It is time for pond owners to think about stocking with a new supply of trout for the upcoming season. Each spring the Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District offers, for sale, both brook and rainbow trout as one of the district’s fundraising events.

The following are a few of the most frequently asked questions and answers about pond stocking:

How do I put fish into my pond?

Experiments have shown that it takes five to seven days to condition a trout to a new temperature. Therefore, any attempt one might make to “temper” their fish in a few minutes at the edge of a pond is not worth while. Just put them into the water and let them handle the temperature change. They can do it. Be sure the fish you put into your pond swim into deeper water. Do not let them swim into the shoreline. If they do, gently nudge them back into deeper water.

How many fish can I put in my pond?

The number of fish one can add to a pond is determined largely by two factors. One is the size of the fish, and the other is the surface area of the pond. Fewer large fish can be added to a pond. The following table illustrates this fact:

Size of fish:                                4-5″    5-6”      7-8”
Pond size: 1/4 acre                     65      40         30
Pond size: 1/2 acre                    125     85         60
Pond size: 3/4 acre                    190    115        90
Pond size: acre                          250    170       120

If one provides supplemental feed, densities can be much higher.

Will large trout in my pond eat the smaller ones I plan to add?

Brook trout and rainbows feed primarily on insects and other small organisms. Only if the size difference is great and the fish are very crowded in the pond is there likely to be a problem.

Should I stock brook trout or rainbow trout?

In river drainages where the Atlantic salmon has been listed as endangered the Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife will not issue private pond stocking permits for rainbow and brown trout. These watersheds are the: Sheepscot River, Ducktrap River, Cove Brook, Narraquagus River, Pleasant River, Machias River, East Machias River and Dennys River.

In order to facilitate the processing of orders for fish a prepared list of towns where the department will not issue permits for rainbow and brown trout has been prepared. For Waldo County those towns include: Lincolnville, Northport, Belmont, Winterport, Palermo and Liberty.

The native brook trout will be permitted throughout the above mentioned areas and watersheds, and permits for rainbow and brown will be considered for ponds in areas not listed above.  

To place an order for brook or rainbow trout, call Kym Sanderson at 338-1964 extension 3. Orders will be taken through Wednesday, May 16.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at