The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department will stock approximately 15,000 trout below Ft. Randall Dam.
If weather permits, the first stocking of trout in the boat basin below Ft. Randall Dam will occur on Friday, March 15.
“About 7,500 trout will be released on March 15 with the remaining 7,500 arriving on March 22,” Jason Sorensen, GFP Fisheries Biologist in Chamberlain said.
Trout are stocked annually below Ft. Randall Dam to provide a unique fishing opportunity in addition to other excellent fishing opportunities available in the area.
Crews from McNenny State Fish Hatchery in Spearfish will stock brown trout and two strains of rainbow trout below Ft. Randall Dam. “There are 5,000 each of brown trout, Shasta strain rainbow trout and McConaughy strain rainbow trout scheduled to be stocked below Ft. Randall Dam,” Sorensen said.
One strain of rainbow trout has been marked with a fin clip to aid in differentiating them. An on-going research project hopes to help maximize stocking efficiency.
“We will again be evaluating the return of these different species/strains to the angler creel to provide insight into which species should be stocked in future years to give us our biggest return for each sportsman dollar invested,” Sorensen said.
Monitoring is done over the course of several years to decrease the effects of variables such as weather and post-stocking survival. One main objective of the stocking is to return trout to the angler creel.
According to Sorensen, the trout range between 9-12 inches in length and bite readily, providing excellent angling opportunities for kids of all ages as well as adults. Excellent shoreline access and boat launching facilities in the area provide angling opportunities for both boat and shore anglers.
Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks