Pond Boss
Posted By: MOFishermen Winter Trout Stocking - 10/20/20 10:26 PM
Our fishing club is contemplating stocking rainbow trout this winter in a couple of ponds. Our goal is to allow catch and release for Nov and Dec and then harvest them after the first of the year. We are discussing 200 pounds per acre with fish in the 10 to 14 inch range. We would put a feeder on the ponds we stock to increase their size over the winter. The ponds we are considering are 10 to 12 feet deep.

One pond is 2 acres with a recent bloom of FA. Was wondering if that would be an issue with trout. Pond is primarily BG, HBG and GSF with a few bass. Pond depth is 10 to 12 feet.

The other pond is 0.5 acre and about 8 -12 feet deep. It is an older pond with LMB, BG and CC.

Looking for suggestions or lessons learned from others who have done winter stocking of trout.

Thanks for your help.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/21/20 03:11 AM
My experience in NE Texas was that RBT grow remarkably fast on feed. Three-quarter pounders hit about 2 to 2.5 lbs in 2 months, then leveled off growth for a couple months before resuming. Final sizes were in 3 - 4 lb range. Stopped biting in early May, died early June due to heat.

Very aggressive around feeders, more so than bass. Bob Lusk said that growth lull around 2 lb was due to them developing eggs, focused energy on that rather than building size. Tons of fun!
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/21/20 03:51 AM
Anthropic, thanks for your response and enthusiasm about stocking RBT. Can you provide details about your feeding program? Just want to know if you did anything different than the typical BG and LMB pond.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/21/20 06:41 AM
MOFish, I fed same stuff I always do. Sometimes Optimal, sometimes Aquamax MVP. Trout, bluegill, bass, hybrid stripers all loved it. Nice thing is that trout are a lot more active during cold weather than bass or bluegill, will keep eating right up until ice covers the pond.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/24/20 09:52 PM
I'm not sure if brown trout are an option, but that's what I have in my pond year round. They are a lot of fun to catch and I believe they are considered more aggressive than rainbows. We chose them for my pond based on the hatchery's advice, as they are less temperature sensitive than rainbows. They might give you an extra month or so of fishing in the spring over rainbows. Mine are 20" on natural forage after 3-4 years stocked at 8-10". I'm not sure if they are as eager to eat pellets as rainbows are though. Good luck with whatever you chose. Pond trout are really fun to catch and taste great.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/25/20 03:41 AM
That's interesting re brown trout. Would enjoy stocking them if they could tolerate higher temps than rainbows! Not sure they are as eager to feed on pellets, though.
Posted By: esshup Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/25/20 05:05 AM
They will eat pellets, Cecil Baird had raised some to around 7#-10 pounds IIRC.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/25/20 01:39 PM
This is really interested to pursue. Hatchery said they stock rainbows in lakes. I did not ask about Brown trout. Will inquire. I have caught a few large Brown trout on the White River in Ark.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/26/20 08:00 PM
I just spoke to my local hatchery, and they said browns eat pellets. I am restocking browns and feeding pellets this fall myself. They can tolerate higher temperatures, so I'm told, and they are aggressive and hit lures in my pond aggressively. Definitely look into them.
Posted By: ewest Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/27/20 05:59 PM
The previous trophy LMB (records) were from California . Those waters were supplementally stocked with RT in advanced size from state hatcheries. LMB would feast on RT when released and later again when the RT were trapped (concentrated) in the cool water thermocline.

When Purina invented its LMB pellets they ground up RT and analyzed the contents for replication into the pellets.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/29/20 12:04 AM
Very interesting that RT were part of the fish food formula. In checking around MO with hatcheries, it would be hard to source BT. We will try rainbows in a few weeks.

Will keep data on stocking size and feeding success over the next several months. Hopefully good information for anyone contemplating a RT winter stocking.

