Being from West Virginia, I have grown up doing activities outside such as fishing, hiking and camping. I am a frequent fisherman and I also spend a lot of time on my kayak when the weather permits. I believe that the preservation of our wildlife and environment is extremely important. It is not uncommon for a field trip in West Virginia to take place in the great outdoors. For my junior year of high school, a group of kids from my class took a trip to the cheat river, which is located in the Northern part of the state. The cheat river is known for its strong current and beautiful scenery. When people go fishing here, it is not uncommon to catch a trout. In fact, our state’s fish is the Brook Trout. These are the types of trout that our group helped stock into the Cheat River. The Brook Trout is a pretty decent sized fish and can get up to 16 inches in certain areas (U.S. National Park Services). The trout that are being stocked come from fisheries in the area. The fisheries bring the fish in big trucks that have large coolers in the truck bed. Before we started the trout stocking, we could hear the fish moving around in the coolers. You could tell that they were eager to get into the river. When stocking any fish, you do not just dump them all in one place in the river. We started at one location and after stocking so many fish, we moved down the river. I believe that on our trout stocking trip we stopped at about six different locations along the cheat river. The West Virginia DNR also posts a trout stocking schedule on their website, along with the locations that the trout will be stocked. We got the fish from the coolers and put them into large buckets. Each bucket had two to three fish in them. Some fish were probably around five inches long, where some were at least six or seven inches long. The strategy was to walk to the edge of the river and toss the fish as far as you could, so that they could get into the deepest water possible. Some people had issues doing this because the fish were flopping around so much. After all of the fish were out of the truck and into the river, I felt very happy. It was a fun experience that I hope to participate in again someday. Although these trout would have gotten stocked with or without my help, it was very cool to be a part of the process. We take so much from the environment and it felt good to put something back into it.
United States. National Park Service. “Brook Trout.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017
This sounds like such a cool experience. Thanks for sharing, Russ!