I am not even sure anymore of all the methods used to put hatchery trout into lakes. I do see the occasional tanker truck back up to a boat ramp and shoot out hundreds of assorted sized fish. I recall seeing a plane bomb a lake in the Wallowa’s Eagle Cap Wilderness almost 40 years ago with brook trout. And, I know a man that use to pull a string of pack mules into Cascade lakes in the 50’s with tin containers of small trout. These methods for putting in hatchery trout are still used in parts of the country. But, given the economic times and fuel costs (helicopters/planes/tankers), I know there is an old fashioned way being used these days.

A friend and supporter of SwittersB is participating in a ‘backpack the fish in’ exercise in Oregon this weekend. An old, large compartment framed pack is called for. From there an ODFW worker inserts a durable plastic container and the fish and enough water are introduced to the pack’s compartment to sustain the fish. A 6 mile hike into a nearby lake is the target. Stout legs going in and a light load coming out. What could be better. Check your local fishery programs for similar outings where the put ‘n take trout are stocked and not adversely effecting native species through escapement. 

Here is an except from the Eugene Register Guard in July, 2010 about the program: “About 150 other volunteers did the same, keeping up a nearly 30-year tradition of volunteers — usually the anglers themselves — stocking the high lakes they love, or at least the lakes they’ve always wanted see.

It began at 9 a.m. on July 17 at Oakridge’s fish hatchery, which sits just off Salmon Creek, near the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. First Roberts and Gore met Erik Moberly, the ODFW employee in his fourth year as head organizer for the volunteer stocking event, which runs every other year, with lakes being stocked by helicopter in the off years.”