- Last Updated: 01 January 2020 01 January 2020
Maryland Trout Stocking
Please note that during construction at the Brighton Dam, the fly fishing only section below Brighton Dam will not be stocked.
2020 Spring STOCKINGS
In early December we got a call from the Maryland DNR Fisheries: A trout rearing facility west of Hagerstown was running out of spring water to keep it going. All trout had to be pulled out and stocked. These were all trout we were expecting next February and March, not December! So we were asked if we could muster the volunteers to manage stocking 450 into the Middle Patuxent and 1550 trout into the upper, main Patuxent River? The DNR wanted the trout moved within 10 days. Normally, we get several weeks to coordinate major stockings. We said we would try to find the 20 or 25 volunteers and see if we could float stock these two streams we all like to fish.
We eventually found the necessary man (and woman) power. On December 6 we stocked the Middle Patuxent delayed harvest section with moderate flows and four volunteers. On December 11 we float stocked about 6 miles of the upper Patuxent special trout management area. As soon as the truck arrived at the Middle Patuxent and handed us our first bucket, we knew we might have a problem!! We were expecting 9” brown trout, but instead most of the trout were in the 14–17” range with some at large as 20”! A few of those BIG trout could barely fit into our float boxes!! Since our four float boxes could not hold all of them, the truck went around from Eden Brook and dumped the remainder into the Middle Patuxent at Old Columbia Pike. Our boxes made it safely downstream about 2 miles sprinkling trout here and there in the larger pools.
This unexpected largess gave us a few extra days to gather as many volunteers as we could to move the 1550 trout the following Wednesday. We expected to only need 13 boxes but mustered 20 volunteers to pull 17 boxes over most of the water between rt 94 (Annapolis Rock) and Howard Chapel The only hiccup was the weather: an inch of snow greeted us that morning on the grass and forest floor with air temps slightly above freezing. The only mishaps were that three of us went for unplanned swims: One of our crew three times, another once, and yours truly went in twice. We were working so hard that we had no real issues with hypothermia. If we had been quietly fishing, we would have been forced to our cars immediately.
In sum, go fishing this winter on these streams. At least give it a try—if we get some breaks in the weather. In the Patuxent River State Park, I would wear a hunter orange cap or something unless fishing on a Sunday: still hunting season. Dress warm, tell friends where you will be, and enjoy a winter day on the stream!
I wish to thank the following PPTU members and friends for helping on such short notice in these stockings: Sean Beck, Mike Bovitch, Ron Briggs, Alan Burrows, Lee Canby, Geoff Carton, Bob Erskine, Mike Frey**, Gregg Gochnour, Noel Gollehon, Jon Griffiths, Mark Jacobs, Bob Kaiser, John MacLean, Jeff Miller, George Opryszko, Bill Roberts, Joe Robinson, Peter Schuler, Bryan Sirotkin, Dale Thatcher, Maurice Waldorf, and Bob Zukowski. (** worked both stockings)
For up-to-date stocking information throughout the state, go to the Maryland DNR website.
Photos from 2019 Stockings
Photos from 2018 Spring Stockings
A Video and Photos from Previous Years
In the spring of 2015, Ron Brooks made this excellent video of PPCTU Stocking Below Brighton Dam.
Thanks Ron for your efforts!
Joe Kunsman provided the following photos and footnotes of their crew stocking below Brighton Dam. Thanks Joe.