Go fishing, state encourages city anglers

Waters at four urban sites stocked with 1,500 trout

March 30, 2000|By Nora Koch | Nora Koch,SUN STAFF

About 1,500 rainbow trout found new -- and very temporary -- homes in four of the city's streams and ponds yesterday morning.

The state Department of Natural Resources stocked Patterson Park and Gwynn Oak ponds, the Jones Falls and Herring Run with trout for anglers to catch and clean for dinner.

"We want them out of here ASAP," said Bob Wall, recreational programmer for the city's Department of Recreation and Parks. Wall expects all the fish to be caught within two weeks; the four areas will be stocked again in late April.

The rainbow trout, raised in one of 13 state hatcheries, are 16 months old and average about a foot in length, but some are up to 18 inches long.

Anglers are limited to catching five trout a day at the city ponds and streams, and must hold a license ($10) and trout stamp ($5).

Trout fishing is allowed all year, with two restocking breaks, but March 25 is regarded as the start of the season.

Yesterday, 300 rainbow trout were transferred from large metal troughs to the Patterson Park pond. The first opportunity to catch the fish will come for young anglers Saturday at the city's fishing rodeo for children.

"They'll be good and hungry for the rodeo," Wall said. "We want it to be a day to take a kid fishing."

The Patterson Park pond will be closed to anglers until after Saturday's fishing rodeo. Wall expects about 150 children to register for the free event. Bait will be provided, and those who reel in the heaviest fish will win prizes.

Adults can fish during the rodeo if they are with a registered child, and the pond will be open to all anglers when the event ends at 1 p.m. The Gwynn Oak pond, Jones Falls and Herring Run are open for fishing.

The restocking program costs about $1.1 million a year, funded by license and trout-stamp sales and taxes generated from sales of boating and fishing supplies.

This spring, DNR will stock more than 442,800 adult trout in 191 Maryland lakes, rivers and streams, including the four in Baltimore.

"This gives an opportunity for inner-city residents who otherwise might not have access to this to fish," said Bob Lunsford, director of DNR's Freshwater Fisheries Service.

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