The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

March 21, 2012

Reeling in success, hope

Our Opinion

OTTUMWA — They’re back!                                         

Anglers hoping to catch some trout will make their way to the Ottumwa Park campground pond this Saturday when the Iowa Department of Natural Resources stocks the pond with 1,000 rainbow trout and 1,000 brook trout.

This is the third such effort, and clearly after two successful trout releases in March and October of 2011, the DNR, the Ottumwa Parks Department and the Wapello County Conservation Board all agree this program is a boon for fishing lovers.

Trout are not common in the southern part of the state simply because they cannot survive in water with warmer temperatures for an extended period of time.

But the occasional release of these fish means the influx of fishing enthusiasts who may not want to travel to northern Iowa or Minnesota but who will try their luck at trout fishing here — good news economically for Ottumwa and southern Iowa.

Better yet, the trout release doesn’t cost the local entities one dime, and the DNR is able to collect revenue through the sale of fishing licenses.

And since this Saturday’s event will feature 200 tagged fish, anglers may be in luck for a prize, including donated gear from a local retailer.

This partnership between the city, the WCCB and the DNR is a bona fide success and simply put, a great idea that continues to spark interest.

We hope the release of trout will lead to other ventures, recreational and otherwise, that will draw visitors to the park, the city and the southern Iowa region.

This is no fish tale; it’s a success story we all can appreciate.

• • •

Today is opening day for the new Loving Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg.

While it’s a disheartening to think there are folks who need assistance now and again to help feed their families, it’s heartwarming to know there are area folks and organizations who are willing to come together to support those in need.

These are difficult times, and certainly Blakesburg, Moravia and Unionville are not unique from other communities in southeast Iowa where hunger and poverty is an issue.

But the organizers of this new pantry know that when they pull together, they just might be able to offer food and a little hope to those who are struggling.

And that kind of assistance and kindness can go a long way in establishing strong relationships and an even stronger southeast Iowa.

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