Trout are returning to some southwestern Ontario waterways after an absence of several decades.

This past spring, 7,500 brook trout were released into streams in tributaries of the Avon River outside Stratford, as well as waterways around St. Marys, Embro and Komoka.

While the fish had swam through those rivers and streams in the past, they had been out of the area for decades.

Next week, workers with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority will be back at some of those waterways, hoping to collect 7,500 eggs left behind by the trout.

The eggs will be taken to a hatchery operated by the Thames River Anglers Association, where they will hatch over the winter.

By next spring, the hatchlings will have grown into fingerlings, and will be released into other parts of the Upper Thames watershed.

While trout releases and egg collections have been an annual cycle in the area for a few years now, the numbers of trout surviving in the area are growing every year.