OSCEOLA - A late spring thaw is again delaying stocking of catchable trout in some northern inland waters, state hatchery officials say.
"This year we're again experiencing some delays in stocking due to ice cover in the northern part of the state," says David Giehtbrock, Department of Natural Resources statewide fish production manager. "As soon as Mother Nature thaws things out, we will get the rest of the fish into the water!"
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DNR stocks catchable size trout in inland waters where the habitat is marginal and there is no natural reproduction; such waters are a small subset of Wisconsin's more than 13,000 miles of classified trout water. More than 5,400 miles of trout water are Class 1, supporting naturally reproducing populations. Find forecasts for many of these naturally reproducing waters in the 2014 Wisconsin Fishing Report trout forecast.
This year, DNR had planned to stock more than 316,000 catchable size trout in dozens of inland trout waters across Wisconsin before the May 3 inland fishing season opener. Nevin State Fish Hatchery in Fitchburg has been able to stock all of the waters on their list, mostly more southern waters where the ice has been off for several weeks now.
However, some stockings are delayed of fish from St. Croix State Fish Hatchery and Osceola State Fish Hatchery, which supply fish mainly to northern waters. Stocking of brown trout will be delayed to Stormy Lake in Vilas County, brook trout to waters in Ashland, Bayfield, Oneida, Vilas and Waukesha counties, and to waters in Ashland, Florence, Iron, Oneida, Rusk and Sawyer counties. Bradley in Chippewa County and Camp Lake in Washburn County also will receive fish after the opener.
DNR fisheries crews have been raising the rainbow, brown, and brook trout 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 were 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.
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.