BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – MassWildlife has begun stocking trout in Massachusetts lakes, rivers and ponds. Their goal is to stock nearly 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout throughout the Commonwealth.

Stocking begins in early March for the southeastern region of the state. Towns like Mashpee, Plymouth, Falmouth, Dennis and other Cape Cod towns have already been restocked. Once weather conditions allow, MassWildlife will begin stocking trout across the rest of the state.

“Anglers can look forward to another blockbuster trout fishing season. Thanks to our dedicated staff, the quality and size of the fish we are stocking this spring is exceptional,” said Dr. Caleb Slater, MassWildlife’s Chief of Hatcheries. “MassWildlife stocks these trout in more than 220 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, which helps make great fishing opportunities more accessible to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”

Anyone 15 or older is required by the state to have a fishing license before casting your line. You can buy one on the state’s website.

The trout are raised at five hatcheries including four locations in western Massachusetts, Palmer, Belchertown, Sunderland, and Montague. The most common fish restocked is the rainbow trout, more than 160,000 will be added to lakes this year. In western Massachusetts, fish will be restocked in the Chicopee River, Deerfield River, Otis Reservoir, Quabbin Reservoir, Pontoosuc Lake and many other locations.