Homer Tinney is one of the Division of Natural Resources hatchery managers and knows as much about them as anyone in the state.
"In West Virginia, in our hatchery system, we have rainbow, brown and brook."
But they don't stay in the hatcheries long, Homer and his crew raise them from fry to fingerlings and then wait a little longer and get them into a river, stream or lake near you.
"We want people to catch these fish, that's why we are putting them out there. It's a sport, as a matter of fact, it's the biggest sport in the state of West Virginia right now, even goes past hunting. We want people to catch these fish, they pay for this program, there are no tax dollars here."
But there are thousands of fish here, which means there will be thousands stocked all over the state. There are three kinds of trout stocked, and all do very well in our waters.
"The way our stocking program works, there's not a hardier fish over the other. Out west you get these huge browns, our system can't handle that type of population and so they're pretty much equal all the way through. Sometimes it takes longer to grow a brook than a rainbow, rainbow grows the fastest because they're more water tolerant."
It seems most people have their favorite type of trout to fish for...the tough brown, the tasty rainbow, or the reclusive little native brookies.
"Native trout are in small, small areas and they don't get real big like hatchery trout do. The coloration is different. If you notice our hatchery brook trout, they all have white tips on their fins, our native trout don't. The brown is native from Germany and these are California strain rainbow."
And you'll find them in West Virginia streams all over the state.
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