The silver-and-red rainbow trout fought hard, running up and down a pool on the Schroon River before making its way to the angler’s net. Seconds later, it was darting back into the chilly water of the Schroon to fight another day.

It’s a scene that plays itself out thousands of times in the spring and summer on the Schroon River, one of Warren County’s most popular trout streams. But thanks to an increased stocking effort from Warren County Fish Hatchery staff, trout season in Warren County now extends well into fall.

In mid-October, Warren County Fish Hatchery staff stocked 4,450 rainbow and brook trout, averaging about 13 inches, in three waters – Schroon River, Hudson River and Glen Lake.

The fall stocking program came about as a way to get “excess” trout out of the hatchery before winter. But as it became clear that the effort was greatly appreciated by fishermen and women, the Warren County Fish Hatchery team decided to make it an annual program.

“It provides a resource for anglers in the Fall and it has been pretty popular,” explained Jeff Inglee, manager of Warren County Fish Hatchery.

Recent NY State Conservation Law changes by New York State, which created a year-round “catch and release” season for trout fishing when previously the season ended October 15th  each year, has expanded fishing opportunities for fishermen and women in the fall as well.

(The Schroon is a river that is one of a small number of waters that is open for trout fishing year-round, so anglers can keep what they catch there in the fall.)

The fall stocking effort in Warren County is just part of what the hatchery’s staff is up to this time of year.

They also work with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s “heritage strain” brook trout program, an effort to make sure that the brook trout native to the Adirondacks remain in our waters.

The DNA of these native fish has been identified, and Warren County Fish Hatchery has been raising the Horn Lake strain (one of three strains native to the Adirondacks that are being preserved) to assist the DEC in keeping the strain alive.

That collaboration with New York State resulted in 18,800 one-year-old Horn Lake strain brook trout being stocked this fall in trout ponds around the Adirondacks, including several in Warren County.

If you have never caught one of these beautiful speckled trout, you are missing out on one of the most colorful fish you can find.