Spring Trout Stocking To Begin
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service is set to begin stocking nearly 373,400 adult trout in 128 lakes, ponds and stream sections across 18 counties in Maryland.
Pre-season stocking will begin in mid-February, and the full season stocking will begin during the second week of March, in preparation for the opening day of trout season on Saturday, March 27. Between the first thaws of this month through the first week in March, 50,000 pre-season trout will be stocked in 50 streams and ponds across the state.
Most of the trout are 16 to 18-month-old yearling rainbow trout, with 40,000 yearling brown trout, that average 9 to 12 inches long. In addition, this year DNR is also stocking over 40,000 holdover trout that are up to 3.5 years old and average from 1 to 6 pounds. The stocking schedule, which is available at most DNR Fisheries offices, license vendors and on the DNR web site, lists the sites and numbers of trout to be stocked on a weekly basis.
Most of the put-and-take trout fishing areas have brief closures periods for stocking. These closure periods allow stocked trout to spread out and acclimate to their new surroundings. Additionally, having a set opening day gives all fishermen an equal chance at catching fish. Anglers should check their 2004 Freshwater Sportfishing Guide for details concerning closure periods for their favorite waters. In addition, a trout stamp is required to possess trout in Maryland and to fish in special trout management areas.
The DNR trout stocking program is funded entirely by the sale of freshwater fishing licenses and trout stamps and Federal Sportfish Restoration Program (Wallop-Breaux) funds which are generated by anglers and boaters’ tax dollars.
For a complete listing for the trout stocking schedule, visit the DNR web site: www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/springtroutstock.shtml
Posted January 15, 2004