According to Mass DFW, close to 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout will be stocked by them this spring. The fish will come from their five hatcheries located in Sandwich, Palmer, Belchertown, Sunderland, and Montague. The Western District should get about 100,000 of them. They reported that it has been another challenging year for the hatcheries given the extremely cold, icy, and snowy conditions that have prevailed this past winter.
Nevertheless, they report that the close to 500,000 trout being stocked this spring, coupled with the more than 67,000 twelve plus inch trout stocked last fall should provide some excellent fishing in the coming months. Due to the heavy snow and thick ice that remains on lakes and ponds across the state, trout stocking likely will not begin until the first week in April, beginning with the eastern region of the state moving westward as the ice and snow melts.
Here are some 2015 trout stocking facts provided by Mass DFW: 45% of the trout average over 14 inches, 72% of them average over 12 inches, 218,000 rainbows will average over 14 inches, 46,500 rainbows will average over 12 inches, 10,000 rainbows will average between 9 and 12 inches, 750 brown trout will be over 18 inches, 46,600 brown trout will average over 12 inches, 79,400 brown trout average between 9 and 12 inches, 1,350 brook trout will average over 15 inches, 37,600 brook trout will average over 12 inches, 47,000 brook trout between 9 and 12 inches and 2,500 tiger trout that will average over 14 inches.
Anglers are encouraged to check the trout stocking schedule for the district near them, or contact individual district offices for the latest stocking information. Trout stocking schedules will be updated every Friday between the end of March and Memorial Day.
There is a Tags ‘N Trout program which is a cooperative venture between MassWildlife and participating clubs, businesses and other groups. A certain number of trout are tagged and stocked into selected water bodies in each MassWildlife District. The tagged trout in each water body are sponsored by a local sportsmen’s club, business, or other entity. Any angler who catches a trout with a bright pink tag will receive a prize from the local cooperator in the Tags ‘N Trout Program.
In the Western District, tagged trout will be stocked in the following waters: Ashfield Lake, Westfield River, Upper Highland Lake, Deerfield River and Littleville Lake. If you catch one, contact the sponsor for your prize. A listing of the sponsors is available on the MassWildlife web site. *****
The Onota Boat Livery’s 2015 Ice Fishing Contest ended on March 15. Congratulations to the following winners who won $50 store prizes: Largest pike – 23 lbs 8 oz, 42 inch out of Onota Lake, caught by John Kozlowski of Pittsfield, Largemouth Bass – 4 lbs 1oz, 21 inch out of Pontoosuc Lake caught by Austin Dufur of Adams; Smallmouth Bass – 3 lbs 15 oz out of Long Pond by Ed Vidal of Pittsfield; Perch – 1 lb 2 oz out of Pontoosuc Lake by Bubby Carofiles of Stephentown, NY; Crappie – 1 lb 5 oz out of Onota Lake by Bruce McCauley of Hinsdale; Pickerel – 3 lbs 7 oz out of Onota Lake, by Corie Tremont of Pittsfield and Trout – 1 lb 10 oz, 17 inch, out of Laurel Lake caught by Joe Chague of Pittsfield. Congratulations to all.
Vicki and Cliff White will be teaching basic pistol classes in the near future at two sportsmen’s clubs. The Lenox Sportsmen’s Club is offering a course at its club house in Lenox on the evenings of April 14 and April 17 beginning at 5:00PM. The Lee Sportsmen’s Association will be offering one on Saturday, April 11 from 8:00AM to 6PM at its clubhouse in Lee. These classes provide great opportunities to learn the skills, knowledge and attitude to be a responsible gun owner. Information on these classes can be obtained from the clubs’ web pages or at firstname.lastname@example.org *****
Congratulations to 7 year old Emma Ranzoni of Lee for catching the above pictured 5 lb 2 oz, 20 ½ inch largemouth bass out of Buckley-Dunton Lake in Becket last Saturday. According to her dad Matt, the fish made a long run, the tip-up spooled out, the line knotted up at times and all sorts of maladies happened before finally landing the fish. She will receive a bronze pin under the MA Freshwater Sportfishing Awards program. Her dad, who does some taxidermy, will mount it for her.
What a wonderful story to wrap up the 2015 ice fishing season.