Clendenin, W. Va. (WOWK) Can fish make a community grow? Well, the small town of Clendenin is about to find out.
About 1,350 pounds of rainbow trout were dropped into the Elk River Saturday morning thanks to the generosity of the Kanawha County Commission, Elk River Muskie Club, and 25045: A New Clendenin.
Local residents even got up bright and early to to help the Indian Lake Fish Hatchery stock the river, and some of the local kids were surprised by how big the trout were and the color of them. Some said they have never seen a golden trout.
The Clendenin community hopes that by stocking the river with trout it will bring in more fishermen into the area, and that will help revitalize the local economy.
“It brings in economy. People come into fish. They buy gasoline. They buy food, and we like having people at our beautiful river,” said Kay Summers, Clendenin Mayor.
Summers said the local community is still recovering from the horrific flood of 2016, which crushed the town’s economy and soul.
“It was devastating to our town, our businesses. People lost lives, so we are trying to rebuild from all that,” said Summers.
Kanawha County floodplain manager Chuck Grishaber said the trout may be the shot in the arm the town needs, as fisherman and local residents showed up with their fishing poles Saturday morning before the fish could even hit the water.
“A lot of people can’t make it to the mountain when they stock(trout) up there, and this gives the local anglers a place to come to trout fish,” said Grishaber.
This is Clendenin’s second trout stocking. The first one was in November, and Grishaber said this current stocking should keep fishermen coming to their small town until june.
“It’s just a good area. The river is beautiful up here,” said Grishaber.
The flood plain manager said the river also has Bass, Muskie, and Walleye.