Businesses Stocking Valuable Tagged Trout in the Greenbrier River near Marlinton
Cara Rose of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau put us onto a fascinating fishing story. It seems that local businesses and individuals have put together their own trout stocking program for the Greenbrier River near Marlinton. The effort is led by Chuck Workman of Appalachian Sport and Brian Tankersley who works for Mitchell Chevrolet. According to Cara Rose, some of the donations, including $500 by the Convention and Visitors Bureau and $100.00 by the Chamber of Commerce have been in the memory of avid fisherman and local business owner Larry Garretson. To learn more about the private trout stocking program, we talked with Chuck Workman.
We asked Chuck about how the program began.
“Basically four years ago, the guys at Mitchell Chevrolet and I were just having a conversation and Sam Mitchell says what do you think about stocking the Greenbrier and I said let’s do it” Chuck said. “So that’s how it started – a simple conversation and we’ve been stocking it for about four years and we were fortunate enough this year that the DNR saw the value in it the last three years of us stocking it and they picked up and started stocking it. They did four early stockings; January, February, March and April then we stocked it twice since then.”
Chuck went on to explain the unique incentive they’ve added to their trout stocking.
“The neat thing we’re trying to get going now are the tag trout” Chuck said. “We’ve tagged about forty-five trout the last two stockings. So we have a little program where if they catch a tagged trout–it’s a little orange tag with numbers on it – and they can bring it in to Appalachian Sport and we have various gift certificates at various businesses –generally in the twenty-five dollar range. And we’ve had pretty good support with that. I haven’t gotten around to asking a lot of the other businesses to participate, but plan to do that. So far we’ve collected about eleven tags back”
Chuck encourages other businesses to help out with this community effort.
“Any businesses that are listening, if you want to participate, give me a call at Appalachian Sport” said Chuck. “We’d love to have you and I think we’re going to grow this thing an it’s starting to get really popular. So every year we have a different colored tag. The orange this year are good for 2018 and so if you’d like to donate a twenty-five dollar gift certificate, we’d love to have you participate. The businesses we’ve had so far are Little General; Southern States; IGA; Woodford Oil; Foxfire Grill; Jack Horner’s Corner; Kanawha Regional Aviation donated a couple of gift certificates at Appalachian Sport; Dairy Queen; The Mens Shop; Buckeye Country Mary; Mitchell Chevrolet; and I threw several gift certificates from Appalachian sport in the mix too.”
I asked Chuck about how popular this has been.
“It’s been pretty well received” Chuck replied. “I’d really like to keep this going so when people think about the Greenbrier River in Marlinton, they think ‘Wow, there’s tagged trout there and we can go catch em and get a prize out of it.’ So it really seems to be catching on.”
Chuck talks about the number of trout that have been stocked.
“Each stocking we’ve put in three to four hundred trout right here in Marlinton” Chuck said. “So we have forty-five tagged trout, eleven of those have been caught so that tells us that out of the six or seven hundred trout we’ve put in there, there should be four or five hundred left in there if it’s relative to the number of tags that get turned in and it should be, so there ‘s lots of trout still in there.”
Stocking trout is expensive, how do they pay for this?
“We’ve had some good fundraisers” Chuck explained. “We did a raffle and raised about $5000.00. And we’ve been putting anywhere from three to four thousand dollars worth of trout in every year and we’ll have some money left over for next year already. And the people have been great to help out with the fundraisers. Again, Mitchell Chevrolet plays a big part and I do all I can for it because it’s really good for me but I think it’s really good for the rest of the Town too. It’s nothing better than seeing kids out there fishing on a Friday evening and that’s what it’s all about.”
I asked about the DNR Trout stockings in the Greenbrier.
“They did four stockings this year” Chuck said. “And they actually stocked right here in Marlinton and they stocked some trout in Seebert also. It should be really good fishing right now.”