Massachusetts state and local officials on Tuesday gathered to release more than 1,200 state hatcher-raised trout into Jamaica Pond as they welcomed in the spring fishing season.
The event is part of an annual effort to stock the state's 500 waterways with fish produced at hatcheries operated by the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), according to an announcement Tuesday by Gov. Deval Patrick's office.
Local school children from the Mary Curley K-8 school in Jamaica Plain and the John F. Kennedy Elementary School took part in the celebratory "fish stocking" ceremony, as they stocked Jamaica Pond with 1,000 rainbow trout, 100 brook trout, 100 brown trout and 50 tiger trout, according to the announcement.
MassWildlife plans to release nearly 500,000 trout in rivers, ponds and streams across the state. The fish have been raised at hatcheries in Sandwich, Belchertown, Sunderland and Montague.
Jamaica Pond, owned by the city of Boston and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, is about 60 feet in depth and currently home to largemouth bass, yellow perch and chain pickerel, as well as snapping turtles, crayfish, eels and freshwater clams, according to officials.
"Our annual trout stocking at Jamaica Pond signals the beginning of the spring fishing season," Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said in a statement. "With warmer weather approaching, there has never been a better time to get outside and cast a reel at one of the many waterways across Massachusetts."
Added Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin, "The event is a great educational opportunity for the school kids and it highlights the fantastic fishing opportunities throughout Massachusetts. We hope this encourages young people and adults to get out and enjoy outdoor activities this spring, including fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing."