Rainbow trout won't survive summers in most North Carolina lakes and ponds, unless they are in the mountains. Trout require very high levels of dissolved oxygen. Our warm water temperatures during summer won't hold enough oxygen, plus the warm water causes the trout to respire heavily. (Remember fish are "cold blooded" animals and their bodies are the same temperature as the surrounding water.

Rainbow trout can dramatically improve winter fish production

  • Trout can be raised in cages during the winter for food and forage
  • Trout feed readily on pellet feed as well as insects and worms, and may stimulate bass to also eat pellet feed during winter
  • Allowed to free range, Trout provide high-quality food for trophy bass
  • Especially during the warmer months, Trout become sluggish when stressed by the warm water and provide excellent forage for bass preparing to spawn

Stocking Trout

Trout can be stocked in plastic mesh cages - which allows for some flexibility when growing food during the winter. Some people might double crop by growing channel catfish in the same cage during the summer. People will stock about 250 trout fingerlings (usually 4 -6 inches long) in a cage that is 4 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter. They are fed pellets daily when the water temperature is above 40 degrees F. Depending upon how much cold weather we have the trout often average well over ½ pound each (perfect eating size) by mid to late May when they usually need to be harvested. Some people even release a few trout from the cage for fishing fun.

Trout Influence on Bass

Trout that are not caged are allowed to eat natural food as well as pellets. Not much research has been conducted on bass being stimulated to feed by trout, however, it is very likely that trout feeding aggressively will promote the pellets and bass will follow suit. Bass usually feed sluggishly or not at all when water temperatures are in the 40s. However, the trout will sometimes jump out of the water hitting the pellets.

Trout Are Food and Fun

Bass can eat a very large trout because the trout have a slender shape and soft fins. The excellent food value from the trout help the bass have exceptional spawning seasons. The trout are also a heck of a lot of fun to catch on a fly rod or even small spinner baits. Once the water temperature rises above 75 degrees fahrenheit the trout will become sluggish and will eventually die if not eaten - however, this is seldom seen since trout is a popular food for both bass and humans.

For more facts about rainbow trout, check out the informational page at https://forum.americanexpedition.us/rainbow-trout-information-facts-photos-and-artwork

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