Trout Frequently Asked Questions

When does Maryland start stocking trout?

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services usually will start the pre-season trout stocking in early February,Rainbow trout however the start date is dependent on weather conditions. Check the Department of Natural Resources website and/or our toll free number at 1-800-688-3467 to get the latest information. Once the "Official" Spring Trout stocking begins, the website will be updated daily and the toll free phone line will be updated every Friday afternoon.

When do I need a "Trout Stamp"?

You need A trout stamp is required for anyone 16 years of age or older that catch, attempt to catch or possess trout in nontidal waters​​. Maryland residents with a valid Consolidated Senior Resident Sport Fishing License are exempt.

Does Maryland have an "Opening Day"?

While we do not have one single day when all stocked trout streams open, we do have several "Closure Periods" during the spring trout fishing season which in affect creates numerous "opening days" during the stocking period. Fishing starts at 5:30 AM on the 2nd date (last day) of each period.

Do you stock on Sunday?

No! The Spring Trout Stocking Schedule has a Sunday date that identifies the week fish will be stocked. All fish are stocked Monday through Friday following the Sunday date appearing on the "week-of-stocking schedule".

Where do the trout stocked in Maryland come from?

The majority of the trout stocked in Maryland are from the Albert M. Powell State Trout Hatchery in Hagerstown. Additional trout are raised at several other Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services hatcheries. Approximately 25,000 trout are purchased from private commercial hatcheries, who must certify to Maryland standards that the fish are disease free. The departments Fishing and Boating Services has also received surplus rainbow trout from the Freshwater Fisheries Institute.

What do you feed the trout in your hatcheries?

The fish are fed a diet of commercially pelleted fish food.

How soon will the trout start biting after they are stocked?

Stocked trout usually start biting right away, as reported from both anglers and staff.

Do the fish move upstream or downstream after stocking?

Most fish typically remain in the general area where stocked, however some will move and find typical holding spots up or downstream. High water can increase the numbers and distance of fish movement.

How old and how big are the trout being stocked?

Most trout coming from our hatcheries are approximately one year old fish and average slightly over one half pound. Additionally a percentage (4%) of the trout stocked are larger fish that we call "holdovers" that are raised at Albert M. Powell State Trout Hatchery. The majority of the holdover trout are two to three years old and weigh up to two pounds each; some "trophy" holdover fish are mixed in and these fish are three to five years old and can weigh up to nine pounds.

Exactly where do you put the fish?

The stretch of stream that is stocked can be viewed by clicking on a stream within the online stocking schedule. We stock at access points within the colored areas on those maps. In some cases streams are float stocked to better distribute fish.

What makes the golden trout golden?

These fish are actually Rainbow Trout with a golden pigmentation.

Why don't you stock Brook Trout?

We do not raise or stock Brook Trout because we do not want to mix other genetic strains with our naturally reproducing native Brook Trout.

What about Fall Stocking?

Fall stocking is usually conducted during October. Although there is no set stocking schedule, updates are posted on the website daily and on the phone line (1-800-688-3467) weekly. A press release will be issued to notify anglers when fall stocking is complete. ​