Rainbow, brown, golden and brookies...The trout stocking program is underway and about to go into high gear.
Mike Shingleton, the cold water fisheries chief with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, says now is the time to fish.
"The fish will average, when we stock, somewhere around 11 inches, 10 to 11, there will be some variety. Our stocking program kicks up a notch in February because we add the waters that get bi-weekly, then monthlies get their stockings and the weeklies get two stockings in February."
Then in March, the DNR will begin stocking even more fish in rivers, streams and lakes all over West Virginia. Fish they've nurtured from small fryes into foot long fighters.
"March, April and May are the peak of our stocking season. By the time we are finished, we'll have stocked somewhere around 750,000 pounds of trout and that equates to about 1.2 million trout that have been stocked into about 200 waters state-wide." says Shingleton.
Stocking trout is more than a job to the men and women working the DNR hatcheries, it's a labor of love. They get a kick out of raising these beautiful fish and keeping a Mountain State tradition alive and going strong.
And even when the stocking program is over in May, you'll still be able to battle it out with the trout in many streams in West Virginia.
"We have waters in the northern panhandle, southern, the mountains are traditional, that's where a lot of our stocking takes place and after our stocking program is over in May, particularly in the mountains, the waters continue to provide anglers with fishing opportunities because they carry trout over in the summer time."says Shingleton.
See you in the woods...I'll be the one asking you what kind of fly you were using while I hide my power bait!
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