Each year the Fish and Game Department releases thousands of fish across the state in an effort to increase fishing opportunities. The spring trout stocking has begun. Already over 510,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout have been put in rivers and lakes so far. These are sizable fish; more than 74% of the fish are in the 12 inches or longer category with more than 32% of the fish in the 14 inches or larger category. Stocking got under way in the second week of March in southeastern Massachusetts and as weather, water chemistry, and access conditions improved, other MassWildlife District offices were stocking trout by the last week of March.
“We’re putting out 295,400 rainbow trout, 84,700 brook trout and 129,400 brown trout,” said Ken Simmons, MassWildlife Hatchery Chief. “In addition, over 3,000 tiger trout weighing more than a pound and measuring over 14 inches will be distributed equally throughout the five districts.”
Tiger trout are a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout, have become popular with folks lucky enough to hook and land one. Large water bodies will receive the bigger fish while the smaller brooks and streams will receive the majority of the smaller-sized fish. Finally, in addition to the trout, approximately 350 broodstock salmon from the Palmer Hatchery ranging from 2 to 3 pounds will be stocked across the state. Trout stocking schedules will be updated every Friday between March and Memorial Day in May. You can access that stocking schedule by going to the Fish and Game web site.
In our area the Ipswich River, Parker River, Pentucket Pond, Pleasant Pond, Baldpate Pond, and Stiles Pond have all received fish.
Freshwater anglers are reminded that the use of lead sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than one ounce, regardless of whether they are painted, coated with rubber, covered by attached “skirts” or some other material, is prohibited.