CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Department of Natural Resources says anglers should expect trout stocked in state waterways during the winter months to be smaller than usual.
A long dry spell across the state from late summer through the fall is thought to have impacted the average “catchable” size of the fish, Jim Hedrick, the division’s hatchery supervisor, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
When the drought broke in October, the hatcheries’ water supplies were replenished and allowed workers to begin feeding trout at the normal rate. But winter weather soon slowed the growth rate again, Hedrick said.
The growth rate is expected to return to normal as the weather gets warmer, he added. The division is also adding feed to try and increase trout size.
Hedrick said each of the 31 streams and 30 lakes designated for January stockings will receive as many pounds of fish as last year. And since the trout are smaller, the streams may actually get more fish than in years past, Hedrick said.
Hatchery trucks were scheduled to begin running late last week.