Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Budget cuts to hatchery spoiled public fishing at Nuuanu

By Michael Tsai


Question: Whatever happened to catfish fishing at the Nuuanu reservoir?

Answer: Nuuanu Reservoir No. 4, once a popular seasonal spot for families to catch channel catfish, has been closed to the public since December 2009.

The closure stemmed from state budget cuts that shut down hatchery operations at the Anuenue Fisheries Research Center at Sand Island, which was responsible for restocking catfish at Nuuanu Reservoir and trout at Kokee State Park on Kauai.

During the site's final fishing season, some 3,719 anglers visited the reservoir, catching more than 1,600 catfish.

The Board of Water Supply now controls the property that includes the reservoir. Francis Oishi, manager of the state Division of Aquatic Resources' Recreational Fisheries program, said liability issues related to the safety of a nearby dam have precluded the Department of Land and Natural Resources from resuming control of the area.

Kokee State Park has fared better in its efforts to maintain the island's only designated public fishing area for trout.

Trout fingerlings that already had been stocked in the stream allowed for continued fishing during the hatchery shutdown. Anuenue Fisheries has since resumed limited hatchery operations for trout, which has provided for fresh restocking of Kokee before there was any significant depletion of trout. While fishing was not as bountiful last year because newly introduced fingerlings were still growing and older surviving trout were more hook-shy, Oishi said next year's trout population is projected to be as full as ever.

Trout fishing at Kokee opened Saturday and more than 400 licensed fishermen turned out to try their luck. The season continues through Sept. 30.


This update was written by Michael Tsai. Suggest a topic for "Whatever Happened To …" by writing Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu Nuuanu Reservoir No. 4, Nuuanu Reservoir No. 4, 96813; call 529-4747; or email

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