Difference between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout

Difference between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout

Fly Fishing Basics

Wild Trout


Ask any Avid Trout Fisherman “What they would rather Fish for”, and I am sure that they would all tell you the same thing, The Wild Trout!!

Wild Trout are the Trout that started from an egg and hatched and grew in a Stream. These Wild Trout Grew to adulthood in the Stream without any Human influence!

Stocked Trout

Difference between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout Stocked Trout are Trout that were raised from eggs in Hatcheries. They were contained in cement troughs where they were fed and grew to a certain size then released into Lakes, Rivers, Ponds and Streams.

Trout, both Stocked and Wild have one thing in common, and that is the need for Cold Water.

A good majority of the Northeast Streams and Rivers, Lakes and Ponds tend to become too warm for the Trout to survive.

Stocked Trout are often put in these waters to provide more fishing opportunity.

These Stocked Trout will survive for a while but if they don’t find cold waters they will have a short life span.

Introduce a Kid to fishing

This does make it a good opportunity for kids to get introduced to Trout Fishing.

Since Stocked Trout have never had to find their own food they will often times hit on any fly thrown to them.

They are also most likely to stay in large groups due to always living like that in the Hatcheries.

Because of this you will see several vehicles waiting for the Hatchery Truck to arrive and do the Stocking of Trout.

This is another way to get kids interested in Trout Fishing because there is really no challenge in catching these Stocked Trout. In my experience, if a kid can actually catch a fish they are more likely to go fishing again and again!!

Cold Water StreamsDifference between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout

Wild Trout (unlike Stocked Trout) are only found in Cold Water, this is somewhat hard to do in New York State.

There are not that many Cold Water Streams here, but there are a few.

These Wild Trout had actually hatched from an egg in this Cold Water Stream and will grow up to be an adult here in this Stream too!

The Wild Trout also has a genetic trait that will allow them to adjust to environmental changes in their Streams (other than water temperature).

Stocked Trout…..not so pretty

Another thing about Stocked Trout, they are normally pale in color with a lot of flesh and fin injuries due to the cement troughs that they had been contained in.

The Beauty of the Wild Trout

The Wild Trout is much more colorful, their Fins are normally Brighter and not as damaged as the Stocked Trout.

The Wild Trout will stay somewhat solitary, not bunched together like the Stocked Trout.

The Wild Trout always had to look for their food so they are more picky on what they eat.

This is another reason why the Avid Trout Fisherman prefer the Wild Trout over the Stocked Trout!


This is another difference between the Wild Trout and the Stocked Trout.

The Wild Trout is much Stronger and Aggressive when it comes to taking the fly that you fooled them into striking

The Stocked Trout will normally just give up and roll over making it easier to get it into hand.

Difference between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout

The Wild Trout will grab and run and fight hard and strong every inch of the way, making it more challenging getting it into hand!

So I ask you; after seeing the differences between Wild Trout and Stocked Trout, which would you rather catch?

I know what my answer is and I am sure you would answer the same way if you were an Avid Trout Fisherman!

Go on the internet and look up the Stocking schedule in your area and get a kid out there to fish for those Stocked Trout!

Once you have done that good deed then do one for yourself and find a Cold Water Stream and target the Wild Trout, this will become a memory that you won’t soon forget!!

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