Trout Stocking Set to Begin
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Trout Stocking Set to Begin

This month, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin releasing  rainbow and brown trout in streams and lakes across the State. The stocking dates and locations will be dependent on stream, ground and weather conditions. By the start of summer, DNR will have released more than 330,000 trout at more than 130 areas throughout Maryland.

“Spring is just around the corner, and trout anglers are getting excited about the coming season,” said Don Cosden, DNR Inland Fisheries manager. “We’ll take advantage of any early season opportunity to stock these hatchery raised fish for the benefit of our anglers.”

The daily limit is two trout with no minimum size and no closed season, except in special trout management and put-and-take areas. Put-and-take areas have a five-trout limit and specific closures depending on location. Anglers should consult the 2013 Maryland Fishing Guide for closure dates and special management area restrictions.

The stocking schedule is available online and at DNR Regional Service Centers and license vendors. DNR also offers online maps of stocked streams and daily stocking updates to help anglers find their way to the hot spots. Weekly updates are available by calling 800-688-3467 and pressing option #2.

Anglers should clean and dry their gear between streams and outings to prevent the spread of harmful invaders such as didymo and whirling disease. This can be done using dish soap or a five percent salt solution, or at a wader wash stations available at many locations where anglers wade.

Remember to take a child along. Anglers under the age of 16 do not need a license or trout stamp.

Anglers that catch and register a trout which meets or exceeds the Angler Award sizes ─ 20 inches for a rainbow and 21 inches for a brown ─ will earn a certificate, free passes to the Maryland Seafood Festival and the chance to win great prizes at the 2013 Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale in September.

DNR’s trout stocking program is funded entirely by the sale of non-tidal fishing licenses, trout stamps and Federal Sportfish Restoration Program funds which are generated by a dedicated excise tax on fishing and boating equipment.