Maryland Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists will begin stocking rainbow and brown trout in early February,
depending on stream, ground and weather conditions. By the start of summer, more than 337,000 trout will have been released in about 130 streams and lakes statewide.
“Trout fishing holds a special place among my lifelong memories. When I was young and just learning how to fish, my dad invested the time to take me trout fishing. This became an annual event for us to spend time together, and now I do the same with my kids,” said Tom O’Connell, DNR Fisheries Service director. “This trout fishing opportunity is made possible by fishing license and trout stamp revenues, which allow DNR to hatch, grow and stock fish across the state.”
The stocking schedule is available online, and at DNR regional service centers and license vendors throughout the state. DNR also offers anglers an online trout stocking map and a new interactive access map to help them find the hot spots.
DNR Fisheries Service posts stocking updates on its Facebook, Twitter and trout fishing pages, and through its email news service. Anglers may also call 800-688-3467 for a recorded weekly update.
Everyone is encouraged to follow the action and post their experiences on the DNR Angler’s Log, a public sharing and bragging board.
Put-and-take areas have a five trout limit and specific closures depending on location. This year, the closure program has been significantly simplified by the removal of periods 3 and 4, meaning there are two closure periods on newly stocked waters. For 2015, closure 1 runs from March 8-28. Closure 2 applies to specified waters from March 22-28. Consult the 2015 Maryland Fishing Guide to learn which periods apply to your trout fishing area, and restrictions for other special management areas.
The daily limit in areas that are not put-and-take or special management areas is two trout with no minimum size and no closed season.
Maryland fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required for anglers 15 and younger.
DNR hosts an online licensed charter boats and fishing guides page to help anglers find professionals who can introduce them to new experiences.
Anglers should clean and dry their gear between streams and outings to prevent the spread of harmful invaders such as didymo and whirling disease. This can be done by washing waders, boots and other items with dish soap or a five percent salt solution, or at wader wash stations located at the popular access points.
Anglers who catch and register a trout that meets or exceeds the Angler Award minimum sizes ─ 20 inches for a Rainbow and 21 inches for a Brown ─ will earn a certificate, a free pass to the Maryland Seafood Festival, and the chance to win great prizes at the 2015 Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale in September.
Josh Henesy with DNR Fisheries stocks trout