HINCKLEY, OH – This week I had the opportunity to observe a few Cleveland Metroparks trout stockings. This was the final of two rounds of winter trout stockings that occurred at Wallace, Shadow, Judge’s, Ledge, and Ranger Lakes. I suppose I will state the obvious, now is the time to get to any of these lakes for this awesome annual fishing opportunity. Along with the sheer numbers of fish, there are some exceptional individual specimens that are worthy of trophy status in anyone’s book. If you read this post in it’s entirety, I will elaborate more on that.
I was surprised that the stocking of trout actually was quite laborious. It involved manually netting the fish and then lifting them into a large rubber trash can. After that, the trash can full of fish and water has to be carried down to the water for the release. I’m certain many of you assumed that it was just a tank that pulls up to the lake with a giant hose that shoots them in. I myself, assumed that from media I had seen online, and from watching an ODNR stocking some years ago at Swanton Reservoir in Northwest Ohio. While it does seem like ‘fun’ work, it truly was work. I only assisted on a couple trips down to the water and my back let me know it was work!
There wasn’t a single fish that I observed that wouldn’t have put a smile on a fortunate angler’s face, but there were some that would be extremely special catches. This included some Brown and Brook Trout, some Golden Trout (only at a few locations, not all lakes), and some of all species that were substantially large. While my personal target would be these special species stocked in lower numbers than the Rainbows, a giant Rainbow would certainly be exciting! I am always impressed by the overall quality of trout that the Cleveland Metroparks stock, and this round was no exception. I pray some of these fish have a future encounter with me in the coming weeks.
I remain grateful to the Cleveland Metroparks for their efforts to provide recreational opportunities. Specifically, their associates like Michael and Owen who carry out the mission so well. They are not simply astute and credentialed in their chosen field, but passionate fisherman too. I am certain this contributes to how these lakes are managed so successfully.
I hope all of you get a chance to target these fish and feel free to shoot me an email about how you do or leave a comment. Don’t forget to visit the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Blog to get fishing related news and view some of the catches. Finally, please consider making a donation to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund if you want to make a monetary gesture of gratitude – that also helps continuation of programs like these trout stockings.