Winter stocking of Trout in Caprock Canyon State Park’s Lake Theo
Assistant District Fisheries Biologist
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
District Fisheries Office
PO Box 835
Canyon, TX 79015
Numerous anglers in the Texas panhandle enjoy the challenge of fishing for Rainbow Trout. Thanks to an active stocking program by Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD), anglers of all ages can fish for trout locally all winter long. Each winter TPWD in cooperation with participating cities and community groups stocks catchable-size Rainbow Trout into more than 100 locations statewide. More than 299,000 trout will be stocked into Texas waters this year. The trout stocking program is designed to provide increased fishing opportunities for Texas anglers. As a part of this trout stocking program and with the cooperation of Caprock Partners Foundation, Caprock Canyon State Park’s Lake Theo is scheduled to receive 1,910 Rainbow Trout this winter. The first 955 trout are scheduled to arrive December 13, 2017 with an additional 955 stocked February 1, 2018. The park will be closed December 26-29, 2017, January 9-12, 16-19, and 23-26, 2018 for annual public hunts.
Fishing gear for these hungry trout can be as simple as a cane pole or as sophisticated as a fly rod. 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-shanked hook (#8 or smaller) are quite 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. Caprock Canyon State Park also has rods and tackle that can be loaned to park visitors. Talk to park personnel for details.
Anglers are reminded that Community Fishing Lakes do have special regulations for Rainbow Trout: the daily bag limit is 5 fish per day per person, and there is no minimum length regulation on these small lakes. No fishing license is required when fishing within a State Park. Entry fees are required for all adults and children over 12 years of age and can be paid at the Park headquarters upon arrival. Only fishing by pole and line is permitted in Community Fishing Lakes. For more information on statewide and community fishing regulations consult a 2017 – 2018 Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual available at any license retailers or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us. You can also download the Outdoor Annual app for your smartphone or tablet device. For more information about Caprock Canyons State Park visit our website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/caprock_canyons/. You can also visit Caprock Canyon’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/caprock.canyons or our District Fisheries Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TPWDInlandFisheriesTexasHighPlains. John Clayton is a Fisheries Management Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife and can be reached at (806) 655-4341 or by e-mail at [email protected].