Thanks for all the great replies!
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/29/20 05:52 AM
Originally Posted by ewest
The previous trophy LMB (records) were from California . Those waters were supplementally stocked with RT in advanced size from state hatcheries. LMB would feast on RT when released and later again when the RT were trapped (concentrated) in the cool water thermocline.

When Purina invented its LMB pellets they ground up RT and analyzed the contents for replication into the pellets.

Good stuff. Probably a lot of the benefit is that RT are relatively easy to swallow & digest compared with BG.

I'm thinking of releasing my current storage pond CNBG into the main BOW, then restocking with maybe 15 or 20 lb of small RT in early December. Feed them up for six weeks to 60 or 70 lb (they gain weight incredibly FAST when well fed), then release them in late Jan. Another 100 to 120 lb small (4-6 inch) in main BOW in early Dec, should be mostly eaten by mid Jan. Maybe 40 to 50 lb larger trout just for fun fishing.

In spring, stock 10k threadfin shad, along with 24 grass carp to slow growth of bushy pondweed.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/30/20 02:14 AM
Thinking about your weight gain of 45 to 55 lbs over a six week time frame. How often will you feed the trout? What do you think the conversation rate will be? I feed Optimal to BG and have found it averages 1.4 : 1 (unless the catfish move in).
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 10/30/20 02:35 AM
Good question. Mostly it is guesswork based on what I saw from the trout last year. Amazingly fast growth on feed, the best I've ever seen. Aggressiveness was part of it, but maybe their digestive system was as well.

Smaller rainbows are probably around 3 or 4 ounces each, so twenty pounds would be 80 to 100 fish. In order to get them to desired size, maybe 16 ounces, and assuming feed conversion rate of 1.4 to 1, that means 105 pounds of feed for 100 fish, about 85 pounds for 80 fish.

Birds and disease will certainly take out some, of course. My forage pond is very small, maybe 1/8 acre, so I can only push it so far before release. Of course, it helps that this will be in the coldest time of the year.

No problem at all with the feed, as I have a TH feeder on site and that much feed would only mean two trips to refill.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/06/20 01:15 AM
Just wanted to update this thread. On Bob’s Facebook live program last, I asked him about feeding rates for trout. He recommended feeding three times per day, what they will consumer in about one minute. Amount of feed should be about 3% of body weight.

Assuming 100 trout at 1/2 pound each, you would have 50 lbs of fish. Feed rate would be 1.5 pounds per day. Conversion rate would be 1 to 1.5. RT will gain weight fast so watch feed rates and when trout clean it up faster than 30 secs then bump the feed amount. Bob suggested Purina Aquamax Sportfish 600.

I will try to keep records of how the RT grow this winter.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/06/20 01:26 AM
I was really surprised when Bob said that I could put 500 small (4-7 inch) trout in my 1/8 acre forage pond. Of course, it would be during cold water period and only for six to eight weeks, but still.

Assuming seven little guys to the pound, that would mean about 70 pounds. To triple weight, adding 140 pounds of flesh, would need about 200 pounds of feed. That would be four bags over eight weeks, starting with slower feeding at first and picking up the pace as they get bigger.

Cormorants are probably my main obstacle. I will have to find a way to keep them off or it will be a slaughter.
Posted By: CityDad Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/06/20 11:59 PM
Question,
Can you stock FHM ealier in the year for your RT to munch over winter?
Is the purpsoe of these guys in the forage pond to roll into a main pond in the spring for your LMB or something else?
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/07/20 03:02 AM
To help understand the dynamics of the feeding rate, I created this spreadsheet so show growth assuming 3% feed rate. Starting with 100 total, 1/2 pound trout, I could get them to 1 pound in a little over 30 days with about 80 pounds of feed. Now this is all theoretical based upon a 1.5 conversion rate. There are two spreadsheet options. One option assumes you keep adding to the total daily feed requirement. The second option assumes you increase feed on a weekly basis. It will be necessary for me to use the second option due to not living full time at the property. My Texas Hunter Feeders will be doing all the work.

