It may still feel and look like winter in much of the region, but the trout opener is just a week away.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation will stock a number of area streams before the April 1 rite of spring, most of them in Saratoga County. The Kayaderosseras Creek is always stocked before the opener, and others like the Snook Kill, Glowegee Creek and Cole Brook usually are too.
Streams to the south are a few degrees warmer this time of year than those elsewhere in the Adirondacks, and those few degrees makes a big difference to hatchery trout that aren't reared in water as cold as out area's snowmelt-swollen rivers.
DEC senior aquatic biologist Emily Zollweg said this week that there won't be any noticeable deletions or additions to the state trout stocking list. And there will be about the same number of state trout stocked this spring as last, she said.
The difference anglers in Warren County will notice is the size and number of the trout that will be produced by Warren County's fish hatchery.
Zollweg said the hatchery asked to raise fewer trout this year, but let them grow bigger than they have been the last few years. That means instead of 7 or 9 inches, they should be an inch or so bigger and a bit stockier (no pun intended).
The county hatchery will stock about 5,000 fewer rainbow trout and 3,000 fewer brook trout this spring and probably next as well, she said. The drop in numbers will be spread out among the two dozen or so waters that are stocked.
For a complete list of waters where trout are stocked locally, click here.
-- Don Lehman