabbing the hook with pliers and roughly shaking the fish loose, no doubt made more difficult by his barbed hooks.

What to do: don’t confront people. Call the TIP (Turn In Poachers) line and let EnCon handle it. Program this number into your cell phone: 800-842-4357. Your call works two ways: an officer shows up — and if one doesn’t, the calls have a cumulative effect. We’re all in this together. Thank you!



19 comments on “Farmington River Church Pool Poachers (call the TIP line: 800-842-4357

  1. Peter says:

    Thanks, Steve. Any guess whether this number accepts texts? There are times when that could be helpful. Thanks Peter

  2. john pavao says:

    word has it from a very reliable source that the Hous has been poached to death this summer. Scooping up the trout in whatever cold water remains. With the heat and poaching- it is doubtful that there is a trout left in the TMA. I am told that the DEEP is called everyday but their resources are limited at best. So much for sportsmanship…………………… thanks for posting.Now here is the solution to the hook issue -close down the TMA sections of the Farmy to bait and leave one or two sections  for delayed harvest and bait. that will appease everyone. I doubt anyone would go for it but it works in other states like Vermont etc. Especially a marginal trout river like the Hous- planting 3000 trout only to have them parboiled in mid June to  July and August  makes absolutely no sense whatever. Allow the trout to be harvested after June 15 so the resource is not wasted.Just my opinion.

  3. Steve says:

    Absolutely bizarre that bait is allowed in the TMA. With the destination fishery they have created it is a no-brainer to restrict it further. I know the bait dunkers will scream, but give them a stocked pond where they can rip fish to their heart’s content!

    • Peter says:

      William Tapply wrote a great essay on this issue, “There Oughta Be A Law”, based on his experiences one day fishing the Church Pool bear a guy using mealworms.

      • Steve Culton says:

        I couldn’t find it online, Petter. Do you have a resource or a copy you could share?

      • Peter says:

        Hi Steve – it’s in his collection GONE FISHIN, which is available used on Amazon. I would be happy to email or text you pics of each page of the essay / it’s about 5 pages long.

      • Steve Culton says:

        An email would be wonderful. TIA!

      • Peter says:

        I think I just emailed the pics. If you didn’t get them, please let me know the correct email and I will resend.

      • Peter says:

        Hi Steve / happy to email or text pics of the essay; it’s about five pages. The collection it’s from, GONE FISHIN is available used on Amazon.

    • Steve Culton says:

      See my reply to John. As a former (law abiding, barb crushing) bait angler I have a different perspective. 🙂

  4. Dan T says:

    Several times over the past 4 years I have witnessed a streamer fisherman from Massachusetts releasing fish the same way and I know he doesn’t masdown the barbs on his hooks.I also witnessed a dry fly guy releasing fish the same way in the Campground. I’m willing to bet at least 50% of the fly fisherman on the Farmington don’t obey the barbless hook regulation. Two weeks ago I watched a guy catch several fish on consecutive days using worms.He would catch them standing in the middle of the river then drag them to the bank and sometimetimes spend 10-15 minutes trying to remove the hook with pliers then take pictures before releasing the fish. I explained to him that many of the fish wouldn’t survive. After I gave him instruction on proper way of releasing fish he went right back to his old ways. I kills me every time I catch a fish that has been mangled by one of these a-holes. I called the hot line earlier this season to report real poachers up in the campground. They told me that their resources were stretched thin because of COVID-19. Some how we should figure a way to fund a permanent CO for the Farmington. I definately feel your pain.

    • Steve Culton says:

      It’s a highly frustrating situation for those who follow the rules and try to be good environmental stewards. I can’t encourage people enough to call the TIP line. Even if nothing immediately happens, remember, the EnCon folks are just as frustrated. A high volume of calls gives them something to show those who have the power to grant more resources to do so.

  5. says:

    Thank you for stepping up and reporting. I had a bit of a problem on one of our rivers and reported it to the game warden.


    Frank Miller

  6. Dave M says:

    Watching meatheads practicing catch, kill and release makes my blood boil…they’re usually the same buffoons who also litter…frustrating indeed.

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