The white Division of Parks and Wildlife truck bounced to the end of the Barker Reservoir inlet where a path of water moved through the iced-over creek. Brandon White and David Belford, DOW employees, brought 30,000 brown trout to the reservoir where they will grow up.
They are now about three-inches long. It will take 15 to 18 months before they are 10 inches, the required size before they can be caught. The wiggly little guys were brought up from Pueblo, where the hatchery needed room to bring in the walleye spawn. A trio of law enforcement officers watched the truck-to-bucket-to-creek maneuver while they talked fishing.
White used a net to haul the fish from the truck tank; He dumped the fish into a bucket which Belford walked to the water’s edge and then dumped the fish into the flowing water of the inlet.
White figures the fingerling trout have a 50 to 50 chance of survival. He said the fingerling eggs were taken from a wild spawn in North Park and raised for five months before coming up to the mountains. The youngsters will dine on small bugs and hope that their predecessors, lurking at the bottom of the reservoir, won’t see them and decide the baby trout would make a good lunch.
Nederland Police Sergeant Larry Johns said the last time the reservoir was stocked was back in October when 10,000 rainbow trout were transplanted in the icy Barker waters.