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Alabama Researching Lone Rainbow Trout Fishery

leah kirk

Anglers were treated to two stockings of rainbow trout in the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River below Smith Lake dam in June 2017. The fish were stocked at the Alabama Power Company fishing platform on the Walker County side of the river on June 15 and 22.

Twenty-two of the trout stocked in June were tagged with radio transmitters by Auburn University researchers to track their movements. The movement data will help the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries better understand the fate of the fish following the stocking. The research results will also be used to improve this unique fishery.

The next scheduled stocking of non-tagged trout is July 20, 2017. More tagged fish will be stocked in September 2017 and January 2018.

The tagged fish have a wire protruding from their abdomen and are safe to consume after cleaning. If you harvest a tagged rainbow trout from the Sipsey Fork, it is important that you keep the transmitter tag and contact Sarah Walsh with Auburn University at szw0099@auburn.edu, or 334-844-4231.

During periods of minimum water flow, anglers can wade the Sipsey Fork or fish from the bank upstream from the Alabama Highway 69 Bridge. Angler access is abundant from Cullman County Road 95, which parallels the river, as well as upstream from the Sipsey intake pump station. Prior to your fishing trip, please review the tentative operating schedule for Smith Lake dam at www.apcshorelines.com/our-lakes/smith or call 1-800-LAKES-11.