I will try to monitor this progress over the next two months and report back.

Any suggestions or lessons learned on are always appreciated.

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Posted By: jpsdad Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/07/20 03:22 AM
Originally Posted by CityDad
Question,
Can you stock FHM ealier in the year for your RT to munch over winter?
Is the purpsoe of these guys in the forage pond to roll into a main pond in the spring for your LMB or something else?

This idea is certainly doable. Here in the South, the winter is arguably better weather than summer. So there would be nothing wrong with someone growing forage through the summer to feed the winter trout. In addition to FHM, there are Gams and PK Shrimp that would also make great forage. One could also grow a summer crop of CC which would probably leave more than they would consume. In either season, supplemental feed can be used too.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/19/20 05:40 AM
Stocked 300 RB today. Placed 100 in a 2/3 acre pond. Put 200 in 2 acre pond. Fish were between 12 and 14 inches and averaged slightly over 1 pound each.

It will be interesting to determine weight gain over the next several months. Will keep posting updates when I collect data.

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Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/19/20 06:28 AM
MOF, are you stocking RBT primarily for fishing, or for feeding your LMB? And do you plan to use fish food to help them grow? I'm guessing you'll get four to six extra weeks from them compared with me due to cooler weather.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/19/20 01:34 PM
These were stocked just for the fishing experience. Plan to feed them for the next 30 to 60, depending when last few bags of Optimal BG run out. Supplier said he uses Aquamax 600 but thought they would switch over immediately. Purpose is to extend our fishing season, let them get bigger with feeding and then harvest before total ice up.

If this works in these two smaller ponds, next year we may stock in a 236 acre lake that is 110 feet deep with good oxygenated water at 30 feet to support them year round. Something new to try to enhance winter fishing.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/19/20 11:21 PM
Sounds good. They do grow fast, especially on feed!
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 01:30 AM
Supplier told me they grow fast to 12-14 inches and then it takes several months to gain more length. I am more interested in them putting on weight.

When you say they grow fast, is that length or weight or both? Thanks.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 02:45 AM
MOFisherme, I have a very similar situation as yours except my pond is about 4.5 acres. Since 2013, we have stocked RBT every November so that the heroes with Project Healing Waters will have a nice place to fly fish throughout the winter months. We usually stock 200 10-12" once the water temps hit about 55 degrees. In my area, that is usually early November. This year, I stocked the RBT last Thursday and they usually start 'piping' and dying off in early June or when the water temps are consistently 65 degrees. I aerate my pond so the outside air temps cool or heat the water a tad quicker.

I run 2 of my Texas Hunter feeders three times a day for 3 secs each. If the geese are not around, I use AquaMax MVP. Once the geese show up, I change over to Ziegler Finfish G 42-16 5mm sinking feed. The RBT aggressively feed on both. Normally, the RBT will top out at about 2.5 to 3lbs by late April. For some strange reason, last year, the heroes caught several in the high 3lb and low 4lb range and not just one or two but 15-20 of them were in this category. When they died off, I netted out 28 'floaters' on June 10 and almost all of them was in the 18" range.

As a note of caution and learn from my dummy self.....remember that RBT will seek flowing water. If you have an open drain, make sure you put a grate or chicken wire across it. Same for your emergency overflow. When I first stocked in 2013, they headed straight for the drain pipe. I fixed that but didn't pay any attention to the overflow. Last year, we had about 8" of rain in 24 hours and the water hit the spill way across the drive. We quickly built a chicken wire fence and were able to net off the driveway most of those that had "escaped" but it was an all night PIA.

