For Immediate Release - April 06, 2010

Environmental Officials Stock Jamaica Pond with 915 fish

Students and municipal officials partner for annual rite of spring

Click here for photographs and video from the event.

BOSTON - April 6, 2010 - State wildlife officials and Boston school children ushered in the spring fishing season today, releasing 915 state hatchery-raised trout and salmon into Jamaica Pond in Jamaica Plain.

Energy and Environment Secretary (EEA) Ian Bowles and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin participated in the event, which is part of an annual effort to stock 500 Massachusetts lakes, rivers, reservoirs, streams, and rivers with fish raised at hatcheries operated by MassWildlife, a division of DFG.

"With the weather warming and our lakes and ponds brimming with fish, now is the time to get outside and fish, hike, walk, bike and enjoy Massachusetts' magnificent urban and rural open spaces," said Secretary Bowles.

Students from three Boston schools gathered pondside to help state and city officials stock 700 rainbow trout averaging 14 inches long, 75 brook trout and 75 brown trout and 15 Atlantic (broodstock) salmon weighing an average of 15 pounds. Fifty tiger trout, a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout, measuring an average 14 inches long were also stocked.

Statewide this spring, MassWildlife's stocking program, supported by state fishing license revenue, is releasing 540,000 brook, brown, rainbow, and tiger trout raised at state hatcheries in Sandwich, Belchertown, Sunderland and Montague. MassWildlife also raises salmon at its Palmer hatchery.

The fish stocked at Jamaica Pond today came from hatcheries in Belchertown, Palmer and Sandwich.

"Taking place annually from March into May at locations across the Commonwealth, fish stocking marks the beginning of a season-long pursuit of the perfect catch for both novice and experienced anglers eager to get outside and explore Massachusetts' lakes, streams and ponds," said Commissioner Griffin.

Lending a hand to release fish into the pond were students and teachers from Boston's John F. Kennedy Elementary School and Mary Curley Middle School, and the Dorchester Youth Alternative Academy. Boston City Councilor John Tobin and City of Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak also took part.

A natural pond believed to be tens of thousands of years old, Jamaica Pond is 60 feet deep and home to fish such as largemouth bass, yellow perch, and chain pickerel, as well as snapping turtles, crayfish, eels, and freshwater clams. The pond is a property of the city of Boston and is surrounded by parklands managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Click here for a list of all trout-stocked waters in Massachusetts . MassWildlife publishes weekly reports at the same web site each Friday detailing where fish were stocked in various ponds, lakes, and rivers around the Commonwealth. Trout stocking began in mid-March.