Fishing clubs build trout
Written by Rockford Register   
Sunday, 19 February 2006 10:53

Area anglers hope a little hard work last weekend will mean better fishing on Kent Creek in the future. Members of the Blackhawk Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Rock River Fly Casters and other Illinois chapters of Trout Unlimited constructed 20 trout "condos" at Lockwood Park, in cooperation with the Rockford Park District and state Department of Natural Resources.

The wooden structure will be installed in Kent Creek as part of a Rock River Water Reclamation District pipeline project along the creek near the Springfield Road bridge. They measure 9-foot by 3-foot and have an 18-inch opening between the tops and bottoms.

The structures will provide overhead cover, protecting trout from predators such as blue heron, and the project will help speed the creek’s current that will keep the water cooler, fostering more insect life and providing more oxygen saturation, according to organizers.

"There are some good (cold water) springs in Kent Creek," said Dan Sallee, DNR regional fishery administrator. "The temperature in the stream is too warm to establish a viable trout population in the summer months. However, by narrowing the stream to increase waterflow, the temperature may be cool enough."

Sallee, who praised the local volunteers’ effort, noted the Kent Creek project also will benefit other fish species besides trout.

Donations from Forest City Gear in Roscoe, the Blackhawk TU chapter and Rock River Fly Casters covered the cost of the structures.

"The vision is to continue this work above and below the initial area providing an opportunity for anglers to catch trout locally on a year-round basis," said Fred Young, Blackhawk TU chapter membership chairman.

 
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