I hear the following all the time: “Oh, that’s a great place to fish, but most of the fish are stocked.” Or, “I caught a 20-inch rainbow the other day, but I’m pretty sure it was a stocker.”
Of course it was a stocker! Most of the rivers and lakes in this country wouldn’t have rainbow trout at all if they weren’t stocked in the first place. There would be no brown trout anywhere in North America were it not for stocking (at least not stocking that happened years ago). Some anglers have landed on a kinder rationalization for certain trout, calling those that were presumably born in a river “wild,” just not “native.”
Since when did a “stocked” trout become a second-class river citizen?