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      Trout release brings Ottumwa together

      Hundreds of fisherman of all ages gathered at Greater Ottumwa Park Saturday morning for the 2nd annual trout release.

      According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, over 2200 rainbow and brook trout were lowered into the pond.

      KTVO spoke with Ottumwa Parks Director Gene Rathje about the trout release.

      Rathje says that with some adjustments to the pond, the trout are now able to live year-round.

      "Last year was the first year that they stocked trout in this pond; so it was unknown whether or not the fish would make it through the summer in the hot weather. I think with the help of the water fountain that the parks department installed, that helped aerate the pond, and helped the trout live year-round here at the park," stated Rathje.

      Mark Flamming with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources told KTVO that having trout in this particular pond is very unique.

      "This is really a unique opportunity to come out here and catch trout. Trout are pretty much concentrated in the northeast part of the state. Through this program, we bring big trout all over the State of Iowa to the anglers, not just to northeast Iowa, but really everywhere," stated Flamming.

      For the fisherman who caught the largest trout, a prize and trophy was rewarded. Prizes were also rewarded for trout that were tagged by the DNR.

      The trout release is sponsored by the City of Ottumwa, Wapello County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.