Pipe Repair Puts Mohave County Hatchery Back Online For Rainbow Trout

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, August 22, 2016 - 5:05am
(Courtesy Hildy Angius - Mohave County)
Part of the new pipe setup for Willow Beach National Hatchery.

There may not be any gold at the end of this rainbow, but there will soon be trout.

A sporting-fish farm on the Colorado River in Mohave County has sat empty of rainbow trout for three years after a water intake pipe broke. Thousands of rainbow trout died off as a result of the failure. Now the federal government has partnered with the state to restock the hatchery with trout.

Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery provided tens of thousands of rainbow trout for anglers on the Colorado until one of two water pipes broke in 2013.

The hatchery continued to raise native, endangered fish species.

After pressure from local authorities, the pipe was recently fixed for about a million dollars in an agreement with money coming in from Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.

Game and Fish aquatics manager Chris Cantrell said getting trout back into the river will boost the local economies of Bullhead City, Ariz. and Laughlin, Nevada.

“We know that over $7 million a year is driven around that river system just from fishing," Cantrell said. "So it’s a great economic, important piece to the viability of those communities.”

Cantrell said the agencies and Mohave County community worked together to fund and repair the intake pipe.

“What we ended up coming up with was an engineering design that was really driven out of some creative ideas from Mohave County engineers about a floating barge system to deal with fluctuating reservoirs,” he said.

Mohave County will provide $50,000 for rainbow trout to be stocked, and ready to fish by February 2017.

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