ROWLESBURG — For 20 years Trout for Cheat, Inc. has been stocking Cheat River, said Lorenza “Buzz” Halterman, executive vice president and treasurer for the nonprofit group.
Halterman said the organization stocked 1,700 pounds of trout Thursday. He said most of the trout were between 1-1/2 and 3 pounds.
“There will be a few larger ones,” he said. “Last week, we stocked very large trout. A fisherman called me Tuesday morning, stating he had caught and released four- and five-pound ones.”
Halterman said Trout for Cheat stocks at 18 places on Cheat River, beginning at Riverview Lounge on U.S. 50, then north along W.Va. 72 at three places in Rowlesburg, continuing north at 14 places along W.Va. 72, to where the river narrows before reaching Pringle Run.
“The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 halted community services provided by the West Virginia National Guard ChalleNGe Academy and spring trout stocking ended too,” he said about the effect COVID had on stocking the river.
In a handout, Halterman said, “Fortunately, there was a group of workers, the Human Resource Development Foundation operating from the Old Rowlesburg School. They salvaged the Trout for Cheat stocking program. This group is a FEMA grant funded operation. They are locally supervised by Mr. Rick Waybright and do post declared natural disaster clean-ups. The workers have been removing blockage, doing stream-side rehabilitation, removing man-made debris, and other community approved work along Cheat River and its tributaries.”
He said the group’s work enhances and supports the mission of Trout for Cheat, Inc.
“They’ve enabled Trout for Cheat to continue with their stocking program. Thursday was the fourth stocking this spring, with one more to follow,” Halterman said. “The fall 2021 stocking is now in the planning stage.”
He said the Preston County Sheriff’s Department helps with traffic control on trout-stocking days.
Halterman said collaborative efforts by Trout for Cheat, Inc., FOC, HRDF, FEMA, state and local governments, and individual contributions make the Cheat River watershed a wonderful destination for all to enjoy.
More information about Trout for Cheat can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TroutForCheat/.
To contribute to Trout for Cheat, Inc., make checks payable to either Trout For Cheat, Inc., 200 View Street, Kingwood, WV 26537, or Trout for Cheat, Inc., P. O. Box 261, Rowlesburg, WV 26425.