For 15 years, the community-based non-profit Trout for Cheat, Inc., has been quietly raising money and collecting government grants so they can purchase and release thousands of pounds of rainbow trout into the Cheat River.
This year alone, the group has been able to purchase enough trout to stage three releases since April. The most recent was Thursday, May 8, when approximately 2,000 pounds of trout were released into the Cheat River between Rowelsburg and Kingwood on WV Rt. 72.
The non-profit is able to do this with the help of an elimination dinner fundraiser and matching grant dollars from the state.
The drastic difference in funding this year means the non-profit can only purchase enough rainbow trout for four release events during the spring, three of which have already taken place. In the past they had enough money to stock the Cheat River up to nine times.
Clearly, stocking a Preston County river is a good thing for the environment, but also has a big impact on county and state tourism.
The question is, why haven’t the Preston County Commission, Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitor’s Bureau or any other government entity been willing to fund Trout for Cheat’s fish stocking activities? What they are doing is by definition in support of state and county tourism.