FOWP letter to MA Fish and Game on trout feeding and fisherman interest, Fall 2022
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
RE: White Pond Concord MA Trout Stocking Fall 2022 Request
October 2, 2022
Mr. Todd Richards, Assistant Director of Fisheries
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Dear Mr. Richards,
We are following up on your response to the Select Board dated September 29, 2022.
Thank you for correcting the information originally sent which stated Rainbow Trout had been stocked in Spring 2022. As we know, zero Rainbow Trout were stocked in Spring 2022.
We believe this helped contribute to the health of White Pond water quality for the entire summer. Our water quality testing shows an abundance of zooplankton, which were totally lacking in previous summers. We know that rainbow trout consume zooplankton, and the abundance of zooplankton lends credence to this impact.
Scientific evidence of trout feeding on zooplankton
We urge you to review the scientific papers that support this conclusion. This newer literature supersedes your response in 2020 about the lack of supporting data. In case this is new information, below is a brief overview.
The first article (Herrera Environmental 2021) was published after your response to the town. This study examined the effect of rainbow trout stocking on lakes in the state. Key findings of this study include:
● Liberty Lake exhibits standard trophic interactions with increased trout stocking decreasing zooplankton abundance and increasing phytoplankton biovolume.
● Stocking of legal-sized trout reduce zooplankton more than stocking of trout fry.
● Total phosphorus increases with trout stocking, possibly due to phosphorus in trout excretion or in increased phytoplankton biovolume.
They conclude that “...the analysis results indicate that algae blooms or cyanotoxin production may be significantly affected by trout stocking in some lakes.”
The second publication by Buddy et al. (2005) shows that larger trout are zooplanktivores. In your October 7, 2020, response to Michael Lawson (see attached), you state that the stocked trout are “...12-14” and sometimes larger” and “...are not planktivores.” Buddy et al. (2005) shows that trout in their study within this size range are in fact zooplanktivores. Herrera Environmental (2021) also state that “legal-sized trout” reduce zooplankton.
You mention sports fishermen wanting rainbow trout. Contrary to your letter, both residents and fishermen at White Pond report that the number of fishermen at the Pond has declined significantly over the years. One comment from an out-of-town fisherman standing alone was “there used to be people every five feet here.” Casual observations suggest that many stocked fish are not being caught and left to decay. This further exacerbates the nutrient levels in the pond leading to more active cyanobacteria blooms.
Friends of White Pond asks the Department of Fish and Game to refrain from continued stocking of Rainbow Trout in White Pond this fall and spring of 2023. We are following up on letters previously sent to Fish and Game requesting that White Pond is not stocked with Rainbow Trout.
We have been monitoring White Pond water quality and algal blooms all summer. The blooms were significantly reduced from Summer 2021. The lack of Rainbow Trout may have been a contributing factor to this success. Thus, we request to omit Rainbow Trout stocking while we continue to study and improve White Pond water quality.
We would appreciate a response from your office regarding this request.
Friends of White Pond
c/o Beth Kelly