CHARLEMONT, Mass. (WWLP) – Two times a year, MassWildlife will stock local ponds and rivers across the Commonwealth with hatchery raised trout. However, a recent study found that a majority of trout in the Deerfield River are wild and not hatchery raised.

Over the last four years, MassWildlife has been studying the Deerfield River and its brown trout population. While surveying the river near the Fife Brook Dam and Route 2 bridge cross in Charlemont, they discovered that more than 80 percent of brown trout are born in the wild. Due to this study, MassWildlife says they no longer need to stock that section of the river with brown trout.

“Fishing in the Deerfield River is better than ever, and anglers will not notice much of a change from the stocking adjustments,” says Adam Kautza, MassWildlife’s Coldwater Fishery Resource Project Leader. “We will continue to stock rainbow trout in this section of the river. Also, the typical allotment of hatchery-raised brown trout usually stocked upstream of the Route 2 bridge will still be stocked further downstream.”

Biologists will continue to release hatchery-raised trout in the lower section of the Deerfield River and see if they are making it upstream. Hatchery-raised trout are identified by a clip to their adipose fin.

“This will enable us to continue monitoring this area and we will know if any hatchery trout make the trip upstream,” says Kautza. “We will continue to monitor the trout population and reassess as needed.” 

Surveys like these help MassWildlife identify where trout stockings are most needed.