It’s been a hot and dry couple of months, but the fall trout stocking season is shaping up to be a good one thanks to recent rain, cooler temperatures and the arrival of beautiful autumn color.
Rainbow, golden, brook and brown trout will be stocked in 26 streams and 11 lakes and ponds around the state from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Stocking locations can be found in the 2019 Fishing Regulations. You can also call our Fishing Hotline at 304-558-3399 or visit www.wvdnr.gov each afternoon to find out which streams and lakes have been stocked.
Why are trout stocked later in October?
Trout need cold water to thrive, so that’s why we stock them in the winter, spring and when the temperature cools down in the fall.
Until last year, fall trout stocking traditionally occurred during the week of Columbus Day and the following week. Recent years have seen hotter and drier summer conditions extend into the early fall, making the water warmer. By pushing the start of fall stocking back a week, there’s more time for rainfall to replenish streams and lakes have more time to cool down and create a perfect environment for the trout.
The schedule change also helps hatchery staff ensure trout spawning is completed in a timely fashion and those large brood fish can be put out for anglers.
Good flows are expected into the fall and early winter, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy a fishing trip with friends and family. During hunting seasons, you can even go into the field during the morning and spend the afternoon on the water. But make sure you have a current license before you go out. They can be purchased at www.wvfish.com or www.wvhunt.com.