TPWD stocking Panhandle, South Plains lakes with rainbow trout for winter

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The following is a news release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Deparment:

Are you looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors this winter without having to travel miles to get there? Fishing in your local city park lake is an outing that every member of the family can enjoy. 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.

As a part of this program more than 23,400 of these trout are headed to 11 city park lakes in the Amarillo and Lubbock areas. Stocking begins on November 30, 2018 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 March, 8 2019. Canyon Southeast Park Lake is scheduled to receive 1,566 trout half on Dec. 20, 2018 and half on Jan. 22, 2019); Caudle Lake in Hale Center will receive 1,200 trout for a Family Fishing event on Dec.5; the city of Levelland will receive 950 trout in Breshears Lake and 950 in Lobo Lake on Dec.7; Pampa City Park Lake will receive 2,000 trout (half on Dec. 4, 2018 and half on Feb. 19, 2019; there are 1,500 trout headed for Lake Theo at Caprock Canyon State Park on Dec. 12, 2018; Rita Blanca Kids Fishing Pond in Dalhart will receive 2,929 trout (half on Dec. 11, 2018 and half on Feb. 5, 2019); 4,000 trout for 9th Street Park Lake in Lamesa (2,500 on Dec. 11, 2018 and 1,500 on Jan. 8, 2019; and Lake Fryer, near Perryton, will receive 2,150 trout (half on Dec. 6, 2018 and half on Jan. 8, 2019). Thanks to a recent partnership between Texas Parks & Wildlife and the “Lubbock Fly Fishers”, the city of Lubbock will be receiving 1,750 trout for a family fishing event on Dec. 8, 2018 at Huneke Park Lake. Stocking dates are established based on weather conditions 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 a 2018 -2019 Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual available at any license retailer or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website at The free Outdoor Annual app can also be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet device.

For a complete listing of locations and stocking dates in Texas visit our website at Also visit our Facebook page at to learn when local stockings occur. John Clayton is a Fisheries Management Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife and can be reached at (806) 655-4341 or by e-mail at

(News release form the Texas Park and Wildlife Deparment)

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