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A Stocking We Will Go.....
(or how do they get the fish into the lakes and rivers?)
You hear the stocking reports - you think, "Yes! I know they're in there... let's go!" But how exactly do the fish get from the hatchery to the lakes or rivers being stocked?
I had the privilege of watching Cherry Creek Reservoir being stocked with Rainbow trout on June 4, 1999. I asked the Division of Wildlife if I could observe the procedure and Cindy Regan, of the Chalk Cliffs hatchery, was very obliging. I waited by the boat ramp on the northwest side of the reservoir.
The DOW truck arrived at about noon - it's a pretty obvious truck -
big tanks on the bed. The stocker this day is Rod Lane, a DOW employee
for 28 years.
Next, Rod opens the the valve and out come the fish!
Today, Rod is releasing 652 lbs. of trout into the water. At an average 2.51 trout per pound, this equates to 1636 fish. And, this all happens in about one minute! The survival rate of stocked trout is close to 100%.
The fish are about ten months old and have been raised at the Chalk
Cliffs Hatchery (west of Buena Vista near the hot springs). Chalk Cliffs
raises about 800,000 trout every year. Stocking of these cold-water fish
takes places between March and July into various places around the state.
Cherry Creek is stocked with Rainbows about every 15 days during the summer.
The warm-water hatcheries also stock the reservoir.
When asked if his job is "fun", Mr. Lane responds, "Yes". I think it would be a pretty fun occupation. Besides stocking, he works at the hatchery and is a game warden (both hunting and fishing).
Mr. Rod Lane of the Division of Wildlife.