Newsroom Midwest Region

Genoa National Fish Hatchery shares the rainbows

January 31, 2020

A biologist holds a rainbow trout.
A biologist holds a rainbow trout. Photo by USFWS.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are celebrating the existence of 8,000 rainbows in the middle of winter. Those rainbows, of course, are rainbow trout, raised in the Coulee region of southwest Wisconsin at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. The hatchery received eggs from Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Montana. Due to good survival rates of the trout, Genoa had a surplus of eggs. This was fortunate because Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Missouri was limited in rearing space due to construction.

Neosho sent two drivers in December to pick up their new charges of 8,000 eight-inch trout weighing a total of nearly 1,800 pounds. The trout were loaded onto the trucks for a 12-hour trek back to the Ozark Plateau of southern Missouri.

There the trout will be raised for roughly another two months and stocked as 11-inch fish in Lake Taneycomo in Missouri, to compensate for the loss of a smallmouth bass fishery brought on by a federal water project at Table Rock Dam. Rainbows like the cool waters of the downstream Lake Taneycomo and create a very popular fishery there.

Plenty of rainbows remain in southwest Wisconsin at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. More than 30,000 still await spring trout season, when they will be close to 12-inches and waiting to fight their way into a lucky creel. The trout will help create recreational fisheries in midwestern tribal waters and ponds at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. The hatchery will also use the trout at their annual kids and limited accessibility fishing events.

Learn more about national fish hatcheries in the midwest.