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Pipe Repair Puts Mohave County Hatchery Back Online For Rainbow Trout

pipe
(Courtesy Hildy Angius - Mohave County)
Part of the new pipe setup for Willow Beach National Hatchery.

There may not be any gold at the end of this rainbow, but there will soon be trout.

A sporting-fish farm on the Colorado River in Mohave County has sat empty of rainbow trout for three years after a water intake pipe broke. Thousands of rainbow trout died off as a result of the failure. Now t he federal government has partnered with the state to restock the hatchery with trout.

Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery provided tens of thousands of rainbow trout for anglers on the Colorado until one of two water pipes broke in 2013.

The hatchery continued to raise native, endangered fish species.

After pressure from local authorities, the pipe was recently fixed for about a million dollars in an agreement with money coming in from Arizona Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.

Game and Fish aquatics manager Chris Cantrell said getting trout back into the river will boost the local economies of Bullhead City, Ariz. and Laughlin, Nevada.

“We know that over $7 million a year is driven around that river system just from fishing," Cantrell said. "So it’s a great economic, important piece to the viability of those communities.”

Cantrell said the agencies and Mohave County community worked together to fund and repair the intake pipe.

“What we ended up coming up with was an engineering design that was really driven out of some creative ideas from Mohave County engineers about a floating barge system to deal with fluctuating reservoirs,” he said.

Mohave County will provide $50,000 for rainbow trout to be stocked, and ready to fish by February 2017.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.