GRTU Stocks River with Bigger Fish
The annual stocking schedule for the release of 20,498 eight- to 11-inch rainbow trout by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) into the Guadalupe River attracts a lot of attention this time of the year.
The unannounced release earlier this month of 4,000 pounds of 16- to 17-inch trout into the cold waters of the Canyon Tailrace below Canyon Dam by Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (GRTU) — not so much.
The bigger fish, which were released quietly earlier this month by the non-profit, are hardier. They’re intended repopulate the river and keep trout fishing strong at all points along the river between Canyon Dam and the second crossing along the Guadalupe.
December through March is rainbow trout season along the Guadalupe. The fish thrive in cold water.
GRTU is a non-profit, conservation organization whose mission is to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds for the benefit of future generations. The Guadalupe River is the southernmost freshwater trout fishery in the United States. With over 5,000 members throughout Texas, it’s largest local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
“What we’ve found is these more-mature fish have a better chance of surviving through the summer,” said Dan Cone, a fishing guide with Castell Guide Service who also is GRTU’s vice president of Fisheries. “The smaller fish get picked off by other fish. There are striped bass in the river, osprey, blue heron and other predators.”
The larger fish are paid for with the support of GRTU members who enrolled in the organization’s 2019-20 Lease Access Program (LAP), which opened on Oct. 1 and sold out within six days.
As every angler knows, getting access to the Guadalupe River is the hard part.
The 850 lucky anglers who made the cut for LAP can fish at various private locations and campgrounds along the river at no extra fee.
GRTU encourages anglers to practice catch and release of all trout.
There are numerous campgrounds along River Road that allow day parking and access for a small fee per person.
The only free public location available to the general public is Camp Huaco Springs. Click here for more information.