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DNR to Begin Spring Trout Stocking in February

A fisheries biologist releasing a Brown Trout. Photo by Matt Sell

A fisheries biologist releasing a Brown Trout.
Photo by Matt Sell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will begin releasing Rainbow and Brown Trout in streams and lakes across the State in early February. The stocking dates and locations will be dependent on stream, ground and weather conditions. By the start of summer, DNR will have released around 335,000 trout at more than 130 areas throughout Maryland.

“Spring trout fishing is the best cure for cabin fever, and it’s a great way to introduce youngsters to fishing since the fresh hatchery trout are often more willing to take the bait than their wild cousins,” said DNR Inland Fisheries Division Manager Don Cosden.

The stocking schedule is available online at the Trout Fishing page, and at DNR Regional Service Centers and license vendors. Updates are also available on the DNR Fisheries Service Facebook page, Twitter feed, email news service, and by calling 800-688-3467 and pressing option #2. DNR offers an excellent Google Map of stocked streams to help anglers find their way to the hot spots, and encourages everyone to follow the action and share their successes using the DNR Angler’s Log.

Put-and-take areas have a five-trout limit and specific closures depending on location. Anglers should consult the 2014 Maryland Fishing Guide for closure dates and special management area restrictions.

The daily limit in areas that are not put-and-take or special management areas is two trout with no minimum size and no closed season.

Maryland fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required for anglers under the age of 16.

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 by washing all waders, boots and gear with dish soap or a five percent salt solution, or at wader wash stations located at the most popular access points.

Anglers who catch and register a trout that meets or exceeds the Angler Award minimum 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 2014 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.