The S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Freshwater Fisheries Section stocked about 13,000 brown and rainbow trout in the Lower Saluda River Dec. 13, 2011 using a helicopter and specialized lift bucket. The stocking benefits South Carolina’s $14 million trout fishery.

This year’s trout stocking is a cooperative effort between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Law Enforcement Division with SLED providing the pilots and helicopter for the aerial stocking.

Helicopter stocking allows DNR to better distribute trout up and down the river system and prevents the concentration of fish in any particular area. This will allow the fish more time to acclimate and disperse before anglers begin trying to catch them. The SLED aircraft also allows the DNR to be more selective in the type of habitat where the fish are stocked.

Here’s a video of the trout stocking in progres:

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