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Grove Trout Rearing Station

This news release went out late last week.  Once again, I am just trying to spread the word. . . .

Grove Trout Rearing Station closing temporarily to visitors

July 22, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Grove Trout Rearing Station near Royal, Nebraska, will be closed to visitors until further notice due to upcoming expected high air temperatures in the area.

Trout have been experiencing some health issues as the water to the facility has been warming. Warm water holds less oxygen, which is crucial to trout production.

Additional stressors could further compromise fish health, prompting the decision to close visitation to this popular Antelope County destination.

“Game and Parks and the staff at the facility would like to thank the public for its cooperation and understanding,” said Greg Anderson, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Fisheries Division assistant administrator for fish production.

Grove is one of one of five fish-production facilities in the state managed by the Game and Parks. Learn more at outdoornebraska.gov/hatcheries.

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Like many things, I have heard all kinds of comments and questions since this news release went out.  Let me make a few comments. . . .

First of all, trout fishing on the East Branch of Verdigre Creek is still open.  The only thing that has been closed is public access to the fish hatchery.

When you concentrate a bunch of fish in a culture facility, there are disease threats.  On top of that, stressed fish are more likely to experience disease outbreaks.  Stressors for trout include warm water and disturbances.  So, for the time being, folks cannot wander around the ponds on the Grove Trout Rearing Station.

Trout are cold-water fish.  They require water that is both cold and well-oxygenated.  A fact of physics is that liquids have less capacity for dissolved gases at higher temperatures.  The maximum capacity for dissolved oxygen is less at warmer water temperatures.  Again, remember that less oxygen and warmer water are stressors for trout.  That does NOT mean that the hatchery or the East Branch of Verdigre Creek are not capable of supporting trout.  It just means we are managing stress and the potential for disease.

Grove Trout Rearing Station produces a lot of the catchable-size rainbow trout stocked around the state.  Many of the fish that will be stocked this fall are being grown there right now.  We need to keep those fish as healthy as possible.

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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