Beaver Creek / Education

Trout Stocking: Beaver Creek Revived

Nearly 500 rainbow trout ready for release in Beaver Creek.

Nearly 500 rainbow trout ready for release in Beaver Creek.

Restocking a trout stream holds rewards for all. It’s a time to commune with like minded folks all setting aside valuable time to replenish a source of education and entertainment, and an opportunity to learn a little:

  • Over time natural selection  and natural life expectancies take their toll and the trout numbers fall.
  • Weeks of absent rainfall left Beaver Creek in poor condition for stocking. Eventually and thankfully, enough rain and snow had fallen filling the springs and lifting the water levels long enough to call the stocking truck and chapter members out for a few hours of work.
  • Every body of water is somewhat unique in its geography. It takes knowledge, resourcefulness, sweat and sometimes a little ingenuity to accomplish the feat of releasing hundreds of eager trout into a new natural home. Are there easily accessible areas to get the stocking truck in? What about those harder to reach stretches? They must be filled less all the trout be concentrated at the bridges.
  • Female triploid trout (also known as 3N trout) are often stocked. They are sterile and so offer these benefits:
    • no chance of reproducing with native populations,
    • all energy is concentrated on growth vs reproduction resulting in comparatively larger trout faster and
    • flesh quality is typically better.

Fortunately, Beaver Creek has three to four bridges crossing the length of the fly-fishing only section. The stocking truck and a net man easily launches trout into those holds.

The truck carrying hundreds of trout from local hatchery greets the team.

The truck carrying hundreds of trout from a local hatchery greets the team.

Brian Trow readies a net release…

Brian Trow readies a net release…

…and a healthy group of trout enter their new home.

…and a healthy group of trout enter their new home.

For the sections that are not accessible by a truck; instead of traversing crop and livestock land and using a score of bucket armed men, Brian Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing shop created floating stocking boxes. Designed to float through the creek with a little help from team members the boxes made stocking, albeit a little laborious, thoroughly enjoyable. The process forces you into stretches of water that you may often overlook when angling.  And there’s nothing like opening up a box of trout and hand releasing them.

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Each floating box was filled to the rim with eager stockers.

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Steve Allen (Mass TU board member) and Mr. Coffman (landowner) take a last look at the stocking boxes.

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Craig Serrels, Mass TU member, releases a stocker into a new natural hold.

Jerry Black, Mass TU board member and Beaver Creek landowner Jason Coffman survey the final stretch.

Jerry Black, Mass TU board member and Beaver Creek landowner Jason Coffman survey the final stretch.

Free of the hatchery and the float boxes, three new comers meet Beaver Creek.

Free of the hatchery and the float boxes, three new comers meet Beaver Creek.

We eventually made our way down to the 257 bridge where Mr. Coffman and Bill Cartwright drove us back to our starting point across from the Ottobine Elementary school. All told the process took seven to ten volunteers and two to three hours. We spent the few remaining moments feeding the new comers their last taste of farm food.

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It’s natural food (well aside from the occasional fly) from here on out.

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C.L.

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