Willow Beach, Ariz. – After a three-year hiatus, catchable-sized rainbow trout from Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery (NFH) will return to Colorado River waters downstream of Las Vegas.
The hatchery will release 2,500 rainbow trout into the cold waters below Davis Dam on Jan. 12. The trout measure up to 12 inches long. Davis Camp and Bullhead City Park will be stocked once more in January, three times in February, four times in March, and once in April, for a total of 25,000 rainbow trout.
The Willow Beach area immediately downstream of the hatchery will be also stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout every Friday starting Feb. 3. This weekly stocking schedule will continue year-round.
Rainbow trout production recently restarted at Willow Beach NFH after securing a reliable water source. A new pump and conveyance system delivers cold water to the federal fisheries facility that is needed by trout for proper growth.
"It gives me no small delight to see rainbow trout come back into production at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery," said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Region. "Many concerned folks put their shoulder to the wheel to see this through—to design and build a new water conveyance system, and jump-start trout production with fish from our state partners. The hatchery once again serves the angling public."
The first batches of rainbow trout to be stocked were secured by a partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). The hatchery has also started raising rainbow trout from the egg stage again. In December of 2016, more than 110,000 rainbow trout eggs arrived from Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Montana. Those eggs have since hatched and quickly transformed into young trout to be stocked later.
During the three-year hiatus of trout coming from the hatchery, the AZGFD continued stockings made possible by donations from local pest abatement districts.
The hatchery, built in 1959, is located 12 miles downstream of Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. It is one of 70 other such facilities in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Hatchery System.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The USFWS is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.
For more information on the USFWS's work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southwest
Mark Olson, USFWS
(928) 767-3456 x200; cell: (928) 580-2561
Craig Springer, USFWS
Nick Walter, AZGFD
(623) 236-7214; email@example.com