Trout stocking on Wolf Creek hits five-year mark ahead of trout opener

Published 5:15 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

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For the fifth year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has stocked Wolf Creek in Austin’s Todd Park ahead of the trout opener this Saturday.

Thursday’s stocking is the first of two rounds that will put 600 fish into the creek. Three hundred trout were placed Thursday with the second round of 300 to take place in the coming weeks.

“This has been really important to the community,” said James Fett, watershed technician for Mower Soil & Water Conservation District. “It’s really nice to have this opportunity to catch trout right here in town rather than a river much further to the east. Nice easy access for folks with disabilities and kids to catch some fish.”

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Fish were stocked at two points in Wolf Creek, which is a non-designated trout stream and is considered a put-and-take stream, meaning people are encouraged to keep the fish.

“It’s a unique experience in southern Minnesota for trout and that’s pretty critical,” said  Waterville Area Fisheries Supervisor Craig Soupir. “We don’t have a lot of trout options down in this part of the state so we have a lot of trout fishing. It adds to the plate of what people can experience.”

Fett, who has made a point of making it out to Wolf Creek each of the previous four years, said the reception of trout fishing in Todd Park has been a good one and that people are taking advantage of the opportunity.

“Usually on opening day when I come out, it only takes an hour to catch my limit,” Fett said. “When I’m out, there are about 20 people, but I’m only out for an hour.”

Soupir hopes that people make it out to Wolf Creek to take advantage of the fishing, but there are also some points he wants anglers to be aware of, including the kind of licensing needed for the creek.

Because it’s a non-designated trout stream, anybody can fish Wolf Creek without a trout stamp if they participate in catch-and-release, however, anybody keeping their catches are required to get a trout stamp.

Anglers 18-64 years old that will fish on designated trout waters must have a trout stamp validation in addition to an angling license and a trout stamp is required for anglers 18-64 years old to possess trout or salmon they catch on any Minnesota water.

Again, because it is a non-designated trout stream, anglers can use most all types of bait, including minnows, which are otherwise prohibited on trout designated streams.

“We don’t want to be bringing in some type of invasive or non-cold water species into a designated trout stream,” Soupir said.

While Wolf Creek has been stocked for several years now, the population of trout most likely will not be permanent. The streams with permanent populations are cold-water streams whereas Wolf Creek and the bodies of water connected to Wolf Creek become too warm during the later spring and summer months.

While there have been some instances of trout working their way downstream and into the Cedar River, the conditions make it unlikely that trout will establish.

“The issue with trout is they do need that cool water and the Cedar and Mill Pond warm up in the heat of the summer,” Fett said. “ We really wouldn’t see those trout survive.”

Trout anglers can find information on Minnesota’s trout streams and lakes on Minnesota DNR’s website ( Anglers will find helpful learning guides and fishing tips tailored to each of Minnesota’s six trout fishing regions. 

Anglers can also access StreamFinder (, which provides anglers with a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota, and is modeled after the DNR’s popular LakeFinder tool.