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Winter Trout Stocking
#526941 10/20/20 04:26 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #526948 10/20/20 09:11 PM
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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!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
anthropic #526950 10/20/20 09:51 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #526957 10/21/20 12:41 AM
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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.

Last edited by anthropic; 10/21/20 01:06 AM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527041 10/24/20 03:52 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
Fyfer123 #527044 10/24/20 09:41 PM
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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.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
anthropic #527045 10/24/20 11:05 PM
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They will eat pellets, Cecil Baird had raised some to around 7#-10 pounds IIRC.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527052 10/25/20 07:39 AM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527111 10/26/20 02:00 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527139 10/27/20 11:59 AM
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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.
















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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527177 10/28/20 06:04 PM
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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!


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
ewest #527184 10/28/20 11:52 PM
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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.

Last edited by anthropic; 10/28/20 11:53 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527203 10/29/20 08:14 PM
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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).


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527206 10/29/20 08:35 PM
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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.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527336 11/05/20 07:15 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527337 11/05/20 07:26 PM
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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.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
anthropic #527364 11/06/20 05:59 PM
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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?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527365 11/06/20 09:02 PM
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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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Trout feeding rates winter 11-06-2020.xlsx (23.32 KB, 14 downloads)
SHA1: e9b50d22337c7a9336a69521bb0f665d9c772db1

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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
CityDad #527366 11/06/20 09:22 PM
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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.

Last edited by jpsdad; 11/06/20 09:23 PM.
Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527753 11/18/20 11:40 PM
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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.

Attached Files
IMG_0072.jpg (52.22 KB, 24 downloads)
IMG_0067.jpg (69.5 KB, 16 downloads)
IMG_0061.jpg (68 KB, 16 downloads)

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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527754 11/19/20 12:28 AM
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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.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527761 11/19/20 07:34 AM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527783 11/19/20 05:21 PM
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Sounds good. They do grow fast, especially on feed!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 206




Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527787 11/19/20 07:30 PM
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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.


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Re: Winter Trout Stocking
MOFishermen #527791 11/19/20 08:45 PM
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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

Last edited by Freedomeagle; 11/19/20 08:48 PM.
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