Rainbow Trout Fishing in Rivers and Streams
Rainbow trout can keep fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers active in the winter and offer a unique angling opportunity at a time when native warm-water fish species are less likely to bite a hook. Riverine creeks, streams and rivers offer long stretches of fast-moving water for anglers to try their luck with a fly, while the slow deep pools within these systems allow for use of spinners and power-baits. These waterbodies are also great for wade fishing, as deep pockets of water that hold fish are generally easy to find. Water currents carry the bait right past trout, mimicking the natural movement trout see in their environment. However, not everyone has access to these fast-moving water systems. Luckily lakes and ponds are also suitable for rainbow trout stocking and fishing.
When Should I Stock Rainbow Trout?
Ready to get started stocking a pond with fish? It’s important to do so at the proper time. The timetable for trout stocking varies each year based on water temperatures, but typically takes place in the late summer or fall months after average water temperatures have fallen below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Once stocked, trout will thrive in the water until temperatures rise above 70 degrees when spring and summer arrive.
Other Considerations when Stocking Fish Ponds with Rainbow Trout
Knowing the status of your fishery is important when considering stocking trout for forage. If trout are stocked too large they can diminish a forage fish population. Conducting an electrofishing survey provides a snapshot of the sizes of predatory fish in a waterbody and gives the best information to make stocking size recommendations for forage trout. Generally, the average rainbow trout stocking size is 1-2 pounds, with the occasional jumbo trophy thrown in the mix. Smaller trout (fingerlings) provide an excellent source of forage for large trophy fish when waters begin to warm up come the spring. During winter months, predatory trophy fish become lethargic and tend to slow down their feeding. Once waters begin to warm up again, they need to eat heavily to gain weight before spawning season. Likewise, rainbow trout begin to move more slowly, so they provide an easy meal opportunity for trophy fish.
During the winter months it is easy to forget about your waterbody. No matter what size and type of waterbody you have access to, your fisheries manager can help make it an instant fishing success. A “stock and take” style of fisheries provides months of enjoyment, memories with family and friends, and tasty table-fare. A forage stocking management plan can add quick weight to a trophy fishery and maximize fish growth in the early spring months.
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