As a final note, I once had a fair amount, almost overabundunce, of small 3-4" LMB. The RBT will help fix that problem as well as any crappie fry. When you start catching them for keeps, make sure you look at their stomach contents. In my case, I was pleasantly surprised and I feel like my LMB population is a little more in line with where it should be and my crappie population appears to have diminished somewhat...or it may just be a figment of my imagination smile

Hope this helps and best of luck to you
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 03:01 AM
Originally Posted by MOFishermen
Supplier told me they grow fast to 12-14 inches and then it takes several months to gain more length. I am more interested in them putting on weight.

When you say they grow fast, is that length or weight or both? Thanks.

I put in 10-12 inchers in early December, probably averaged 0.8 lb. By mid Feb they were 16-17 inches and were around 2 to 2.25 lb. Then they paused in growth for about a month or so. Finally ended up around 3 to 3.5 lb, 18 to 21 inch max in late April early May. Gone by late May.

I don't aerate, so my thermal refuge is pretty good until anoxia sets in by around mid to late May.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 03:27 AM
Freedomeagle, I checked Amazon about that Ziegler Finfish G 42-16 5mm sinking feed. Love the idea of frustrating the geese & herons! But price seems really high, $93 for 44 lb sack with shipping, double what I pay for partially sinking Aquamax MVP. Is there a cheaper way to buy the Ziegler sinking chow?
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 03:34 AM
I buy direct, 20 bags at a time. They're only about 3 hours from me so sometimes I go pick it up and sometimes I just have them ship it to the closest LTL terminal, usually Estes and go pick it up. Including shipping, the per lb price is a tad cheaper for me than the AquaMax. Including shipping, my last invoice was 0.91/lb. When I pick up, I pay about 0.68/lb.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 02:15 PM
Dear Freedomeagle,

Thanks for mentioning trouts desire to leave with flowing water. Never crossed my mind but will be installing wire barriers today. Pond is down about a foot due to weather. However, rain is forecasted for the next week. We will be getting water flow into our overflow pipes. Your post just saved me a lot of trout and kept my reputation for crazy ideas intact!

Thanks again for responding! The knowledge of PB Forum is amazing.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/20/20 04:20 PM
My pond would be a complete disaster if it wasn't for all the supportive and knowledgeable folks on PB....and more importantly, they are all eager to help.

For your barriers, I recommend chicken wire. It does the job, works well for short term needs like this and is super easy to bend around pipes, stretch across overflow areas. etc.

Best of luck to you.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 11/22/20 04:56 AM
We got barriers built to hold the RB trout back and keep FA from floating into hardware cloth. Rain started today so not a moment too soon.

RB stocking so far has been a huge success. People are enjoying the catch and release pond and a few people are keeping trout. It is the buzz around our POA.

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Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 12/07/20 04:08 AM
Update on our RT stocking. The catch and harvest lake has been a huge success. It is unbelievable how many people have shown up to trout fish since Nov 20. On that lake I had a feeder going the first week. People were getting frustrated at not catching fish, so I turned the feeder off. Catch rates went right up! Herons are out fishing anglers some days but everyone is having fun.

Our other catch and release pond till Jan 1 has had some fishing pressure as well. I do have a Texas Hunter Feeder going three times per day for 4 secs. Throwing Optimal BG. I have not seen the aggressive feeding behavior others have described on the forum. I called fish supplier and he said don’t worry, they might be feeding on other things in the pond (BG, HBG, and GSF) or taking the food after it sinks. I have not seen any dead trout. Just wondering why no feeding action, besides a few aggressive sunfish.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 12/08/20 08:02 PM
I definitely hope that trout eat baby bass, as I have way too many in my pond as well. I have a browns living in my pond, which are supposed to eat more fish than rainbows. Interestingly, though, I never found their stomach contents to have any noticeable signs of eating bass. It seemed like my trout were pretty food deprived, actually, and I am now feeding. How big did your trout grow on feed? Mine are in year round and I have some 3lbs fish that just starting being fed and I know are eating, so I'm thinking they will be pretty substantial in a few years.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/03/21 12:52 AM
Our fishing club members and other Property Owners are still enjoying trout fishing. Our weather has finally turned to winter so both ponds have had ice cover over the last several weeks. To help open up our one pond that has been catch and release since stocking, I have installed a horizontal circulation system. Bob Lusk recommended this setup to keep the water moving, open and highly oxygenated for the trout. He addressed my question on his Wednesday night live Facebook.

