Trout Stocking

Trout being released into a river

The Wild Trout Trust are often asked for advice relating to the introduction of trout (stocking). We have produced a position statement (and summary document) to help people make an informed decision about stocking and the protection of wild brown trout.

The document was prepared by Dr. Paul Gaskell with assistance from other WTT staff and our volunteer Advisory Panel, and published in May 2012.

Wild Trout Trust - View on Stocking and Rationale

Wild Trout Trust - View on Stocking - Summary

 

 

The Environment Agency in England and Wales will require all farmed brown trout stocked into rivers and some lakes to be infertile (triploid) from 2015. Details are on the EA website - click here.

In this short video, Paul Gaskell outlines some of the risks and dangers associated with stocking rivers with fertile fish.

'Improved Trout Stock management' includes suggestions about how to improve your wild trout fishing opportunities:

 

Improved Trout Stock Management from Wild Trout Trust on Vimeo.

 

There are many more instances than are widely recognised to turn to habitat improvement and catch and release fishing for wild fish. The Wild Trout Trust will help you to find and use those opportunities.

 However, if you feel that, due to local constraints, your club absolutely must stock to overcome a complete lack of habitat or to support catch and kill angling. our advice to clubs who feel they need to stock farmed fish to overcome poor habitat or to support catch and kill angling is: 

  • Make adult habitat as good as possible in order to retain stock fish on your reach
  • Use marked sterile (triploid) stock fish
  • Set realistic numbers for stocking – no more than 1 fish per 50m2 of total river area.  
  • Stock small batches of fish frequent intervals.
  • Have designated stocked areas that cater for members who wish to catch and kill fish
  • Maintain catch and release, wild fish only reserve sections
  • Remove as many stock fish as possible at the end of the season. Do not feed fish over winter.
  • Team up with other clubs on your river and have a ‘joined up’ stocking policy

Further Information

The document above contains an extensive list of scientific references.  Many of these are available if searched for using an internet search engine or British Library Direct ; the summary for each paper is normally available to view free of charge and the whole paper can be downloaded upon payment of a fee.

The following are articles on the subject of stocking, written by Dr Paul Gaskell for Trout and Salmon magazine:

 •Let Them Get On With It (4 Mb) - Wild broodstock and fry stocking: all its cracked up to be?
No Sex Please - We're Triploids (3 Mb) - the benefits of infertile stock fish
To Stock or Not to Stock (4 Mb) - the pros and cons of introducing fish
 

The following are articles relating to stocking, previously published in the WTT magazine Salmo trutta:

  • Native broodstock: ‘Trout stocking – where do we go from here?’ Andy Thomas. Click here to download.
  • Science roundup: Trout genetics. Click here to download.
  • Science roundup: Origins of brown trout diversity. Click here to download.

 Other information relating to stocking:

 Environment Agency (England & Wales) National Trout and Grayling Fisheries Strategy, 2003. PDF

Environment Agency (England & Wales) Trout Stocking Policy leaflet, 2009. PDF

Professor Andy  Ferguson's report for the EA, 'Genetic impacts of stocking on indigenous brown trout populations',
2006 PDF 

Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned report no.513; Guidelines for stocking of fish within designated heritage sites PDF

Salmon & sea trout: To stock or not? A publication produced for the Scottish Executive by FIsheries Research Services PDF

Wild Broodstock Schemes: A Good idea? PDF