Across the country, state and local fish and wildlife departments are starting to stock trout for the upcoming spring and summer fishing seasons. Whether or not you are a proponent for stocking in your state, it’s important to understand that for many anglers, hatchery supported waters are their main source of fly fishing. So here are the easiest ways to find out where and when your local waters are stocked.
Ask the Locals
Your local fly shop or fishing store will know where and when your region is stocked. This is often my first stop for information regarding where to find fish and stock up on essentials. Some areas even have local fishing groups that privately stock which may not be public knowledge. It never hurts to walk into a local fly shop and start asking questions!
Go to Your State Fish & Wildlife Department Website
Most state fish and wildlife management departments have some sort of web database that has information regarding when and where fish are stocked. Some may just say which creeks are hatchery supported, but others will let you know down to the GPS coordinates as to where fish were put in. Another cool resource that many states utilize is a database of documented wild trout streams, which can show you new spots to explore.
Get involved and Help Stock!
Some states allow volunteers to join in and help stock their waters. In my state, Pennsylvania, it’s almost a tradition among certain people. If you want to know exactly which holes have the big fish, this is the best way to quickly become familiar with what waters are stocked with fish and where.