Our Role

When the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) was forced to close one of its hatcheries used to produce trout for recreational fishing, they turned to the Freshwater Institute to help supplement the state’s projected shortfall. Rainbow trout were raised in the institute’s land-based-based fish culture facilities in Shepherdstown, WV, where pristine water from an on-site spring flowed through a series of circular tanks. The trout grew rapidly under these optimized conditions and were robust and healthy.

2 lb Trout to MD DNR Fall 2015 JohnDavidsonA 2-lb rainbow trout sent to MD DNR. Photo by John Davidson.
The trout were very vibrant when stocked, and fishermen were catching them before we could leave the lake.”
—Marshall Brown, MD DNR Regional Fish Production Manager. 

Water used to raise the fish was treated by specialized technologies before it left the facility to minimize environmental impact. From 2011 through 2015, the Freshwater Institute provided, at cost, more than 109,000 rainbow trout to the MD DNR that were stocked into Maryland’s rivers, lakes and streams to support Maryland’s trout fishing program. 

Why This Project Matters

Recreational fishing not only gives Maryland residents the chance to get outdoors and connect with nature, it also brings in valuable revenue to support conservation efforts and boost the local economy. The Freshwater Institute’s partnership with MD DNR also allowed the institute to continue collecting valuable data on rainbow trout culture, which benefitted our aquaculture research efforts and helped us to inform stakeholders interested in land-based, fish production.