ANNAPOLIS Taking advantage of the mild weather this week, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service stocked 12 more lakes and ponds in Southern and Eastern Maryland with 8,345 preseason trout. The Fisheries Service will continue to stock additional areas as weather permits and it is expected that approximately 50,000 fish will be stocked during the preseason. All preseason stocking should be completed before the first Saturday in March. Trout season starts Saturday, March 26.
In the Eastern Region Tuckahoe (1,000), Shad Landing (500) and Salisbury Park Pond (500) were stocked. In the Southern Region, fisheries staff stocked Myrtle Grove (750), Wheatley Lake (1,750), Lake Waterford (775), School House Pond (320), Tucker Pond (500), Cosca Lake (750), Melwood Pond (500), Greenbelt Lake (500), and Lake Artemisia (500).
The preseason trout will average a little better than one-half-pound each, and 11 inches or so long. The rearing of trout for the 2006 season requires that at least one raceway at the Albert Powell Hatchery near Hagerstown is cleared to receive the fingerlings from the hatch house. This allows DNR to grow the fish a little larger than some states. Some of the fish for the Eastern Region have been grown over the winter at the Unicorn Hatchery outside Millington, while fish to be stocked in the Southern Region were raised at the Cedarville Hatchery near Brandywine.
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 Maryland 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 more information about trout stocking in Maryland, visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/springtroutstock.shtml