The City of Weatherford Parks and Recreation crew, for the second time in more than two months, released approximately 300 Rainbow Trout into the pond at Holland Lake Park last week.
Shane Carter, with TP&W, said the trout originally came from Missouri and that he was trucking them in from the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center in Athens. Upon arrival, Carter took the temperature of the water, among the prying eyes of several fishermen in the area, which hovered around 48 degrees.
Dustin Reichelt, with the city’s Athletics and Aquatics Department, cautions that anglers wishing to come try their luck at fishing to be sure and have the appropriate fishing license.
“People think that because you can fish without one in a state park, you can do so here, and that’s not the case,” Reichelt said. “You need a license to fish in a city park.”
Reichelt displayed a photo on his iPhone showing that the trout grow fast. An angler pulled a trout weighing four pounds out of the lake earlier in the week.
One more stocking is planned by the state next month, which is expected to put another 300 fish into the lake on Feb 13.
Danielle Felts, Director of Parks, Recreation and Special Events for the City of Weatherford said previously that this is the third year that trout has been stocked at a city fish pond.
“We receive an enormous amount of positive feedback from the trout stocking every year, residents and community members truly love the unique opportunity it provides. As of Fiscal Year 2012, the stocking became a part of our yearly budget and is an expense we anticipate. We continue to partner with the Jerry Durant Auto Group to help defray some of the expense, which also allows us to stock the pond two different times over the winter.”
Unlike other stockings, there is not an organized fishing event in conjunction with the release of the trout. Holland Lake Park Pond is classified as a Community Fishing Lake (CFL) by Texas Parks Wildlife, which enforces a two pole limit per person; fishing method by rod and reel only, no exceptions. To fish the trout, or any other CFL within the City of Weatherford, you must have a valid Texas Fishing License if you are 17 years of age and older (individuals born before September 1,1930 are exempt) and abide by the limit of 5 trout per day with no minimum length or weight of the catch.
“Trout are not common in the area because they cannot survive in water with warmer temperatures for an extended period of time. The fish can survive in water temperatures below 70 degrees and in high-quality water with plenty of oxygen. Weather permitting, the trout should last until April. Any left at that time will likely die because of the higher water temperatures; therefore, this is a CATCH and KEEP program,” Felts said. "Along with not surviving the warmer water temperatures, the trout will not reproduce; the trout stock is about the experience and promoting outside activity year-round and is something for all ages."
For additional information contact the Parks and Recreation office at 817-598-4124.