Rotary Riverside Park gets 1,000 fish
By Greg Seubert
That’s all the time it took for more than 1,000 rainbow trout to find a new home in the Waupaca River in time for Wisconsin’s fishing opener May 7.
Tom Schlavensky and Elliot Hoffman released the fish May 3 in Rotary Riverview Park as part of the state Department of Natural Resources’ catchable-size trout stocking program.
Schlavensky and Hoffman, DNR fisheries technicians based in Oshkosh and Shawano, respectively, hooked a pipe to a stocking truck that contained the fish, which were raised at the Osceola State Fish Hatchery.
They ended up releasing more than 3,200 8- to 9-inch rainbows May 3 at four other locations on the Waupaca River in Waupaca, as well as Bass and Skunk lakes near Waupaca and the Pigeon River in Clintonville.
“Some of these lakes and streams don’t have natural reproduction,” Schlavensky said. “The hatcheries fill in and provide an opportunity for anglers for opening day.”
The daily bag limit for all trout on the Waupaca River in Waupaca is three fish and the minimum size limit is 8 inches. Brook and brown trout are also found in the river, which starts as the Tomorrow River in Portage County and eventually flows into the Wolf River between Fremont and New London.
The DNR’s original schedule called for the Waupaca River to receive 400 adult browns and 3,541 yearling rainbows.
Besides the Osceola hatchery, the stocked fish also came from the St. Croix Falls State Fish Hatchery in western Wisconsin and the Nevin Fish Hatchery near Madison. Additional fish were raised and stocked through cooperative rearing agreements with fishing clubs.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for anglers,” Schlavensky said. “Some of these fish are stocked around more urban areas, which should provide ample opportunities for people.”
DNR fisheries crews statewide stocked about 370,000 catchable rainbow, brown, and brook trout in time for the May 7 opener.
Other area waters on the list to receive fish include Johns, Lyman and Spring lakes and Redgranite Quarry in Waushara County; Adams, Spring, Sunset and Thomas lakes and Springville Pond in Portage County; Appleton Memorial Park Pond in Outagamie County; an unnamed pond in Winnebago County; and the North and Middle branches of the Embarrass River, the Red River and Korth Lake in Shawano County.
The trout stocked in Waupaca have a good chance of surviving if anglers don’t get to them first, according to Schlavensky.
“The bigger the fish, the better the survival,” he said. “These are pretty good size, so they should do well.”