Sunday, March 13, 2011

Volunteering to stock

Before I get started with this post, I just want to say that I am 100% against stocking any streams that contain wild fish. What you're about to read about is a stocking of a stream that is just short of boiling hot once it gets into July, and most of the fish have long been dinner by that point, and have allowed hundreds of kids the chance to catch their first trout.

That being said, I decided to volunteer today and help stock the stream that runs behind my house. There's about a 3 mile stretch of it that is stocked. There were thousands of fish, ranging anywhere from 7 inch rainbows, to 20 inch palaminos, to 9-10 lb brown trout. Some of them were CHUNKS!

I've never helped do this before so it found it quite interesting. We met at a parking lot in Quakertown. There was a big stocking truck with a really cheesy logo on the back of it, and a game warden. I love how the picture shows tons of brookies being stocked, yet there wasn't one brookie in any buckets I saw today.

There were about 3 or 4 other cars there waiting to help stock as well. It was mostly older guys with their grandsons, and a few teenage guys. We followed the truck to the stream and by the time we got there, the trail of cars had tripled. By the third stocking spot, it was pretty much a parade of people lining up to get a bucket of fish and dump them in the water.

The good thing was that I only saw one fish die the whole afternoon. The bad news was that it was a 5 lb palamino. I feel bad for those things. They are sitting ducks. Even in the murky water, they could be spotted 30 yards away.

Besides seeing 10 lb fish being dumped into a stream literally 200 yards from my back door, the other awesome thing I saw was how fast these fish adapt to their environment. At the last stop I went to, they were dumping in a ton of huge fish into this really deep slow run. While I was handing buckets down to people, I had two little black stoneflies land on my hand. Sure enough, two minutes after the fish were dumped in, they started rising. Seeing monster fish going apeshit on the surface after tiny stoneflies made me want to grab my 4 weight from the back of my car so badly, but I have to wait until 4/2.

I have so many more things to post right now. I have a bunch of new bugs to show off, my son tied his first fly today, and I tested out making a UV mono sighter for euronymphing. But, it's 2am, and with daylight savings time, that means 3am so I gotta get some sleep. Here's a few more shots of today's stocking.


  1. Wow want a motive post. I too am against stocking non native fish into a river that contains wild fish. However I do feel there is a point to stocking "from" the wild population, to agument the existing strain!

    When I lived in France, I fished a wild trout river (browns) They grew to a very good size, but the mumbers were very low, and there spawning would coincide with the start of the season March/April.
    French anglers would catch and kill spawning fish, it was a fact. So the French federation stocked large number of rainbow trout at the same time. This took a lot of pressure off the natural brown trout population for a few weeks.

    In the UK on some of the very best and most expensive trout rivers, like the Test and Avon, if you didn't stock you wouldn't catch any fish.

    So I see in some situations it becomes a must, but all for the wrong reasons?

  2. Dub, I love taking my son to stock fish. I could care less about it, but my 3 1/2 yr old gets so excited. Up here in the valley we have a nice fish warden that brings bags and bags of Swedish fish for the children and allows them up on the truck to get a close look at all the fish. He has a ball!


  3. @Richard - I love getting the perspective from someone overseas. Thanks for sharing.

    @Shane - I would have taken my son, but he's still under 2 years old and would be a handful after the first bucket was dumped :) (Are you becker, the guy I met at LL a few weeks back? The LRSA thing made me think so..)