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FYI

Trout being released after their journey from a local hatchery

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service is forecasting an early October start for the annual fall trout stocking program.

"Stocking dates and locations are dependent on water flow, temperatures and ground conditions at the delivery sites," said DNR Inland Fisheries Chief Don Cosden. "Based on current conditions, we expect to begin stocking fish into popular ponds, creeks and rivers as early as the second week of October."

DNR expects to stock about 26,000 one-pound rainbow and golden trout, 1,000 one-pound brown trout, and 150 two- to three-pound rainbow and golden trout throughout the State.

Popular locations should include the North Branch of the Potomac River, Bear Creek, Big Elk Creek, Blair's Valley Lake, Deer Creek, Great Seneca Creek, Greenbelt Lake, Gunpowder Falls, Lake Artemesia, Morgan Run, Patapsco River, Wheatley Lake, Town Creek and Tuckahoe Creek.

Staff will post stocking information on the DNR Fisheries website and on the recorded DNR Trout Hotline (800-688-3467, press 2) as the program progresses.
 

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Thanks for the update. Usually, on any other given year they start trout stocking the first week of October. But maybe it's all the same. I know this week they are surveying a few catch and release areas to see what fish survived the summer, natural and stocked. Which won't be many with the warm weather we had. Couple other comments about fall trout stocking, many places see some very impressive size fish. The 1 to 3 pound fish are often 1 to 5 or 6 pounds, or at least they look it. Plus all the fish are ready to spawn. Most stocked fish are female and even the rainbows have large ripe eggs. Many will be released when you catch them. So, later on the fish key in on these eggs. The fish may try to spawn but growing up in a concrete tank all their life, I doubt they know how. No males to fertilize the eggs. But they also stock a decent number of browns, also ready to spawn and I have seen some male browns stocked into Seneca and local areas. Many of them look very respectful with full spawning colors and hooked jaw. Browns don't hit on the traditional power bait most bait fishermen throw so they usually last a little longer. Plus most people are hunting or watching football so there are fewer people on the streams. Plus, there should be a few unannounced stockings of waters that usually don't get a fall stocking. They will be advertised on the trout stocking web page but not advertised beforehand. Like the Patuxent flyonly water got a load last year, and maybe a few other areas.

Other areas worth looking at are natural trout streams. The browns will be getting ready to naturally spawn this time of year. Right now is when they are at their most aggressive and easy to find. They get territorial, chase off smaller males and are still on the feed. In early November they start to hit the gravel. Usually oblivious to any predators or fishermen too. But 9 times out of 10 they will not feed when they are spawning but it's still pretty coolto watch. Fish you never thought could ever possibly be in some streams come out and show themselves in November. Often times you can locate them when they jump. For no reason I can explain, fish that are ready to spawn just jump out of the water. Maybe they are a little anxious. I know I would be if I only got to do it once a year. So, when you see a large fish jump, then you've located him and can return with more favorable conditions like in twilight.
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Egg patters work wonders this time of year,something like a nuke egg in #14, #16. Nymphs too as the fish dig up nymphs when they make their nests and fish downstream are feasting on the bounty. And large streamers like egg sucking leaches tied with a lot of marabou. But don't be afraid to try a small wooly bugger too. I like a number 12 bugger only an inch long with a gold bead in olive, brown or black. White sometimes too. Leaves can be a major pain in the rear this time of year. Try to plan your day around a windless day. Fishing in late October with strong wind gusts is just asking for trouble. Better off climbing a tree with a bow as that's where most other die hard outdoorsmen are that time of year looking for that mature, love drunk trophy buck.

Anyway, trout, stripers, musky, walleye, whitetail, geese, ducks... the Fall is a magical time of year.
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Until they learn to talk and choose to tell us just what motivates those pre-spawn jumps you describe, we can only speculate. I've observed females of various warmwater and coolwater fish species engaged in spontaneous leaps, bouncing off fixed submerged objects, etc, and my best guess is that such exertions are intended to help loosen up their tightly packed, unfertilized eggs for subsequent release, on demand. Spawning is quite energy intensive for some species, so they likely have behavioral adaptations to ease the strain and 'grease the skids' wherever possible.
 

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FYI - Probably old news for some of you but I just figured out I can get automatic updates on recent stocking sent to my email, link below.

The following locations were stocked with trout October 16 and 17:

County
Location
Date
Washington
Antietam Creek (450 RB/GN/BN)
Oct 17
Garrett
Savage River (350 RB/GN)
Oct 17
Garrett
N Branch Potomac R - Delayed Harvest (400 RB)
Oct 17
Garrett
Bear Creek (300 RB/GN/BN)
Oct 17
Washington
Beaver Creek (500 RB/GN)
Oct 16

These and all updates are posted on the website at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/stocking/ and weekly on the phone line 1-800-688-3467. A press release will be issued to notify anglers when fall stocking is complete.
 
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