Water Flows

WDFW Trout Stocking Plans

Washington Statewide Hatchery Trout Stocking Plan (WDFW)

to view the 2014 WDFW Hatchery Trout Stocking Plan.

The statewide stocking plan provides anglers with the earliest information on where and how many trout are planned to be stocked in lakes and streams around the state. While most of the lakes are stocked as planned, anglers can expect a few changes due to modifications in hatchery production, as well as the ability to stock excess brood fish.

To see what has been stocked in lakes check our weekly stocking report HERE (updated every Thursday).

This booklet is organized into two sections: First - the ponds and lakes receiving catchable trout in 2011, and the kokanee and trout fry species and numbers stocked in 2009 and 2010; and Second – the stream catchable trout stocking table. These sections list the waters by county, and show the trout species, the numbers, size, and approximate time the fish will be stocked. The locations, dates, and times presented are based on current information, so unavoidable changes may occur.

The 2011 Washington Triploid Trout distribution schedule is appended at the end of the document.

Catchable Trout Plants
Over 3.4 million trout, 8 inches or larger, are scheduled for stocking in 347 Washington lowland lakes this year. These plants include nearly 252,000 quality “jumbo”-sized (1½ to 2 pound average) rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as larger brood stock trout, being released from WDFW hatcheries into these lakes. These, combined with the triploid trout noted below, will provide opportunities for larger trout in selected lakes. WDFW plans to stock about 42,000 catchable-sized trout in selected streams to provide mitigation for lost opportunity to harvest wild fish, or to provide recreational opportunity in areas where habitat does not support wild trout populations.

Anglers should expect changes from this plan due to logistics, and modifications to hatchery production, as well as the ability to plant out brood stock or excess fish. At times, trout may be stocked in addition to what was planned in this document.

Triploid Trout
There are 108 lakes and ponds throughout the state that will be stocked with 50,000 triploid trout that average 1½ pounds. These trout, purchased by the Department from private growers, are sterile rainbows that have the potential to grow to trophy size if abundant food is available, and if not harvested the first season after stocking. These fish are not “genetically modified,” but are sterilized by heat- or pressure-treating the eggs after fertilization. These triploid rainbow trout are identified as TRB under the Species in the catchable trout table. Some triploid trout fry are stocked in areas where natural reproduction of hatchery trout could adversely affect native species. Please refer to the statewide distribution list for triploid trout stocking on page 33, for specifics on the triploid stocking program.

Trout Fry Plants
Over 16.6 million fry and fingerlings were stocked as 2-to-5 inch long trout into almost 630 lakes and ponds, including nearly 100 high lakes. Kokanee were stocked in 2009 for the 2011 fishery, while trout fry were stocked in 2010 for this year's catch. Fry and fingerlings are stocked in the spring and fall, where they feed and grow on natural food until the following spring when they are large enough to be harvested. The survival rate of fry varies depending on conditions of the lake. A number of eastern Washington lakes are managed in such a way that fry survival is very good and are the primary source of new trout available for harvest. Western Washington lowland lakes depend primarily on catchable size trout plants because of relatively low fry survival. Where fry can be successfully stocked, the ones that survive supplement the catchable trout plants.

Tips for Catching Trout
As you read through the stocking tables, please note that many lakes are open year-round, or open on March 1, and may be stocked as early as January. While it might be too late this year to take advantage of this knowledge, stocking schedules are fairly consistent from year-to-year, so you can plan to get in some good early season fishing next year.

Research has shown that trout tend to stay in the top three to five feet of water for the first weeks after stocking. This makes them easy prey for cormorants and other avian predators, which can take a significant bite out of our stocking efforts. Where avian predation is prevalent, your best chance for success may come in the first couple of weeks after trout are stocked. Angler activity tends to disrupt the feeding birds and can save the fish for a longer period of good fishing.

Because of this tendency of stocked trout to remain shallow for a while after stocking, fishing on the bottom may not be as productive early as it will be later. Troll shallow with small lures, flies, or spinner-and-bait combinations early in the season. When fishing from shore, use a float to keep your bait up in the feeding zone.

After a few weeks, the trout will cue in on natural food items and be found where the food is, and this tends to be deeper. At this time, try fishing on or just off the bottom, using floating paste type baits or other buoyant baits. Also, natural baits such as worms, fish eggs, or flies and lures that imitate natural trout food work well. This will also be the case in lakes managed primarily with fry plants where the fish have grown up on natural food.