Trout stocking put on hold
Another effect of COVID-19
By Greg Seubert
Trout anglers around Wisconsin look forward to the opening of the inland fishing season, which this year falls in Saturday, May 2.
In the past, they’ve had recently stocked brook, brown, rainbow and lake trout waiting for them, but that apparently won’t be the case this year.
The fish are ready to be stocked, but the COVID-19 outbreak is keeping them from their new homes for the time being.
“Due to Gov. Evers’ COVID-19 Safer at Home order, the Department of Natural Resources is evaluating all spring operations, including trout stocking,” said Sarah Hoye, the department’s communications director. “The DNR continues to receive the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and we will update fish stocking plans as needed during this fluid situation.”
Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order, which began March 25 and will last until at least Friday, April 24, calls for the closing of schools and “non-essential” businesses and orders people to stay at home.
According to the DNR, the agency stocked nearly 600,000 trout in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019, including 440,391 yearlings, 139,858 large fingerlings and 10,202 adult broodstock.
The yearlings included 180,000 rainbow trout, 117,698 brook trout, 87,807 brown trout and 54,886 lake trout; the large fingerling total included 67,971 brown trout, 51,101 brook trout and 20,786 rainbow trout; and the adult broodstock included 5,131 brook trout, 3,124 brown trout and 1,947 rainbow trout.
Stocked waters in Waupaca County each year include the Waupaca and Pigeon rivers; and Bass, Little Long, Mirror and Skunk lakes.
Stocked waters in 2018-19 included small streams such as Chippewa County’s Duncan Creek (985 yearling rainbows and 160 adult broodstock browns); small lakes like Bayfield County’s Perch Lake (6,476 yearling brookies); and large bodies of waters like Vilas County’s Trout Lake (20,000 yearling lakers).