Whether it was via truck, barge or air, DEC’s Fish Hatchery staff have officially completed this spring’s fish stocking.
DEC stocked over 4.6 million trout and salmon and 50 million walleye statewide. Of those, over 50,000 got a lift in a helicopter and were stocked in 71 remote ponds, lakes, and rivers in the Adirondacks. Hundreds of thousands of lake trout and brown trout made their way into Lake Ontario via a barge carrying a DEC stocking truck.
For a full Spring Stocking Summary for 2020, visit DEC’s website.
Trout stocking season always presents its own set of challenges, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, hatchery staff were faced with a whole new way of getting fish out of hatchery raceways and stocked into the waters they were planned for.
Some new factors to contend with included:
- Maintaining a safe distance between staff while loading the trucks,
- Disinfecting the cabs of the trucks so multiple drivers could use them safely;
- Keeping a safe distance from curious onlookers watching the fish being stocked
- Locating restrooms while traveling long distances across the state that were still open because many were closed due to the pandemic.
DEC’s hatchery staff worked long days and some weekends to provide anglers with fishing opportunities. Spring fish stocking was completed approximately one month ahead of schedule. The stockings were completed without volunteer help this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Photo of Fish Hatchery provided by DEC.