COOPERS PLAINS N.Y. (WENY) – Preparations are underway for the start of Trout Season in the Southern Tier. The fish hatchery in Bath is working to reel in locals, stocking creeks and streams ahead of April 1st.

The Bath State Fish Hatchery has been stocking trout across the region for the past couple of weeks. Stockings this Thursday took place on Meads Creek in Coopers Plains, hitting six different spots on the creek. Fish Culturist Charles Wlasniewski feels anglers should be ready to cast their lines this April.

“Your best chance to see them are in the first couple of weeks,” Wlasniewski said. “If you get off the beaten path, you can find them anywhere as long as the stream holds a good temperature.”

The hatchery dumped over 1,700 yearlings and around 200 2-year old Brown Trout throughout Thursday with the help of students from BOCES. Wlasniewski feels this dump has become a great lesson for the students, who have been learning the basics while helping the hatchery.

“We go over, not too much as far as the biology of the stream,” Wlasniewski said. “We do show them our stocking procedures, what goes into raising the fish, and stocking the fish here in the stream.”

Many BOCES students were enthusiastic to help the hatchery stock fish this afternoon. Carter Crooker feels helping stock Meads Creek is a great opportunity to learn about the industry and how it benefits the community.

“I think it's a great opportunity for us to see some of the things the DEC does,” Crooker said. “I think it's great for the fishing season as well.”

More streams the State Hatchery plans to stock this April can be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website.