Division of Fish & Wildlife announces spring trout stocking plans, with downstate start set for March 5
DOVER (March 4, 2011) – The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife announced that its spring 2011 downstate trout season will begin Saturday, March 5 with the opening of two downstate ponds stocked with rainbow trout. On that date, Tidbury Pond near Dover in Kent County and Newton Pond outside of Greenwood in Sussex County will be open for trout fishing beginning at 7 a.m.
“In the past the season started earlier in the week, but delaying the opening until Saturday morning worked so well the last two years we decided to keep the same plan this year. By stocking a day or two before the opening, the trout will have a chance to spread out in the pond. Trout will be stocked again later in the month as well,” said Fisheries Administrator Craig Shirey. “We also have larger fish this year, averaging about ¾-pound, along with some trophy-sized trout weighing more than 2 pounds,” Shirey added.
Newton Pond, a restored barrow pit, was very popular in its first season and will be stocked for its second year. The 10-acre site was renovated using Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration funds and features a boat ramp for car top boats and canoes (no gasoline motors allowed), a fishing pier and plenty of shoreline access to allow anglers to spread out. “We do have to stress ‘car top boats’ only, since the ramp was not designed or constructed for heavy vehicles with boat trailers, and vehicular traffic is blocked from using the ramp,” Shirey added.
“Newton Pond is currently open for catch and release fishing for previously stocked bass and bluegill. The trout, however, are fair game and we encourage fishermen to keep them up to the limit of six,” Shirey continued, noting that trout are a cold water species and can only survive while water temperatures in the pond remain cool.
Tidbury Pond is owned and managed by Kent County Parks and Recreation, and anglers are asked to be respectful of the vegetation and fences erected to protect landscaped areas. Newton Pond is owned and managed as a state wildlife area by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Each pond will be stocked with 275 pounds of rainbow trout, or approximately 366 fish, average size 12 to 13 inches and weighing about ¾ pound each. Some “trophy-sized” rainbows weighing 2 pounds and measuring well over 14 inches also will be included. At least one of the ponds also has a small stocking of golden trout from the hatchery in Pennsylvania used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife for the trout program. Stocking will be repeated Thursday, March 17 with the same number of fish in each pond.
On 10 separate dates beginning in late March, thousands of rainbow and brown trout will be stocked in six designated trout streams in northern New Castle County: White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek. All of the streams will receive a heavy stocking just prior to the season opener on the first Saturday in April. Trout stocking will continue on a regular weekly basis through the end of April.
Anglers wishing to try their luck are reminded that in addition to the normal fishing license requirements, they also must purchase a trout stamp, which costs $4.20 for ages 16 and older, or a youth stamp, which costs $2.10 for boys and girls ages 12 to 15. A resident annual fishing license, which now covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for ages 16 to 65; persons under the age of 16 and residents over the age of 65 are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Higher stamp and license prices apply to non-resident anglers.
All proceeds from trout stamps are used to purchase next year’s fish. Since the price of trout is not expected to decrease in the immediate future, the Fisheries Section is hoping plenty of anglers will come out this season to help support the program, Shirey added.
To purchase a fishing license or stamps or for more information about the trout stocking schedule, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries, or call the Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.