Circulator is an Ice Eater which is used to keep water open for waterfowl hunting. It is a 1 HP unit on a stand. Placed it in about 3 feet of water. FA has been a problem late this year due to geese, fish density and feeding program for the fish. I can see the water movement has already pushed some of the FA away from the bank.

After running for about 30 minutes, figured the trout might be attracted the moving water. First cast hooked a nice trout. I was so excited, he got off when I was horsing him in. Tomorrow should be a better fishing day. I did turn off the feeder last weekend due to ice. Have fed about 70 lbs of food the last six weeks. Looking forward to catching and surveying a few of the trout to see if they have gained weight.

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Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/03/21 05:55 PM
Fyfer, I can tell you from my own experience that your RBT will definitely feed on your baby bass. For the past several years, we have been stocking RBT in the late fall, early November, and have seen a significant reduction in the YOY LMB. Although we run our feeders 3x/day, we still see a significant number of small bass in the RBT stomach contents along with the feed. Last year, we stocked 10-12" RBT on November 11. The attached pics were what was caught the following May 5th. We always lose any remaining RBT around early June because the water temps rise in the 70's and our BOW is only about 13ft at its deepest point.

As others have mentioned, one of the keys is using the right feed. Make sure you are using a feed where the protein is animal/fish based, not vegetable based.

MO, you might want to consider moving your circulator closer to your feeders. Every winter, I move aerators to in front of my Texas Hunter feeders and the aeration bubble action keeps the surface from freezing over so the fish can still get to the feed.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/06/21 04:27 AM
Freedomeagle, great to hear about your experience and success. You mentioned pics but I did not see any attached. Could you try to post?

Our pond has GSF, HBG and BG. I am hoping the trout reduce some fish density this winter. This pond is used to teach kids And adults how to fish so we have maintained high densities.

I am planning on turning the feeder back on this week. My picture does not show my Texas Hunter Feeder but it is just out of the picture. I did try to locate the circulator to keep the area open in front of the feeder.

Will try to post a few new pictures of fish.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/06/21 05:27 PM
Here you go MO

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Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/06/21 07:29 PM
Wow those are some big beautiful trout. I can only hope to be so lucky this year. Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/07/21 07:55 AM
Caught three RBT yesterday. Two had already put on several inches and maybe 1/2 lb since stocking three weeks ago. I'm feeding Aquamax MVP but don't see lots of activity. However, it is obvious the trout are eating well. I hope YOY bass are also on their menu, cormorants have been scarce this year. smile
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/10/21 04:23 AM
Had some luck this week catching a couple of trout. Most fish were 12-13 inches and about 14 oz. I then caught this one. 18 inches and close to 2.5 lbs. Fish food is really adding weight.

BTW, finding the trout like to hold in the current from the de-icer.

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Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/16/21 09:55 PM
I hope they do. I've never seen LMB in the stomachs of my trout oddly enough. Although, that might be because I only fish for them when the LMB are long inactive due to the cold.

My pond has been iced over completely since mid December. We've had a warm winter so it's not very thick ice. About 7 inches last time I measured. I've been ice fishing a few times with no luck. I think it's the location in the pond rather than the techniques I'm using, if I could guess. I've been using spoons, jigs, and powerbait. I've just got to try minnows now.

