A month ago I blogged about a Nebraskaland story that highlighted Fort Robinson as Nebraska’s Fishing State Park. Justin Haag wrote that story. At the time it was published, I knew there was a companion story to come. Well, it is here. This one reviews the history of the waters and fisheries around Ft. Rob, and the Crawford Fish Hatchery. Justin did a great job and it is a great story. Follow the link and read it!
Let me share some personal connections to the story. . . .
This will date me, but our Crawford State Fish Hatchery was still in operation when I started working for the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission. I did not get to work a lot with the personnel we had at that hatchery, but I got to know them a little bit. I can tell you those were sad days following the flooding that brought an end to the Crawford State Fish Hatchery. It took two natural disasters to bring the end to that hatchery–fires and then the flooding that followed.
Some of you will recall that we used to have a “Trout Stamp”. The Crawford fish hatchery was originally a federal installation, but the feds. decided they were going to abandon it. Operation of the Crawford fish hatchery was taken over by the state of Nebraska. The Trout Stamp was created to offset the costs of operating an additional fish hatchery.
I have roots in western Nebraska. I started my scholastic career in a country school in the Nebraska panhandle. No, it was not a one-room schoolhouse, but it was a country school. Spring of my kindergarten year our whole school took a field trip. We hopped on a train in Alliance and rode it north to Crawford. The tracks run through a couple of tunnels through the Pine Ridge. That remains as the only time in my life that I have been on a train.
At Crawford we had a picnic lunch in the park, the park where the Crawford fish hatchery was located. I do not remember if we were given a tour of the hatchery or not. I may have snuck over there myself. I do remember walking around the ponds, marveling at the big trout they had swimming there.
I am still fascinated by fish.