The City of Weatherford Parks and Recreation crews welcomed the release of 500 rainbow trout - approximately 350 pounds worth - into the pond at Holland Lake Park last week.
On Dec. 10, Danielle Felts, Director of Parks, Recreation and Special Events for the City of Weatherford, stated that this is the third year that trout has been stocked at a city fishpond.
“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,” Felts said. “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.”
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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 five trout per day with no minimum length or weight of the catch. Felts said 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,” she said. “Any left at that time will likely die because of the higher water temperatures; therefore, this is a CATCH and KEEP program.”
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. The second stocking of trout, and for the first time a third stocking, will be released by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Jan. 15 and Feb. 13 and will both include 300 trout.