The Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in early February committed to releasing 1,000 rainbow trout into the Colorado River near Willow Beach Marina every Friday.
A new pump and conveyance system was installed to deliver cold water to the federal fisheries facility, providing for proper trout growth. The stocked fish will be around 12 inches long. This weekly stocking schedule will continue year-round.
“It gives me no small delight to see rainbow trout come back into production at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery,” said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Region. “Many concerned folks put their shoulder to the wheel to see this through—to design and build a new water conveyance system, and jumpstart trout production with fish from our state partners. The hatchery once again serves the angling public.”
At Willow Beach, anglers will find an accessible fishing pier just downstream from the hatchery that is open 24 hours a day, along with a fish-cleaning station. The marina store sells fishing supplies and bait.
“Not only Forever Resorts, but our loyal visitors, are excited to see the hatchery resume stocking. This was an amazing effort by the stewards of the river,” said Rod Taylor, regional vice president, Forever Resorts.
Along with trout, anglers may also catch striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye and crappie from the Willow Beach area.
The first batches of rainbow trout to be stocked were secured by a partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The hatchery has also started raising rainbow trout from the egg stage.
The hatchery, built in 1959, is located 12 miles downstream of Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of the Colorado River within Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It is one of 70 other such facilities in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System.
To obtain a fishing license, visit https://www.azgfd.com/license.