Sand Lake trout release provides reel fun

When Tom Rohde of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources arrived at Sand Lake Friday morning with 2,000 rainbow trout in his truck for a release event, he instantly became a pretty popular guy.

“I’m kind of like the green Santa Claus,” said Rohde, a fisheries technician with the DNR.

Rohde brought the fish from the Manchester Fish Hatchery to Sand Lake and used a hose and a net to place them in the water.

More than 100 anglers were ready for the release and more are expected throughout the next few weeks to take advantage of the high trout numbers.

One angler in attendance was Kendall Starits of Marshalltown. Approximately 20 minutes into the event, Starits caught his first trout of the day. One minute later, he reeled in his second.

“I found what it takes I think,” Starits said after putting the second trout in his cooler.

Mike Stegmann, director of the Marshall County Conservation Board, was pleased with the number of people who were fishing at the event.

“We’re trying to entice some new people to fishing,” Stegmann said.

It usually takes the fish 20 minutes to get acclimated to their surroundings before they start looking for food. They arrived plenty hungry Friday.

“We try not to feed them for a couple of weeks so they are good and hungry when they get here,” Rohde said.

This is the second trout release in the county in the past year as a similar event was held at Sand Lake last fall. Sand Lake is located at 2901 Main Street Road on the northeastern edge of Marshalltown.