State Stocks Local Streams and Lakes as Trout Season Kicks Off

Jim Judson, a fish culturist for the state DEC, unloads trout into the reservoir earlier this month. Credits: Jodi Weinberger
DEC workers stock trout into the Croton Reservoir. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. - Ten minutes into staking their spot on the banks of the Titicus River in North Salem, Jack Newman felt a tug on his line.

It was unexpected, for sure, as trout season in New York State kicked off on April 1 to, yep, more snow. 

Even so, Paul Newman was excited to take his son, 10-year-old Jack, and his friend, Matt Fogel, also 10, out to the river.

Sign Up for E-News

When Jack felt the pull, he called out to Matt, who had never reeled in a catch, to help him pull the 18-inch trout the rest of the way.

“We do a lot of trout fishing, me and my son,” Newman said. “It’s an annual thing, but we fish all the time in these streams from April 1 and we’re constantly fishing at the streams around North Salem. We’ll do some of the ponds around here and we’ll fish salt water.”

Though the calendar says it’s spring, the morning Newman took the kids out fishing he had to shovel snow first to get worms for bait.

Plus, when it’s so cold, the trout stay near the bottom to stay warm and are sluggish, so to get even one bite was a challenge.

From the markings, Newman said he believed the trout was native to the river and not one of the 30,000 fish stocked in and around Putnam and Westchester counties last week.

At the end of March and into the first week of April, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) drove trucks full of rainbow and brown trout around the state, pouring out thousands of 8-inch and 9-inch iridescent fish into the rivers and brooks. 

The trout in this area are from the Catskill Hatchery in Sullivan County. The state depends on the hatcheries to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species.

In Putnam County, Croton Falls Reservoir was stocked with more than 6,000 brown trout and another 5,000 were stocked in Lake Gilead in Carmel.
In Somers, the Amawalk Reservoir was stocked with more than 2,000 brown trout. In North Salem, Titicus Reservoir was stocked with more than 7,000 brown and rainbow trout.

George Knoechel, a Carmel resident, has been volunteering to help with stocking the trout for 37 years. The DEC depends on locals like Knoechel to lead the trucks around to local rivers and brooks.

“It’s two-year-old fish we’re putting in the stream,” Knoechel said. “We’ll be finished at the end of May and then we’ll be trout stocking in Lake Oneida and salmon in the West Branch Reservoir, and then later on we’ll be putting in tiger muskies in Middle Branch, so it’s not just the trout; there’s other fish, too.”

The fish ready for catching now are two years old.

“I love fish and I love fishing,” Knoechel said. 

Trout play an important role not only for recreation, but for the health of the waterways, said Fred Henson, cold water fisheries unit leader for the DEC. The more native trout, the better the water quality, Henson said. 

“The best would be if you have trout that are naturally reproducing,” Henson said. “If we go do a biological survey and find baby trout that we did not stock, that’s top notch.”

This year, because of the nor’easters that blanketed New York in snow for most of March, the DEC and hatcheries are about a week behind in stocking the trout.
For them, the beginning of trout season is the culmination of their year of work.

“These guys do a lot of fairly unglamorous things most of the year to raise these fish, and when they get out in the field to put them out there, that is what they work toward all year round,” Henson said. “They get to interact with people at the hatcheries, but when they’re out on the road and putting the fish in the water is when they get a burst of positive energy from the people who see them.”

Newman said most people have better luck catching trout when it warms up because the trout start to move around more.

“When it’s warm, you can have better luck with your flies and lures that are more on the surface. When it’s cold, you have better luck with nymphs and worms more toward the bottom,” Newman said.

And when it’s time for dinner, Newman recommends just a little olive oil, butter and salt in a pan.

“That’s the best way to cook trout, I think,” Newman said. “I’m shocked we even did this well and got the fish because the April snow definitely made the water very cold and made it more difficult to catch a fish.”

For a full listing of where and when to go trout fishing and what permits and licenses are necessary, visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


America's Pizza Crisis

To me, pizza is the perfect food.

It contains all your major food groups: dairy, vegetables, bread and meat. It needs no alterations, no improvements, no changes. It is perfect in its pristine, glorious incarnation—unless you are in Chicago. I don’t know what the hell that thing is.

But like any good meal, the key to stellar pizza is the recipe and the quality of the ...

Old? Sick? Disabled? Die Broke!

Immediately after passing the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill last December—further enriching the “one-percenters” and exploding the national debt—House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to a throng of fellow conservative legislators in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as they congratulated themselves on their dubious achievement. 

“House Republicans will aim to cut spending on ...

A (Burnt) Toast to Love and Marriage, on the Rocks

In its first few moments, sitcom-style comedy “Clever Little Lies” grabs audience attention right away, with one of the most revealing wardrobe changes you’ll ever see on stage. It is done modestly but just provocatively enough to elicit vocal appreciation from amused patrons.

The fast-paced play, starring Richard Kline of TV comedy classic “Three’s ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Carmel Cinema 8, Carmel

Screening: “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”

Health & Wellness

Fri, July 27, 12:00 PM

Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park, Carmel

Putnam County 4-H Fair

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 10:00 AM

Hubbard Lodge, Cold Spring

PCDOH Free Rabies Clinic

Health & Wellness