This winter from December through early March, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Inland Fisheries Division, in cooperation with participating cities and agencies, will stock more than 352,000 Rainbow Trout in over 180 locations across Texas. This trout stocking program is designed to provide increased wintertime fishing opportunities for Texas anglers. As a part of this program, The Pampa City Park Lake is scheduled to receive 1,000 Rainbow Trout December 14, 2021 and an additional 1,000 on February 2, 2022. Half of the fish were purchased by the City of Pampa and the other half are being provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife. Stocking dates are subject to change due to weather and availability of trout.
Rainbow Trout are a very popular coldwater 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.
Anglers are reminded that Community Fishing Lakes do have special regulations for Rainbow Trout: the daily bag limit is 5 trout per day per person, and there is no minimum length regulation on these small lakes. A valid Texas freshwater fishing license is required for anyone that is 17 years of age or older or does not meet other state exemption guidelines. Only fishing by pole and line is permitted in Community Fishing Lakes. For more information on statewide and community fishing regulations consult the 2020-2021 Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual. www.tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/. You can also download the Outdoor Annual app for your smartphone or tablet devices.
For more information on the trout stocking program, and for a complete list of locations stocked in Texas visit our website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/trout_stocking.phtml. Also “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TPWDInlandFisheriesTexasHighPlains to learn when local stockings occur and to get other information about fishing in the Panhandle area. John Clayton is a Fisheries Management Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife and can be reached at (806) 655-4341 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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