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Chasing Rainbows – Kentucky Fish and Wildlife continue to stock Rock Creek with rainbow trout

By: Eugenia Jones

The cold waters of Rock Creek are still thriving with rainbow trout as Kentucky Fish and Wildlife personnel, along with members of the U.S. Forest Service, recently released more of the prized fish into the pristine waters of McCreary County’s premiere trout fishing stream.


Another stocking of rainbow trout took place in Rock Creek recently.

The released rainbow trout began their life process in the form of fertilized eggs at brood stock hatcheries in West Virginia, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Montana.  They were then shipped to Wolf Creek National Hatchery in Jamestown, Kentucky to be disinfected and hatched.  The tiny fish were cared for at the hatchery until they became fingerlings of approximately three inches in length.  Next, they were released and cared for in outdoor raceways until they became at least eight to ten inches long.  The rainbows were then ready to be transported in hauling trucks, equipped with special oxygen-providing aerators, to streams, lakes, and tail waters throughout Kentucky, including McCreary County’s Rock Creek.

At several different points along Rock Creek, the hatchery truck stopped to allow KFW and Wolf Creek Hatchery employee, Chris Murphy, to climb to the top of the truck and net out buckets of rainbow trout.  With KFW’s John Williams, Danny Parks, Dirk Bradley and the U. S. Forest Service’s Dustin Shannon carrying buckets of fish and releasing them into the stream, it didn’t take long for Rock Creek to be well stocked with rainbows.

Upon their release, the rainbows, with distinctive red stripes on their sides shining through the clear water, got their first taste of freedom in McCreary County.

Typically, Rock Creek is stocked eight times throughout the year.  Stocking does not occur in July and August because the water is too warm for the hardy fish who must have cool water to survive.  Stocking usually does not occur in January and February.

Due to its easy access and beauty, the Rock Creek stream provides an excellent fish opportunity, especially for families.  Many people come from across the state and nation to fish at Rock Creek.


Dirk Bradley, Lt. Stuart Bryant, Dustin Shannon, Chris Murphy, John Williams, and Danny Parks.

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