The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will conduct limited trout stocking

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will conduct limited trout stocking throughout Maryland this week in an effort to create capacity and alleviate overcrowding at state fish hatcheries, and also provide opportunity for recreational anglers.

Following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders to limit spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, state employees last week were required to suspend all field activities, including trout stocking. 

Without the scheduled stocking, state hatcheries lack room needed to continue production for future seasons. Also, as the trout in these facilities continue to grow, they could suffer from reduced water quality and higher mortality. Removing fish and stocking them into public waters became an urgent matter.

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The stockings also coincide with the traditional start of trout season, scheduled for this Saturday, March 28.
To date, the department has stocked 82,700 brown, golden, and rainbow trout across the state. Annual production at the state’s hatcheries exceeds 300,000 trout. 

The department is not yet resuming regularly scheduled spring stocking, and in the interest of public and employee health, stocking locations will not be disclosed. Crews will practice enhanced safety protocols, and anglers who see department trucks are asked to maintain a distance and use proper precautions for the safety of themselves and others. 

The department encourages anglers to take advantage of the incredible fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer, provided all practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas, and minimize social interaction. 

Fishing licenses and trout stamps are available for purchase here.

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