Perhaps the most overlooked fish species used in the management of southeastern ponds are the trout; primarily rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and to a lesser extent brown trout (Salmo trutta). This is due primarily to the fact that trout cannot tolerate the warm waters of a southeastern summer. However, trout can thrive in southeastern ponds from November through mid-May. So if you're tired of waiting all winter for the bass fishing to heat up again in the spring, consider the trout for pond stocking this fall and start enjoying great fishing in your pond year-round.
Trout possess a number of traits that make them ideally suited for use in ponds. First, they are eager and aggressive feeders and will take a wide variety of baits and lures all winter long. Once hooked, trout are great fighters – often leaping from the water in wildly acrobatic displays.
Trout stocked into your pond will also grow quickly when fed a high protein artificial food. Trout feed conversion rates can be close to 1:1 on such a diet, meaning that each pound of feed they consume translates to nearly a pound gain in body weight.
If all that wasn't enough, trout can provide a great benefit to your bass population. Trout are torpedo-shaped, have no hard spines, and are high in protein, making them ideal forage for largemouth bass. When the water warms in the late spring, trout become lethargic and thus become easy prey for bass. Have you ever wondered why so many huge bass are caught from reservoirs in California? It's partly because they are eating trout on a regular basis.
Although we occasionally have brown trout available for stocking, most of the trout we stock are rainbows. Stocking rates and sizes can vary widely and are usually determined by the desires of each individual pond owner. If you want to perk up the fishing in your pond this fall and winter, think about adding some trout. Please contact one of our offices to discuss stocking options.