Fisheries and Wildlife stocks Martha’s Vineyard ponds with trout

Trout fresh from the Sandwich hatchery arrived at Upper Lagoon Pond Thursday. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

A Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) trout tanker truck arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Thursday, March 24 with approximately 800 trout fresh from the Sandwich State Fish Hatchery.

Fishermen were not far behind it.

In the first of three stockings this spring, the truck delivered a mix of rainbow trout, brook trout, and tiger trout.

Steve Hurley, DFW Southeast District Fisheries Manager, said the stocked ponds included Duarte’s, Uncle Seth’s, and Old Mill ponds in West Tisbury, and Upper Lagoon Pond at the head of Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.

Fishermen are allowed a limit of three trout per day from ponds. Fishermen 15 years of age and older must have a Massachusetts freshwater fishing license. Licenses are available from town clerks and online.

The southeast wildlife district is responsible for managing the fisheries and wildlife of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Plymouth, and Nantucket counties.

Fishing and sporting license buyers pay for the stocked trout. MassWildlife is supported by license buyers and federal taxes on fishing equipment (Wallop-Breaux) and hunting equipment (Pittman-Robertson).

The trout stocking program is not supported by the states general tax fund, although it generates a considerable amount of sales tax and other revenue to the state’s general fund from sales of fishing tackle, equipment, gas, food, and lodging used by anglers in pursuit of their quarry, according to DFW.

The Sandwich Hatchery produces brown trout (9,000 averaging nine inches, 9,000 averaging 13 inches and 100 broodstock browns averaging 18 inches) for stocking in Cape and islands ponds.

Ponds are stocked with between 500 and 10,000 trout and streams are stocked with 200 to 2,000 trout depending on fishing pressure, acreage, trout habitat, and ease of access to anglers, according to Fisheries and Wildlife.

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