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For those who think that trout stocking only takes place in the spring, you are missing out on some great fishing opportunities across New England right now.
By Toby Lapinski  |  October 7, 2019
If you catch a large trout this fall, be sure to email a picture to tlapinski@thefisherman.com and perhaps you'll end up on the cover of an upcoming Fisherman Magazine!

While saltwater enthusiasts look forward to the “Fall Run” with great excitement, there is another fishing opportunity in the form of fall trout and salmon stocking which takes place in September and October each year. While not associated with the same fanfare of the spring program, it may in fact offer bigger and better opportunities for local anglers. As it sees much lower fishing pressure than the spring, you will likely see more fish make it through the first few days following a given locations stocking. Also, this is a time of the year when a lot of the broodstock fish are released so your chances of hooking up with a truly over-sized trout or even a salmon are quite high.

In the Connecticut DEEP’s most recent fishing report, it was noted that “...we may have turned the corner on warm air temperatures, which will allow our waters to “cool” off. Last week low flows in many rivers & streams and elevated water temperatures in many lakes & ponds began limiting DEEP’s trout stocking efforts with only a few areas stocked and we were able to stock a few more locations this week.”

A look to the past fishing reports, as well as the fall stocking report, indicates that a good slug of trout have already been stocked in the Nutmeg state. The Housatonic River and Farmington River in western Connecticut received 11,500 fish combined in early September. In the eastern part of the state, the Salmon River and Moosup River received almost 2,500 fish combined. Also of note, many of Connecticut's Trout Parks have been stocked with rainbows (Nautchaug River - 800 fish, Day Pond - 400 fish, Stratton Brook 400 fish, Valley Falls Park Pond - 400 fish.)

Connecticut also has the unique opportunity to target broodstock Atlantic salmon. The most recent stocking report indicates that, "Broodstock Atlantic salmon stockings began this week with salmon stocked into the Shetucket River Broodstock Area (113 fish) and the upper (56 fish) & lower (56 fish) Naugatuck River Broodstock Areas on Friday, 10/4. These salmon are 2-5 lb fish. Reminder – catch-and release only through December 15 for Atlantic Salmon in the Naugatuck River, Shetucket and lower Housatonic rivers."

Your best bet for specifics on where and how many fish have been stocked would be to review either the Fish & Wildlife Facebook page or the weekly fishing reports provided by the DEEP.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds across Rhode Island with trout in advance of Columbus Day weekend – a popular time for recreational fishing. The number of waterbodies stocked will be limited given current drought conditions; if conditions improve, additional stocking will take place this fall.

The following waters will be stocked with trout before Columbus Day:

  • Bradford – Pawcatuck River
  • Burrillville – Round Top Ponds
  • Charlestown – Lower Shannock - Pawcatuck River
  • Exeter – Breakheart Pond, Browning Mill Pond, Rte. 165 Check Station – Wood River
  • Glocester – Spring Grove Pond
  • Hopkinton – Barberville Dam, Hope Valley Fishing Area (Dow Field Ball Park), Wyoming Pond – Wood River
  • Lincoln – Olney Pond (Lincoln Woods State Park)
  • North Kingstown – Silver Spring Lake
  • Richmond – Grantville (Rt 95 underpass), Meadowbrook Pond, Woodville, Wyoming Pond – Wood River
  • Richmond – Beaver River
  • Scituate – Hope Mill Landing – Upper Pawtuxet River
  • South Kingstown – Barber Pond
  • Tiverton – Stafford Pond

For timely stocking information, follow DEM's outdoor education page on Facebook.

Fall Trout Stocking varies each year, but generally stocking takes place during a 2-week period (depending on water temperatures), beginning in the last week of September and ending before Columbus Day weekend. Close to 60,000 rainbow trout that are 12 inches or longer and at least 4,000 brown trout about 9-plus-inches long will be stocked across Massachusetts this fall according to Mass Fish & Wildlife. These fish, coupled with the nearly 500,000 trout that were stocked in the spring, will provide for some great fall fishing. Fall stocking reports - updated daily - are available online. The trout stocked waters pages provide a list of Massachusetts waters that are usually stocked in the spring and fall.