Restored urban stream in Baltimore teems with trout, and interest

Doug Donvan, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Outdoors

BALTIMORE -- Naomi Sollins is only 3 years old, but the young angler already has a whopper of a fish tale to share.

Not only did she catch a trout in a Baltimore city stream -- a rarity in itself -- but Naomi caught one of the few yellow "palominos" among the 450 rainbow trout added to the Stony Run stream over the weekend.

"Can I put it back in the stream?" Naomi asked her father, Elie Sollins, a social worker from North Baltimore.

The father and daughter knelt by the trickling stream and gently held the yellow trout in the water until it wiggled out of their hands and glided back into the tea-colored water.

About 30 children and their parents turned out in the rain Sunday to fish for trout in the newly vibrant urban stream, which runs for 3 miles from Northern Parkway to Remington before spilling into the Jones Falls.

The fourth annual "Huck Finn Day" was sponsored by the Maryland chapter of Trout Unlimited, which also supports a Trout In The Classroom program in several Baltimore schools. The group paid nearly $900 to stock the stream, chapter president Norma Haynes said.

"This is real cool, to have trout in the middle of Baltimore city," said Tom Giannaccini, a volunteer at the event.

The 450 rainbow trout arrived by truck on Friday after a four-hour drive from Casta Line Trout Farms in Goshen, Va. By noon, seven volunteers had arrived to scoop them out bucket by bucket. For the next two hours they poured the 10-to-12-inch long fish into the Stony Run between Wyndhurst Avenue and Cable Street.

They also added five 15-to-18-inch trout. That included the three palominos, genetically engineered to be yellow to encourage fishing and habitat protection, said Tom Gamper, chairman of Trout Unlimited's education and youth outreach committee.

The group has been stocking the Stony Run for four years, normally in October, when the water temperatures are close to an ideal 51 degrees. On Sunday the water was 59 degrees. But the nearly $10 million restoration of the upper part of the Stony Run has paid off, as some trout have survived summer.


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