Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trout Stocking = Angler Fun!

The annual trout stocking on Paine Creek provides weeks of recreational angling opportunities on Paine Creek. Lake Metroparks has been stocking rainbow trout in Paine Creek for nearly 20 years and Natural Resource Manager Tom Adair has coordinated the project since 1999. 

Click here for fishing locations within Lake Metroparks.

The annual process begins by submitting a request to the Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife for permission to stock trout into the stream. Quotes are then secured from certified hatcheries to determine who will supply that year's fish. "To be certified, a hatchery must prove that their fish are disease free. Diseases like whirling disease and VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia) are dangerous fish diseases that we cannot risk introducing into wild populations,” Adair said.

Lake Metroparks’ stocking project begins with dividing the fish into water tanks (with oxygen aeration) mounted in all-terrain vehicles that travel a stretch of Paine Creek extending from the parking lot at Indian Point Park's lower entrance to beyond the I-90 bridge. Lake Metroparks staff from several different departments net and place fish into pockets of appropriate habitat in the stream. Staff identifies fast flowing riffles and deep, cold pockets along the stream distance into which the fish are placed.

"Since the fish are hatchery raised and all need time to acclimate to new surroundings, we generally see the newly stocked fish becoming more active and relatively hungry by the second day after stocking. Anglers waste no time in attempting to catch their limits and success catching these stocked fish can last for weeks after the stocking date, dependent upon conditions.” Over the years, occasional spring flood events have forced many of the stocked trout out to the Grand River prematurely.

The stocking date is set for mid-April to coincide with favorable stream conditions and the steelhead fishing this region is known for.   This year, the Paine Creek will be stocked on Friday, April 15.

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