The Troutbitten Podcast, Episode 4 is now available everywhere that you find and listen to your podcasts.
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Wild Trout vs Stocked — The Hierarchy of River Trout
Keep wild trout wild. Not all trout are created equal, and there are many differences in the trout we catch — in their appearances and their behaviors. Wild trout, stocked trout, holdover trout, fingerlings and club fish are very much a different breed — or at least they can seem that way.
My friends, Austin, Bill, Josh and Trevor join me for an honest discussion about the trout we pursue. All of us fish for every kind of trout on the list. And all of these trout hold value — but not equally.
We believe wild trout populations should be protected, wherever they are found. That starts by eliminating the stocking of hatchery trout over wild trout. And it continues by finding struggling wild trout populations and helping them out — strengthening their numbers by improving water quality and habitat. Neither government nor private organizations should be permitted to stock over established wild trout populations. Full stop.
Why does a wild trout matter? Because it’s real. Because it’s adaptable. Because it holds the evolutionary genetics for surviving in its own river system. Because it is a strong, lasting creature. Because wild trout are (most often) more challenging to catch. Sometimes they’re harder to find. Because they are survivors. Because they are a symbol of nature’s persistence against human intervention. And a wild trout, in all its beauty, is . . . simply . . . wild.
In this episode, we talk about each of the five kinds of trout that we catch, because this hierarchy holds up all across the country, not just here in Pennsylvania.
- Wild Trout
- Club Fish
All trout have value. And if you are having a great time catching trout, well, that’s the point. And that’s excellent. Enjoy it. Get out there, fish hard and have fun.
And yet, there’s also nothing wrong with addressing this topic and understanding that there are major differences in the trout we catch. Stocked trout are often nothing like their wild counterparts. This is true.
We discuss the following:
- The harm done by stocking over wild trout
- Stocked trout habits
- How to tell the difference
- The important value of stocked fish
- How club fish set up expectations
We believe that wild trout, wherever they are found, should be kept wild and given a chance. It’s important to recognize the exceptional value of wild trout and to understand the limited value of the stocked trout. We should not get them confused. By pushing for regulations that protect wild trout and enhance their habitat we can prepare a better future. By choosing to showcase wild fish over hatchery fakes we send a signal.
Value the wild trout. Protect it. Catch it, and release it. And yes, value the stocked trout for what it is.
READ: Troutbitten | The Hierarchy of Trout In Pennsylvania
READ: Troutbitten | Posted — Club Fish — 2065
READ: Troutbitten | Why Wild Trout Matter
READ: Troutbitten | What Happened to Laurel Run? The Story of a Stocked Trout Stream and a Fisherman
READ: Troutbitten | Does a Stocked Trout Ever Become Wild?
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Fish hard, friends.
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Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N