by Lisa Tome
A fine kettle of fish is being tucked into local ponds in preparation for Spring, 2015.
According to Joe Evans, Public Affairs for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, about 337,000 fish, about 2,000 more than last year, are being stocked in the area ponds.
"Maryland trout fishing is year round," said Evans. But trout stocking occurs pre-season in February and continues through June 1 depending on location.
Weather impacted the pre-season (February) stocking at Octoraro Creek.
Evans said that 300 fish will go into that creek when weather allows. Stockers went there earlier in this season but weren't able to stock due to ice.
"In Cecil, Octoraro is the only one that is behind schedule. We are hoping to get to it as soon as we can," said Evans.
Big Elk Creek will receive 2,900 trout between this week and March 28. An additional 2,400 will go in on or about April 19. On or about May 3, 1,500 more fish will go into Big Elk.
Elkton's Howard's Pond will be stocked with 1,100 fish between now and March 28. Another 300 will go into the pond on or about April 19.
Principio Creek will be stocked twice. Before March 28, 1,000 trout will be placed there. On or about April 12, another 500 will be stocked at Principio. Rising Sun Town Pond, which is reserved for those under age 16, over age 65, and for the blind will get fish twice this year. Between March 8-28, 500 will be placed in the pond. On or about April 12, another 300 fish will be stocked there. "We have a good crop this year," said Evans.
"Overall, we are stocking more than usual. My sense of it is there is a bumper crop to stock this season. Trout fishing is huge, absolutely," he said.
He said that people wait by some local streams and ponds for the fisheries crew to stock the ponds.
For more information about stocking of trout online go to www.dnr2.maryland.gov/fisheries. You can also follow DNR fisheries on facebook and twitter, and sign up to receive emails. Or call 1-800-688-FINS. "We get the word out. We use everything but smoke signals," said Evans.