My friends and I have been at boat ramps and we have seen all those truck trout roaming around in schools after they are dumped into the water, and we couldn’t help but wonder what is wrong with these fish? Why don’t they just swim off into the depths and get away from people who are catching them.
I know that I have wondered about this time and time again and lately I started thinking hard about it. I think I might have come up with an answer to this question.
I know that salmon go up stream to spawn and lay eggs. These eggs hatch and some of these fingerlings end up out in the ocean where they become mature and then they travel back through the ocean waters back to the exact stream that they were born to repeat the process.
I know steelhead in the Stanislaus River are just trout that go to the ocean and come back up to the fresh water in the river to spawn, similar to a salmon, so I can assume that trout raised in captivity must have some kind of homing instinct, also.
We have all these trout that are dumped from a truck in water that they have been raised in to water that is unfamiliar to them. I figure that the trout roam around in the area where they are dumped, because there is only a small amount of water they can relate to: the water they were brought there in.
This is my theory, as it seems to take a couple days or so for the water they were raised in to dissipate out into the lake or wherever they are planted and then the trout disappear from that area.
I have no idea if this is true or not, but I do know that after a hatchery truck dumps a load of trout at a boat ramp, the bank fishermen usually do real good there for a day or two.
For fishermen who like to catch planted trout you might want to check this website out before you go on your next fishing outing. www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/FishPlanting