Recently I went fish stocking at a nearby pond in Buena Vista. First, lots of volunteers meet at a local park to get their assigned locations and fish. All of the fish are cutthroat trout. We stock the fish so that there are more fish in our rivers for fishing. I ended up talking to District Wildlife Manager Randy Hancock. “I used to do this without volunteers, but that would take me about a week. It is so much easier with the extra help.” Hancock said. “We stock the fish this time of year because they have hatched over the summer. They are now old enough to survive on their own. We do not wait until they are full grown because that would get expensive in fish food. We over stock them because we know some of them will die”. Large lakes and rivers are stocked by trucks, airplanes, and helicopters.
The stocking location we were given was up Cottonwood Creek to Mineral Basin – part of the Collegiate Peaks west of the Town of Buena Vista. We were putting the fish in beaver ponds that are just at timberline. There are lots of willows that are about four feet tall and love to scratch bare legs.
An important thing to remember if you ever go fish stocking is to wear long waterproof pants and shoes because depending on what your location is, you may have to walk in scratchy, wet willows. This way you won’t be all scratched up and wet when you leave. If you have more than one bag of fish, that means two different ponds off the same road and you don’t want to be wet for your next location.
Overall it was a fun day with fish!