Monday, November 07, 2011

Trout Rescue

Each year, many trout swim into irrigation canals when those canals fill with water.

When the canals are drained in the autumn, the fish are trapped and then die.

Last week, Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy staged a rescue operation for rainbow trout trapped in irrigation canals. Working with the canal companies, they netted the fish as the water levels in the canals began dropping.

More than one thousand fish were rescued and transported to Crystal Creek, a newly restored spring creek located on Heart Rock Ranch.

In addition, the Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited has rescued more than four thousand fish this fall, which were released in Silver Creek and the Big Wood River.

Heart Rock Ranch was bought last year by Harry and Shirley Hagey, who acquired two ranches south of Bellevue to protect and restore the wildlife habitat and agricultural heritage on the properties.

Shirley is pictured above rescuing trout from canals.

Spring creek restoration was one of their first goals, and that project commenced this summer. The streams are already looking excellent. Now there are rainbow trout--fish that would have otherwise died--to inhabit these waters, tributaries of the Big Wood River.

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