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December 9, 2003
You’d never know it to catch one, but there will be something a little different about a number of trout being stocked as part of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s winter stocking program next week. The 13,900 rainbow trout being stocked into eight lakes are part of a pilot program using commercially acquired fish rather than those grown in the state hatchery system.

The PFBC is conducting the pilot to examine the feasibility of augmenting stockings with commercial contracts. Tellico Trout Farms, a North Carolina-based hatchery, won a competitive bidding process to supply and stock the rainbow trout being used in the pilot.

The PFBC will examine the trout at the stocking site before the fish are released to ensure they are in good health and meet the Commission’s standards. The purchased fish will be in the same size range of the trout reared in the state-run hatchery system. All have been previously screened for chemicals of concern.

The pilot program for the commercial acquisition of fish is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure it can meet angler demand for stocked trout. Some 100,000 brook trout reared at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery near Warren, PA will be stocked next spring through a cooperative agreement between the PFBC and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“The state hatchery system faces major challenges in terms of maintaining adequate water supplies, treating effluent to meet new discharge standards and securing the funding for the infrastructure to make it all possible. By exploring alternatives for augmenting adult trout for our stocking program, the Commission is taking positive steps to ensure we can continue to provide the quantity and quality of trout Pennsylvania anglers expect,” said Dennis Guise, PFBC Deputy Executive Director.

The first shipments of purchased trout will be made the week of December 15 to the following lakes:

Waterway County
Lake Pleasant Erie
Twin Lake, Lower Westmoreland
Lake Rowena Cambria
Tuscarora Lake Schuylkill
Leaser Lake Lehigh
Levittown Lake Bucks
Lake Luxembourg Bucks
Stovers Dam Lebanon
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