Trout Transportation


  1. Sturdy cooler or bucket with a loose-fitting lid.
  2. Ice made with dechlorinated water -- or -- ice in a Ziploc bag or 2-liter bottle.
  3. Battery-powered airstone


  1. Fill cooler or bucket with water from tank (be sure you can lift the cooler).
  2. Transfer trout fingerlings to cooler using a small net.
  3. Add ice to water -- but monitor the temperature, do not allow to dip too low.
  4. Insert and start airstone.


  1. Make sure the trout aren't in the bucket or cooler longer than they have to be.
  2. Make sure to have enough water, but not so much that the cooler can't be carried.

If you are traveling a long distance or are so inclined to fit a cooler to exactly meet your needs, you can try this design, submitted by Joe Mark, a TIC teacher in Vermont. (PDF file)

NOTE: Whenever releasing fish into ANY body of water, you must have state approval to do so.  If released into the wrong body of water, our small fingerlings can permanently alter an ecosystem.  Please contact your coordinator for more information, or, if you do not have a state TIC coordinator, please contact your local state environmental, fishing, or wildlife agency.


Once you’ve arrived at the stream or second tank, it is important to slowly acclimate your fingerlings to their new environment.  Monitoring the temperature of your cooler or bucket, slowly add water from their new stream or tank, one or two cupfuls at a time. The goal is to gently change the temperature of your cooler or bucket to near the temperature of the new water, allowing the temperature to change no more than a few degrees every ten minutes. Once the bucket/cooler temperature is within one or two degrees of the stream temperature, remove the fingerlings to their release container. To release the trout, lower their container into the stream and gently tip it to let them out.

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