The Annual Rainbow Trout Stocking in Texas has Started


The Annual Rainbow Trout Stocking in Texas has Started

Rainbow trout are an incredibly popular fish to target in the south, which is weird considering they can’t survive most of the year down here in most bodies of water. But nonetheless in many southern states through the power of hatcheries and stocking, any angler has an opportunity to chase after these cold-water fish. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has begun stocking thousands of rainbow trout last week on November 23rd. This is an annual winter tradition in Texas, where various bodies of water across are stocked with hatchery rainbow trout all throughout the winter and early spring.

“TPWD stocks catchable sized fish during winter months to create unique winter angling opportunities throughout Texas,” said Carl Kittel, TPWD Rainbow Trout Program Director. “Rainbow trout love cold water and can be caught on a variety of baits and lures (worms, commercially available pastes, corn, spinners, spoons, flies and more), and are great to take home and eat. Our winter rainbow trout program has been a favorite of anglers for over forty years.”

From the initial stocking on November 23rd through March 3rd, the TPWD plans on stocking 337,469 rainbow trout throughout Texas. Because rainbow trout are unable to survive in Texas after the winter, the TPWD highly encourages anglers to keep up their daily bag limit of five trout. Rainbow trout are an attractive and very tasty fish for anglers to enjoy. For trout angling opportunities there are several options:

  • The Neighborhood Fishin’ program for families and new anglers in and around major cities out lakes
  • The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center casting pond, and several rivers including the Frio, South Llano and Guadalupe rivers and the Clear Fork of the Trinity River.
  • Texas State Parks from a bank, dock or pier for free without a fishing license. TPWD recommends anyone planning a trip to a park reserve a day pass in advance. Day passes can be reserved online though the TPWD website or over the phone by calling (512) 389-8900

In Texas, children under 17 fish for free, but adults must have a fishing license with a freshwater fishing endorsement. An angler fishing in a Community Fishing Lake or from a dock, pier or jetty within a Texas State Park may use no more than two poles. The statewide bag limit is five trout, except on parts of the Guadalupe River where special limits are in effect.

The dates and locations are subject to change due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Be sure to check the 2022-23 Trout Stocking Schedule online before you go fishing to confirm the stocking date, check fishing regulations and to find other winter trout stocking program angling tips.

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Fishing Writer for An avid angler since I was little, based out of the South East United States.

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