Rainbow trout grow year-round in the cool stream water of the North Carolina mountains. Therefore, juvenile fish are available in North Carolina and can be stocked throughout the state in the fall to grow through the winter. We have found the trout grow very fast, are lots of fun to catch, provide excellent forage for largemouth bass and even make bass eat more feed during the winter. You can have fun with a fly rod or fishing pole during the winter and supply your bass with a spring feast just in time for bass spawning.
Many people are now stocking the trout for a combination of recreation and supplemental forage for their largemouth bass. Don’t stock many more than you expect to catch and remove or expect the bass to eat. Any trout remaining when the water warms consistently much above 70 degrees (usually some time in May through most of the state) will die. We have been surprised that the trout feeding on the feed pellets during the winter stimulate the largemouth bass to eat feed when they normally would be too lethargic in the cold water. As the water warms in the spring, many of the trout get eaten by the bass. Furthermore, the shape and soft fins of the trout mean a bass can eat a very large trout. Therefore, the bass are in particularly good condition for a good spawning season.
We have been supplying rainbow trout to customers in North Carolina for 30 years. Most of them used to be raised in floating cages as a food crop. Rainbow trout thrive when the water temperature is below 70oF. You can stock 6 – 8 inch fingerlings in late October and harvest trout up to 1 pound each in May before the water temperature exceeds 70o F. We suggest stocking up to 350 trout in a cage that is 4 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter. Feed them pellet fish feed and watch them grow. Trout are very easy to clean. Our customers usually raise the fish as a hobby. At harvest time they have a big cookout, fill their freezer or sell some to friends. We like to dip the fish out of the cage and into a cooler of ice. Then, we gut the fish, wash it, put it on a grill and baste it with Italian salad dressing until done. Simple and delicious!
Regardless of whether you want to grow some trout for food, catch some while fishing for fun or trying to increase your bass production, now is the time to arrange to get your trout. Depending upon the number you want, we can either deliver the fish for a fee or you can pick them up at our holding facility in Garner, NC after we pack them in plastic bags inflated with oxygen.
Foster Lake & Pond Management provides the full range of lake, pond and stormwater BMP services and products. These include: construction, repairs, maintenance, certified inspections, fish stocking, fisheries management, lake mapping, vegetation management, docks, fountains and aeration.
We have provided aquatic and stormwater solutions to our North Carolina customers for 30 years.