State and City Officials Join Students for Annual Fish Stocking at Jamaica Pond
BOSTON - April 14, 2011 - State environmental officials, along with city officials and Boston-area school children ushered in the spring fishing season today, releasing over 1,150 state hatchery-raised trout and salmon into Jamaica Pond in Jamaica Plain.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary (EEA) Richard Sullivan and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin were on hand for the event, which is part of an annual effort to stock 500 Massachusetts waterways with fish produced at hatcheries operated by MassWildlife, a division of DFG.
"With the warm weather approaching, it's a great time to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty and great fun Massachusetts has to offer," said Secretary Sullivan. "Fishing is one of many outdoor opportunities available around Massachusetts - and our annual trout stocking at Jamaica Pond is a rite of spring."
Students and teachers from the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Curley K-8 School and Dorchester Youth Alternative Academy assisted state and city officials in stocking the pond with 900 rainbow trout, 100 brook trout, 100 brown trout and more than a dozen 15-pound Atlantic salmon. Also added were 50 tiger trout - a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout - which measure an average of 14 inches long.
"Fish stocking is a great hands-on way to educate youth about fish, aquatic environments, and the importance of protecting our natural resources," said Commissioner Griffin. "One of our priorities is to help children establish connections to the natural world and greater appreciation and understanding of our natural heritage."
This spring, MassWildlife's stocking program, supported by revenue from state fishing licenses, plans to release 529,000 trout - raised at state hatcheries in Sandwich, Belchertown, Sunderland and Montague - across the Commonwealth.
City of Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollack, Boston City Councilor Matt O'Malley and Boston Energy and Chief of Environmental Services James Hunt also lent a hand in the stocking.
"Mayor Menino and I commend Secretary Sullivan for continuing to partner with the city in expanding environment education and recreation opportunities for the people of Boston," said Chief Hunt.
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.
. 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.