Stocking Season Nearly Completed!
December 9, 2016 at 4:30 pm by Mark Latti
Stocking season is nearly complete! With snow on the ground, and ice skimming over many ponds and lake, some might say not a moment too soon.
This season, our crew of over 30 hatchery staff from our eight state hatcheries have been extremely busy, stocking hundreds of locations with hundreds of thousands of fish.
Did you know that this past fall, our hatchery crews stocked over 421,246 fish throughout the state? That’s nearly 200,000 pounds of trout and salmon. If you want to know where we stocked, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/reports/stocking/currentseason/current_stocking_report.pdf.
That’s nearly 100 tons of fish that were stocked out at over 500 locations in the state. Some areas that receive a lot of fishing pressure were stocked multiple times. Many of the locations were stocked in the spring as well. Just this fall, hatchery trucks made nearly 1,000 deliveries (980 and counting) to these locations.
Wondering what exactly we stocked this fall? Maine anglers love their brook trout, in fact, according to our statewide public survey we did this past year, over 58 percent of Mainers say they fish for brook trout. These anglers will be happy to know we stocked more than 351,135 brook trout this past fall.
Want more? There was over 40,000 brown trout stocked, 13,235 splake, 6,012 rainbows and 9,314 landlocked salmon.
And there were some really nice size fish that were stocked as well…Over 150,000 of those brookies, rainbows, and browns were 12-14” when they were stocked and an additional 3,000 brook trout and brown trout were in the 17-19” range.
This season was anything but normal for our hatchery staff. Drought conditions and high temperatures created challenges as far as when we could stock and in sometimes whether we could stock at all.
Some rivers, including a some coastal rivers from York county up to Knox county, were either too low or too hot to stock with trout. That’s the bad news…The good news is that most of the trout planned for these rivers will be held over till the spring and stocked at an even larger size, and some were placed in other waters throughout the State of Maine.
Currently, IFW’s hatchery is finishing up with egg takes, and getting fertilized eggs and fry ready for winter. Some of these fish will be stocked next fall, and others in the spring and summer of 2018. Even when winter conditions may prevent our hatchery staff from stocking fish, they are busy getting reading for next year.