Trout stocking numbers up in West Virginia

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Two rainbow trout swimming.
Rainbow trout swimming. (USDA photo by Ken Hammond.)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced that the agency stocked nearly 130,000 more trout in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Between January and May, the WVDNR stocked 802,481 trout in lakes and streams around the state, which is a 19% increase over the 673,148 trout that were stocked during the same period in 2022.

Justice said in a statement that the increase is due in part to investments in hatchery infrastructure.  One of the most significant investments was the expansion of the Bowden Hatchery from 40 fish-rearing units to 60, which allows the WVDNR to produce an additional 100,000 pounds of trout. Other improvements have been made to the Edray, Reed’s Creek and Tate Lohr hatcheries to shore up fish production, as well.

In addition to hatchery facility improvements, the increase in trout production can be attributed to warmer weather during the winter months, which created ideal conditions for trout to thrive. It is important to note that the long-term growth of the trout population is dependent on various factors, including habitat, weather patterns and other environmental elements, the West Virginia DNR said in a statement.

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