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It's Spring When: They Start Stocking Trout

Staff Reports

Something fishy is about to happen. The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is dumping 540,000 "feisty" brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout in pounds and streams statewide.

"We'll be putting out 320,000 rainbow trout that will average 12 inches or longer, and about 78 percent of these rainbows will be 14 inches or larger," Chief Fish Culturist Ken Simmons wrote in the latest MassWildlife reprot. "They'll be distributed statewide throughout the stocking season by our five regional Wildlife District offices."

Stocking will begin as soon as ice, snow and mud conditions allow the trucks access to the waterways. Anglers are advised to contact their district office for updates on when stocking will begin in the area.

What's going into the water? About 47,000 brown trout averaging more a foot long will be stocked along with another 115,000 browns in the 9-to-11-inch range. Not surprisingly, the bigger fish will land in the larger water bodies, while most of the smaller fish will be releaseed in the streams and brooks.

Brook trout will be stocked in a similar fashion with approximately 11,500 fish measuring a foot or better, and more than 66,000 in the 6-to-11-inch class.

Simmons said he is particular excited about the quality of this year's crop of 2-year-old brook trout, which he puts down to a "combination of hard work by hatchery staff and good growing conditions at the hatcheries where they are produced." 

Some 6,000 tiger trout are set to be released as well, all topping the 14-inch mark. These handsome fish, a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout, have become popular with folks lucky enough to hook and land one, say Wildlife officials. 

To find out the status of trout stocking here or call the Western District office at 413-684-1646.

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