I am frequently asked how soon we will get started stocking fish this Spring. Unfortunately, the answer is not as easy as just looking at the calendar and picking a date, we are stuck waiting for the right weather. Weather is the key driving factor that determines when we will get started because weather controls water temperature.
Water temperatures at or above 55°F are best for stocking warm water fish like Largemouth Bass, and Bluegill, so waiting for a little warm-up after ice-out is a good idea. For species like Yellow Perch, we are frequently waiting for ice-out on the northern ponds where these fish are produced; until producers can get to the fish, we are stuck waiting. So most of the time, we begin stocking fish in late April, sometimes a week or two sooner, sometimes a week or two later.
The timing outlook for 2019 is still up in the air a bit. We have had some very mild weather that got our hopes up for an early start, but now we are expecting a string of colder weather and the potential of a spring blizzard over the next couple of days. It is likely that we will be getting started during the week after Easter, some time after the 22nd of April.