Recreational trout fishing is a common pastime in states with waters that support the biological requirements of this popular sportfish. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) raises and stocks the majority of trout for fishermen in their state; however, they have a finite capacity to grow fish at their hatcheries.

Our Role

To add to the number of fish stocked in Maryland streams, MD DNR turned to the Freshwater Institute to grow thousands of extra brown trout. A similar partnership took place from 2011-2015 when the Freshwater Institute grew and supplemented more than 100,000 rainbow trout for Maryland’s stocking program. While Freshwater Institute's fish production staff is well-versed in rainbow trout culture, they had never raised brown trout before. Despite this, the team was up for the challenge.

In 2018, Freshwater Institute procured brown trout eggs from a Virginia hatchery. Over the next few months, the fish hatched and were successfully grown in Freshwater Institute's state-of-the-art aquaculture systems, reaching ¼ pound in just 7-8 months.

Why this project matters

In late May 2019, more than 10,000 brown trout were picked up and taken to a MD DNR hatchery for eventual Fall stocking, at which time they’ll be large enough to stretch a line and put up a fight on rod and reel. 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 plans to continue supplementing these colorful and highly sought after fish to the State of Maryland and its anglers in 2020 and beyond.