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WV Pushes Back Delaying Trout Stocking To Improve Fishing

leah kirk

WV Pushes Back Delaying Trout Stocking To Improve Fishing.jpg

Trophy “brood trout” will be included among the trout stocked this fall by Division of Natural Resources hatchery personnel. The DNR plans to stock 25 streams and 10 lakes between Oct. 15 and Oct. 26. Anglers who enjoy West Virginia’s fall trout stockings will have to wait a week later than usual to start catching fish.

The two-week stocking season, which traditionally begins the day after Columbus Day, will instead begin on Oct. 15 and will run through Oct. 26.

Jim Hedrick, supervisor of hatcheries for the state Division of Natural Resources, said agency officials pushed the season back for several reasons.

The reason was so trout anglers — particularly those who prefer to fish in streams — could enjoy better fishing conditions. Normally, water levels are very low in early October. Sometimes streams barely have enough water in them to stock. Toward the end of the month, we usually start getting rain showers again. Waiting another week will allow the state to take advantage of that.

The later dates also coincide with the time of year in which nighttime air temperatures drop rather sharply — and lower air temperatures trigger drops in water temperatures. Trout do better in cooler water. By starting the stocking season one week later, there is a better chance to get water temperatures that are more conducive to trout.

This year’s fall stockings will take place at 10 lakes and on 25 streams. Hedrick said fall-stocked waters tend to be larger waters, mainly because it makes no sense to put trout in smaller streams where there might not even be enough water to cover the fishes’ backs. Low flows and elevated water temperatures shouldn’t be a concern this fall, however, because the state has enjoyed abundant rainfall throughout the spring and summer.