MADISON - More than 316,000 catchable size trout are being stocked in dozens of inland trout waters across Wisconsin before the May 3 inland fishing season opener. A list of waters receiving fish and how many were planned for stocking is now available online.
"Continuing ice cover on the lakes and difficult conditions at the lake access are delaying some of the planned stocking this year, but we're still hoping to have everything done by the May 3 opener," says David Giehtbrock, Department of Natural Resources statewide fish production manager.
"The upside is that while they wait to be stocked, these fish continue to grow bigger at our state fish hatcheries and will be ready for catching when conditions improve."
Go to the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword "fishing," and click on the trout stocking feature in the center of the page.
DNR fisheries crews have been stocking rainbow, brown, and brook trout raised at Nevin, Osceola and St. Croix Falls state fish hatcheries. They've also been working with fishing club volunteers, students, and others to help stock the fish raised under 21 cooperative rearing agreements with DNR.
More than 100,000 of the fish are to be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds cooperatively managed with the local municipality and used as a place for fishing clinics and kids fishing. Many of these waters have already been stocked, including for last week's free kids' fishing clinics held at 17 locations in southeastern Wisconsin.
The rest of the trout are stocked in waters where the habitat is marginal and there is no natural reproduction. They are a small subset of the state's overall trout treasury - more than 13,000 miles of classified trout water and trout populations that have generally increased statewide over the last 60 years.
Read "A Trout Treasury: Welcome to the good old days of trout fishing," in the April 2011 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine to learn about the general, overall improvement in the total number of trout, and trout in all the size ranges since 1950.
Find links to downloadable and interactive maps of trout streams and other resources to help find places to fish on the inland trout page of the DNR website.