SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is giving an inside look at the process of transporting rainbow trout from hatcheries to Texas waterways.
A Facebook post from TPWD shows the fish being released into Texas waterways via several methods but what’s also interesting is the science behind the hatcheries.
Before thousands of rainbow trout are stocked in local lakes and ponds, they are meticulously cared for by TPWD officials.
“Trout require high water flows and water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We are not able to chill the large flows required. Therefore, we purchase catchable-size fish and only handle trout from late November through early March of each year when the water is naturally cool enough for trout,” TPWD officials said.
These cold-loving fish are stocked in lakes, rivers, and ponds throughout Texas for those few months a year when Texas temperatures cool down.
“Even during those months, the water temperatures are marginal in the southern half of the state,” officials said.
Millers Pond and the lake at Southside Lions Park will be stocked with rainbow trout one more time for the 2020-2021 season on February 19.
The Canyon Tailrace along the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels will be stocked for a final time this season on Feb. 12.
Kids 16 years old and younger can fish for free but anyone 17 years or older must have a valid fishing license.
The rainbow trout stocked at the lakes will be big enough to catch and eat for anyone wanting to keep their haul.
For anglers interested in tailrace fishing, TPWD stocks rainbow trout below several dams and spillways, which often have very cool water and provide excellent conditions for trout fishing.
A total of 322,568 rainbow trout will be stocked at locations across Texas from Nov. 30 through the beginning of March.