AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - If winter fishing is an activity on your list, you'll have better opportunity to catch trout, as stocking is about to begin.
For Texans who live in urban areas, Texas Parks and Wildlife's winter trout stocking program offers fishing opportunities close to home. Each winter from November through early March, Texas Parks and Wildlife's Inland Fisheries Division, in cooperation with participating cities and agencies, stocks more than 299,000 catchable-size rainbow trout in more than 100 locations across Texas.
This trout stocking program is designed to provide increased wintertime fishing opportunities for Texas anglers.
Stocking begins on November 23, 2016 with 553 trout delivered to Medical Center Park South Lake in Amarillo. Since Medical Center South Lake belongs to a special program known as the Neighborhood Fishin' Program, it will be stocked approximately every two weeks with an additional 553 trout through early March, 2017.
Canyon Southeast Park Lake is scheduled to receive 1,250 trout on Dec. 1; Claude Lake in Hale Center will receive 1,200 trout for a Family Fishing event on Dec.3; the city of Levelland will receive 900 trout in Breshears Lake and 900 in Lobo Lake on Dec.7; Pampa City Park Lake will receive 2,000 trout (half on Dec. 6, 2016 and half on Feb. 21, 2017; there are 1,916 trout headed for Lake Theo at Caprock Canyon State Park (half on Dec. 13, 2016 and half on Jan. 31 2017); Rita Blanca Kids Fishing Pond in Dalhart will receive 3,077 trout (half on Dec. 13, 2016 and half on Feb. 7, 2017); 4,000 trout for 9th Street Park Lake in Lamesa on Dec. 13; and Lake Fryer, near Perryton, will receive 2,000 trout (half on Dec. 1, 2016 and half on Jan. 10, 2017). Stocking dates are established based on weather conditions and availability of trout.
Rainbow trout are a very popular cold water game fish that offers a great winter fishing opportunity for anglers of all ages. These fish are prized for both their fight and their quality as fine table fare. While rainbow trout can best be caught in early morning and late evening periods, anytime of day can produce excellent results. Fishing gear for these hungry trout can be as simple as a cane pole or as sophisticated as a fly rod. Trout often display selective feeding habits, and sometimes prefer a wide variety of lures and baits. Ultra-light spinning tackle using 4- to 6-pound test-line and 1/32 to 1/8 ounce spinners works well. Dry or wet flies, small spoons, and bucktail or feather jigs are also productive. There are many methods which will catch trout, but baits such as whole kernel corn, cheese, and salmon eggs on a long-shank hook (#8 or smaller) are very effective for these hatchery-reared fish. It is also a good idea to carry a pair of needle-nosed pliers to aid in removing hooks.
For a complete listing of locations and stocking dates in Texas visit our website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/trout_stocking.phtml. Also visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TPWDInlandFisheriesTexasHighPlains to learn when local stockings occur.