Many anglers assume all trout in southeastern Minnesota are stocked. This is not the case, as many trout populations are sustained by natural reproduction. In these streams, nature does the "stocking."
The DNR will stock rainbow, brown or brook trout in certain stream sections for three reasons:
- To supplement the population of catchable-size trout in heavily-fished streams.
- To provide a trout fishery in streams where trout have good adult cover but poor reproductive success.
- To reintroduce trout into streams that may once again have sustainable habitat.
Stocking trout fingerlings. Although a few rainbow trout fingerlings are stocked, most rainbows are stocked only as catchable size (9-11 inches). Brown trout are stocked primarily as fingerlings (2-3 inches) with some catchable size (6-10 inches) as well. State-owned fish hatcheries in Altura, Lanesboro and Peterson supply most of the trout stocked in southeastern Minnesota.