I also tried feeding through the ice for the first time today. What I did was take a bunch of pellets, soak them in water for 30 minutes, and then squish them into a dough. Rolling the pellets to get a bunch of individual airless pellets was too time consuming and it did not work very well with my pellets. The dough was a perfect consistency and I made balls that sunk right down the hole. I hope the trout eat it, but there's no way to know I guess. I'm going to try fishing in that area tomorrow to see if I have any more luck.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/16/21 10:33 PM
Adam, thanks for your comments. I know absolutely nothing about ice fishing so I will defer on others for that. On my lake, my PHW folks use a sinking fly of some sort successfully, the spincast folks use Rooster Tails (1/8 or 1/16oz.) and crotchety old lazy geezers like me do quite well with live minnows.

MOF, one of the PHW folks caught a 15" today but most caught today were in the 13-13.5" category. I am thinking the 15" was probably more like 13.5-14" when we stocked the trout last November.

Trout still feeding well at the feeders.

Tight lines to all!

Paul
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 01/17/21 08:36 PM
My sinking trout feeding seemed to work really well. I fed in two holes near each other twice, one yesterday and once this morning, and went out this afternoon to fish those holes. I lost one at the hole on a jig and landed and lost one on the dough I had made, proving that they are eating it. They must have all been in the area since the food was dropped, as the action was very fast. I'm surprised the trout ate the sinking dough, but they must have, because the trout I cleaned had a black guck in the stomach that I think is the dough.

Now that I know feeding through the ice is not a waste of time, I'll do it a couple of times a week.

Also, I hope I haven't hijacked this thread. And, Paul, my favourite lures for open water are also Rooster Tails, as well as small trout magnets and spoons.

Good luck with winter trout everyone.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 02/12/21 05:19 AM
A quick question on water circulation and outdoor temps. We are expecting temperatures to drop into single digits for a few nights. I have a water circulator moving water horizontal in the pond. This has been going on for a few weeks.

Should I stop circulating water to avoid sub cooling the entire pond? I think the trout could take the lower water temps but concerned for our BG, RES and GSF.
Thanks for any advice.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 02/12/21 02:42 PM
I leave my aerators on and never had an issue with any losses.
Posted By: esshup Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 02/14/21 03:55 AM
I leave mine on 24/7 during the winter and never have any issues.
Posted By: MOFishermen Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 02/15/21 03:51 AM
Thanks to Freedomeagle and Esshup for your replies’. Circulator is running! Thanks for your input.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/19/21 08:36 PM
MOF, how are your trout. Here is a pic of one caught here yesterday by the Project Healing Waters heroes. I'm seeing most caught in this class range and dang if I can figure out why they are so large. The feed mill swears they are not putting hormones in the fish feed, I am getting them from the same hatchery I always do, feeding them the same amount, etc etc.

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Posted By: FishinRod Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/19/21 09:07 PM
Freedomeagle, glad the vets had fun!

Didn't you have some weird water chemistry last year? I thought you speculated that several big rains may have brought detritus into your pond.

Perhaps some of what came in last year fertilized your pond? If so, then the trout obviously feasted on something that came up from your enhanced primary producers!

If that is the case (wild speculation), then maybe you should look at some more "conventional" fertilization next year?
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/19/21 10:32 PM
Fishin', yep, we have some pretty strange chemistries down this way but hard to explain 5-6" and 2-3 pound growth in such a short period of time. We actually had something going on last year with our trout from a size perspective but they didn't get quite this big before they started dying off in early June. Been a crazy winter here. Never really had a hard, long freeze. We're about two weeks behind in our average growing degree days. Just now having a decent nectar flow for the bees. Usually starts late March around here
Posted By: FishinRod Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/19/21 10:43 PM
Well whatever you did, it appears to be working with the 3+ lb trout!

I am hopeful you will be able to repeat your difficult-to-achieve "recipe" for large trout again next year. grin
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/20/21 01:33 AM
A milder winter could have allowed trout to eat more food and get better growth in not quite as cold water.
Posted By: esshup Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/20/21 04:18 AM
Trout grow amazingly fast on good food, I've stocked 2# trout in October and they were 7# in mid June.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/20/21 04:45 AM
Originally Posted by esshup
Trout grow amazingly fast on good food, I've stocked 2# trout in October and they were 7# in mid June.

