UPDATE: We’ve got stocking stats
I was browsing the state stocking program website this morning (like I do a few times per hour this time of year), and saw an update. We’ve got stocking stats, folks. It reads:
Spring trout stocking — Close to 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout will be stocked this spring from MassWildlife’s five hatcheries located in Sandwich, Palmer, Belchertown, Sunderland, and Montague….
2018 Spring trout stocking stats:
- Most of the trout will be over 12 inches
- More than 40% of the trout will be over 14 inches
- More than 51,000 brook trout will be over 12 inches
- More than 200,000 rainbow trout will be over 14 inches
- More than 1,200 brown trout will be over 18 inches
- More than 500 brook trout will be over 15 inches
- More than 2,500 tiger trout will be over 14 inches
I never thought the words “stocking report” could ever make me so happy.
The trout trucks–or, the MA DEP Stocking Trucks–make their appearance twice a year. But my favorite one comes in early March.
At one point in my life, the stocking trucks merely signaled the soon-ish return of stripers, and the trout were just a way to kill time waiting for the arrival of the headlining act. But in the past few years, the spring stocking of trout has become more or less, a co-main event for me.
This is why it’s so special.
In a few weeks, our clocks will spring ahead, and we’ll get an extra hour after work that we can spend making casts to trout in one of the many kettle ponds around us. There’s a special peace that comes with skipping out of work an hour early, flying down the road toward a favorite pond, throwing your waders over your work clothes, and stepping into the peaceful water just as the golden hour strikes.
One of the many nice things about this fishery is its multidimensionality. You can arrive equipped with the fly rod–fish buggers, big streamers, nymphs or dries to sipping trout until your casting arm falls off. You can traverse the pond with a spinning rod and throw spoons or stick baits for the hopes of a hungry brown. Bring the kids and wife or girlfriend. Load some powerbait, night cralwers, or shiners onto hooks, cast out, sit in a chair and wait for the strike indicator to move.
And aside from one of the four salmonoids that you have the chance of catching (‘bow, brown, brook, tiger), there’s also the very real possibility of a crappie, perch, bluegill, pickerel, or even a 10 pound largemouth (see: previous blog post).
The fishing is unique in this sense.
The State does a great job in keeping us informed about the trout stocking. Their website (mass.gov/trout) is updated continuously throughout the Spring, and features a long list of trout-stocked waters.
These are the ponds where you’ll most likely find me wandering:
- Big Sandy Pond (Plymouth)
- Cliff Pond (Brewster)
- Fearing Pond (Plymouth)
- Goose Pond (Chatham)
- Hamblin Pond (Barnstable)
- Little Pond (Plymouth)
- Long Pond (Plymouth)
- Mary’s Pond (Rochester)
- Peter’s Pond (Sandwich)
- Russel-Sawmill Ponds (Plymouth)
These ponds offer great access and better scenery. Check out this state site for information and maps of these ponds.
Some promising rivers that I hope to check out are:
- Agawam River (Wareham)
- Eel River (Plymouth)
- Jones River (Kingston)
- Mattapoisett River (Mattapoisett, Rochester)
- Scorton Creek (Sandwich)
*These rivers may not be stocked until later in the Spring, or not at all.
Now get out there and catch some trout.