I have felt spoiled lately. I am able to fish, hike, and backpack anytime I feel the urge to get outside. Although I rarely stop and ask, "Who made this day possible for me?" So, when I heard the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife needed volunteers to help stock local trout streams, I jumped at the chance.
This was my first time helping with stream stocking, and like any new experience, I was a little nervous. I showed up to the scheduled meeting place, and was immediately put to ease by the great group of volunteers that had assembled. We talked about our favorite fishing spots and were eager to discover where we would stock trout that day, secretly hoping for private insider information that would help perfect our fishing strategy!
The hatchery truck showed up and we were off! The first streams we stocked were the Middle Fork Red River and the East Fork Indian Creek in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. These streams had easy drive-in access, so we used a highly technical method I like to call "dumping". Here is a short video of one of the volunteers at work:
Next we traveled to Swift Camp Creek. That's when things got fun! Access to Swift Camp requires a hike. We received a bag full of rainbows each to backpack in at different points along the stream. Once we found a place we thought would make a good trout home, we set the bag in the stream to allow the trout to acclimate, and after a few minutes released them.
My trout looking happy to be free!
Overall, it was a great day of volunteering! I was happy to give back to an area that has been such a fun place to fish, and look forward to helping in the future. If you are interested in helping with a local trout stream stocking I suggest talking to your local Department of Fish and Wildlife.