Man, 2# stockers are huge! My biggest stockers are 3/4 to 1# in December.

I'm guessing they don't survive past mid-June for you, just as they die off about a month earlier for me. Do you try to catch & eat as many as possible the last couple of months? What lures work best?

Quick math shows your fish grew about .6 to .7 # per month. My best went from .8 to 3.3 in December - mid May, maybe .5 # per month. You probably feed them better than I do. I stock about 180# RBT total, most smaller fish to hopefully feed my LMB during winter & early spring.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/20/21 11:53 AM
All, thanks for your comments.

Anthropic, my lake is only about 13’ deep at high water and fed by runoff so we start seeing floaters around the first of June if we don’t get them all out... which we never do. I stocked 200 in Nov, feed 3x/day. We have a big rodeo for the PHW folks in a couple of weeks to help get them out. The fly fishermen use wooly buggers and white rooster tails work best here for spin casting.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/21/21 11:58 PM
I like to use small spoons, spinners, and jigs with plastics for my stocked trout. Worms also work very well, as do roe bags. I fish worms either on the bottom when it is very cold or warm or under a sensitive float when the fish are feeding near the surface.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/22/21 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Freedomeagle
All, thanks for your comments.

Anthropic, my lake is only about 13’ deep at high water and fed by runoff so we start seeing floaters around the first of June if we don’t get them all out... which we never do. I stocked 200 in Nov, feed 3x/day. We have a big rodeo for the PHW folks in a couple of weeks to help get them out. The fly fishermen use wooly buggers and white rooster tails work best here for spin casting.

How much do you feed per day? I have approximately 60-100 brown trout in a 1 acre pond, 14ft deep. I am unsure of how much to feed. My fish stay in year round, oldest were stocked four years ago. I have a feeling I am not feeding enough and could have much larger fish. Thanks in advance.
Posted By: esshup Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/22/21 12:54 AM
I was feeding Optimal Bass food at the rate of approximately 3/4#-1# per day with approximately the same amount of trout in the pond. I was feeding once per day at noon, automatic feeder (Texas Hunter) where the aerator kept the ice open during the winter.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/22/21 01:36 PM
Likewise, I have TH feeders. I feed a 5mm pellet for 5 seconds 3x/d. I’m guessing it’s 1.5-2lbs per day
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/23/21 12:51 AM
Thanks for the information. I just measured out how many jars of food 3/4 lb is, and I will be feeding that daily. I been disappointed with absolutely zero feeding response in the past few days. It happened suddenly after we had a cold front and the water temperatures dropped about 5 celcius. I guess temperature changes really effect the fish in the pond in terms of their activity.
Posted By: Freedomeagle Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/23/21 01:57 AM
I will defer to the brainiacs about temp drops but I have found that, when they are hungry, they will eat.
Posted By: anthropic Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/23/21 03:17 AM
Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Thanks for the information. I just measured out how many jars of food 3/4 lb is, and I will be feeding that daily. I been disappointed with absolutely zero feeding response in the past few days. It happened suddenly after we had a cold front and the water temperatures dropped about 5 celcius. I guess temperature changes really effect the fish in the pond in terms of their activity.

I've found the same thing. However, rainbow trout will often increase feeding response when temps fall, while LMB and CNBG lose interest.
Posted By: esshup Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/23/21 04:20 AM
Every pond is different. My fish will slow down eating pellets a LOT when the water temp drops, but a customer will have fish splashing to get to the food until there is ice on the pond. Same species of fish, just different ponds.
Posted By: Fyfer123 Re: Winter Trout Stocking - 04/23/21 02:30 PM
Interesting that it differs pond to pond. I believe we are still below optimal water temperatures for browns right now, but things are warming up. Hopefully, feeding will start to pick up as well.
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