It is time for area pond owners to be thinking about stocking their ponds with a new supply of trout for the upcoming season. This spring, Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District is offering for sale rainbow trout only: 4 to 5 inches at $2 each.

Following are some 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 that you might make to “temper” your fish in a few minutes at the edge of a pond is not worthwhile. 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; the other is the surface area of the pond. Fewer large fish can be added to a pond. For example, 1/4 acre can take 40  4 to 5-inch fish; 1/2 acre, 85 fish; 3/4 acre, 115 fish; and 1 acre, 170 fish.

• 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. Those watersheds are the: Sheepscot River, Ducktrap River, Cove Brook, Narraquagus River, Pleasant River, Machias River, East Machias River and Dennys River.

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

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

For questions or additional information, call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife at 287-5261.

To place an order for rainbow trout, contact Kym Sanderson at 218-5311 or kym.sanderson@me.nacdnet.net.