Grayson County trout stockings announced for 2021-22 Season

Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat
TPWD has announced it is stocking area lakes with tons of Rainbow Trout starting this week through the end of the winter season.

With the arrival of November a few weeks ago, the 2021-22 trout season was ushered in on the north side of the Red River.

So far, so good as early trout fishing reports from the Blue River near Tishomingo indicate that anglers are finding excellent fishing for stocked rainbow trout in the Johnson County, Oklahoma stream.

In fact, that’s a good Thanksgiving Day holiday activity to consider for the family in the next several days as the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reports solid angling prospects on the Blue River right now.

That’s true for conventional tackle anglers using inline spinnerbaits (Mepp’s style) as well as PowerBait and slow-rolled 1/8-oz. gold spoons. If you’re a fly fisherman heading for the Blue River over the Turkey Day holiday, think midge patterns, caddis fly dry flies, and just about any nymph pattern with rubber legs.

If you’re on the south side of the Red River in Texas, you’ll have to wait one more holiday until the first trout stockings take place. That’s because the annual trout stockings from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department — announced a few days ago — won’t arrive here in in the Denison and Sherman areas until the middle of next month.

When those trout stocking trucks finally roll into Grayson County in mid-December, first up is Pottsboro Lake, a small water body where 1,100 trout will be stocked on Dec. 14, 2021.

Next up is Denison's Waterloo Lake Park Pond where a total of 5,136 rainbow trout will be stocked in four different plantings this trout fishing season. The first stocking is on Dec. 17, 2021, followed by three stockings early next year on Jan. 9, 2022; another on Jan. 30, 2022; and the final one on Feb. 27, 2022.

And finally, that latter date is also when Sherman gets into the trout fishing game with the area’s final stocking this winter season taking place at Pebblebrook Community Park Pond.

According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department news release, those local Grayson County stockings are all a part of TPWD’s overall plan to stock a total of 352,563 rainbow trout in Texas this season. Barring any hatchery supply issues or severe winter weather, the agency in Austin says that such stockings will take place from Nov. 24, 2021 through Mar. 6, 2022.

“TPWD stocks catchable sized fish during winter months to create angling opportunities throughout Texas,” said Carl Kittell, TPWD’s rainbow trout program director, in the news release. “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.”

In addition to the local waters mentioned above, TPWD will also be stocking trout in a couple of cold-water tailraces around the state. Those include the Canyon Tailrace on the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake and the Possum Kingdom Tailrace on the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom Lake.

Those locations have year-round cool water supplies and provide excellent conditions for trout fishing during the late autumn, winter, and early spring months. In fact, in the Guadalupe River down near New Braunfels, there’s often some trout that are able to holdover even during the hot summer months, fish that are occasionally caught by anglers braving the height of the tubing season on the popular Central Texas river.

Because trout are unable to survive after the winter months in nearly all of the Lone Star State — trout typically need water temps below 60 degrees in order to survive — TPWD says that anglers are encouraged to keep up to their daily bag limit of five trout.

Since rainbow trout are an attractive and tasty fish, few anglers have to have their arms twisted by TPWD to keep a few for the table.

Easily dressed out with a simple pocket knife or filet knife, anglers can easily find recipes for trout on such Internet sites as the TPWD website (www.tpwd.texas.gov), Outdoor Channel Plus (www.outdoorchannelplus.com), and Game and Fish Magazine (www.gameandfishmag.com) to name a few.

How can you catch trout in any of the settings already mentioned? The websites mentioned above can help with tips and how-to instructional articles, as well as at the website of Fly Fisherman magazine (www.flyfisherman.com ). How-to tips can also be found on the TPWD YouTube channel.

In general, simple and lightweight tackle — either conventional or fly — is all that’s necessary to catch a few trout according to Kittell. Light spinning tackle with small lures, small spoons, inline spinners, corn nuggets, PowerBait, and earthworms will all produce for conventional anglers using 4- to 6-pound test monofilament line and lightweight hooks.

If you’re a fly angler, you’ll need a 3- to 5-weight graphite fly rod, a weight forward floating line, a short monofilament or fluorocarbon leader tapering down to 4X or 5X tippet, and a selection of small flies like midge patterns, nymph patterns, small streamers, or small dry flies like a caddis pattern. One big key here is to remember that fly fishing requires plenty of room to back cast, so it’s best to stay away from the crowds and often good to avoid showing up on stocking day.

If you’re planning on harvesting a few trout to eat, keep in mind that you’ll want to have a small soft-sided or YETI style hard-side cooler with fresh ice so that you can keep the trout chilled until you can get home and dress them for the dinner table.

Finally, be sure that you are properly licensed before heading out to go fishing for trout this season. According to TPWD, in Texas, children under 17 fish can fish for free, but a fishing license with a freshwater fishing endorsement is required for adults who want to go trout fishing.

And keep in mind that an angler fishing in a Community Fishing Lake (like Waterloo Lake Park Pond, for instance) or from a dock, pier or jetty within a Texas State Park may use no more than two poles.

Finally, remember that the statewide bag limit is five trout per angler, although there are exceptions on parts of the Guadalupe River where special limits are in effect.

The bottom line is that as the local run of trout stockings approach and various fishing derbies are planned in the three local communities mentioned above, it’s time to get excited about fishing once again!

And as the local wintertime trout stockings approach, look for more in this space on when, where, and how to experience some great ultralight angling fun during the 2021-22 trout fishing season here in Texomaland.