Big Bear Lake Plans to Grow its Own Rainbow Trout in New $3.5-million Hatchery

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Logan Huefner plants trout in Big Bear Lake. Big Bear Lake currently stocks trout from a Fish and Wildlife hatchery in Northern California. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Hatchery Drive cuts through the forest about a mile east of the reservoir for which this San Bernardino Mountain resort community is named.

It’s the lone remnant of a facility that produced teeming millions of trout here before mud flows closed it in 1932.

Now, with trout offered by state hatcheries getting fewer in number and smaller in size, the Big Bear Municipal Water District said Friday it plans to build a $3.5-million hatchery that will produce 150,000 pounds of rainbow trout each year and feature education programs, tours and projects devoted to rearing rare and endangered fish.

“We plan to be making fish within a year,” said Mike Stephenson, the district’s lake manager.

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