Winter trout stocking set for Dec. 16 at sports complex

Trout season is just over the horizon.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s winter stocking program kicks off in the last week of November and will truck in more than 300,000 rainbow trout across the state to challenge anglers and brighten any kitchen table.

The Harlingen Sports Complex is the venue for a Dec. 16 release of 600 trout raised at the A.E. Wood Hatchery in San Marcos. It will again be the only Valley location where trout will be stocked.

“TPWD stocks catchable-sized fish during winter months to create angling opportunities throughout Texas,” said TPWD’s rainbow trout program director, Carl Kittel. “Rainbow trout love cold water, 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 with anglers for over forty years.”

TPWD plans to stock a total of 352,563 rainbow trout in Texas from Nov. 24 through Mar. 6, 2022. Because trout are unable to survive in Texas once winter ends, anglers are encouraged to keep up to their daily bag limit of five trout.

It doesn’t take expensive outfits to catch trout, and any light tackle or fly rod can be used. TPWD experts advise having an array of baits and lures ready to deploy, as well as having ice available to keep the catch fresh.

For tips on catching rainbows, TPWD staff share some insights on the TPWD YouTube channel.


If you go:

WHAT: Trout stocking

WHERE: Harlingen Sports Complex pond

WHEN: Dec. 16

License requirements, limit:

>> No minimum length

>> Daily limit is five trout

>> No more than two rods at a time

>> Anglers need valid fishing license that includes freshwater fishing endorsement

>> Anglers under 17 don’t need a license