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Rainbow trout coming back to Red Clay Creek

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Rainbow trout will be making a comeback in Red Clay Creek in Northern Delaware this spring.


In the 1980s, state wildlife officials found the trout in Red Clay Creek were contaminated with pesticides like DDT.

Over the years, they continued to restock and retest. In 2016, they determined it would be safe enough to reopen a section of Red Clay for restocking and fishing in the future.

On Tuesday night, The Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish approved the state to restock rainbow trout in the creek for 2018. The trout will be distributed from the Pennsylvania state line to the bridge at Yorklyn Rd. in Hockessin.

Freshwater and Anadromous Fish Program Manager Mike Stangl from the Division of Fish & Wildlife, says it will provide more opportunities for anglers. It’s also a comeback story.

“I mean just the fact that it has been closed since the late ‘80s, it’s remarkable,” Stangl said. “And science has come a long too way with detection techniques. We can pinpoint these concentrations in these fish to very high levels and it gives us that confidence that we can open things back up.”

Todd Pride, a lead coach with the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program, says he’s happy to hear the creek will be restocked with rainbow trout. He sees it as a teaching tool for young anglers.

“A process where rainbow trout have been removed from a stream or waterway because of water conditions, to then being able to be brought back, that’s a really great resource for us to pay attention to and to participate in,” Pride said.

Delaware Fish & Wildlife staff will restock about 1,000 rainbow trout in Red Clay this coming April and May.


The state stocks about 27,000 fish in Delaware waters each year.

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