Trout stocked in Roaring River

The Roaring River Hatchery has stocked 6,000 trout for the 2,000 anglers expected to converge on Roaring River State Park Friday.

Now overseeing his third Opening Day, Roaring River Hatchery Manager Brad Farwell said on Monday the river is fully stocked.

‘We stocked 6,000 fish and 100 lunkers in the river, including in the catch-and-release area and the lower part of the river,’ he said. ‘We’re also taking down the off-season signs and putting up the in-season signs, and everything else we are doing is just routine maintenance.’

Farwell said the Department of Natural Resources is also doing a lot of park maintenance, things as simple as blowing leaves and picking up sticks.

As of Monday, the temperature on Friday is predicted to reach 64 degrees with sunny skies, which may bolster Opening Day numbers if warmer weather holds.

‘We think there will be about 2,000 people, and I guarantee you Saturday and Sunday will be super busy,’ Farwell said.

While the Hatchery stocks 3 fish per tag sold on Opening Day, stocking through the season will be at 1.8 fish per tag sold.

‘Last year, it was 1.5, and we normally stock 2.25,’ Farwell said. ‘With the project shutting down the hatchery at Bennett Springs, we will still have to reduce just a little bit.’

Farwell said Roaring River typically exhausts its supply of trout within the park, hauling in another 100,000 trout from Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery each year. With Bennett Springs’ needs, Roaring River is only getting 30,000 fish from Shepherd of the Hills.

Farwell said the Bennett Springs project is expected to last two more years, and a trout hatch takes another year to mature, so normal stocking will hopefully resume in 2026-2027.

Despite the lower number of fish being stocked, Farwell said he hopes anglers will be happy with the size.

‘They are huge,’ he said. ‘They average about 14 inches, and the biggest lunker was probably 7-8 pounds.’

Roaring River led the state’s three trout parks in tag sales last year with 1,931 total, 322 being child tags. Montauk State Park had 1,740 with 146 child tags, and Bennet Springs had 1,662 with 111 child tags.

Fishing begins at 6:30 a.m. Former Concessionaire Jack Nickols will fire the Opening Day gun.