"She said Dave had been up all night trying to get the generator started. She was almost in tears because the trout were about to start dying."
DNR officials made emergency appeals to the governor's office, the state Office of Emergency Services and the Pendleton County Office of Emergency Services. The appeals worked.
"We were looking for a generator with enough capacity to power the pumps, and we were trying to get in contact with people who could get a power-company crew out there," Taylor said.
In the meantime, Alt and his crew were trying to save as many trout as possible by replenishing the hatchery's water using small gasoline-powered pumps.
Word travels fast in small communities, and during the crisis Alt got a visit from a neighbor, Dennis Waggy, who offered the use of two home-sized generators.
Taylor called the crews' and the neighbor's actions "heroic."
"Our folks worked all night long and into the morning just trying to keep a bunch of trout alive, and the neighbor came over and offered the use of his own generators," Taylor said. "It's amazing -- but that's West Virginians for you."
A replacement generator was on its way to Reeds Creek by midmorning, but by then trout were already beginning to die. Taylor said fast action by Mon Power electrical crews saved the day.
"We were trying to get the generator moved to the hatchery when we discovered that the power company had come out and had gotten the electrical service restored," he said. "It took the crews less than an hour to get it turned back on."
Taylor estimated that 200 to 300 fish had already perished by 11 a.m. when power was reestablished, but added that the total could have been much, much higher.
"We could very easily have lost them all, from very young trout to large 'brood stock' trout," he said. "If we'd lost that many fish, it would have had a dramatic impact on trout stockings this fall and next spring."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.