Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will release thousands of rainbow trout into the Canyon Tailrace or Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake’s dam starting Dec. 1.
Over 19,000 rainbow trout will be released into the Guadalupe River on Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; on Jan. 5, 12, 2024; and on Feb. 16, 19 and 26, 2024, according to a press release issued today.
TPWD plans to stock 343,331 trout statewide from Nov. 22 through March 21 in what it describes as an “annual Texas winter tradition.”
“TPWD stocks catchable-sized fish during winter months to create unique winter angling opportunities throughout Texas,” said Carl Kittel, director of TPWD’s Rainbow Trout Program. “Rainbow trout love cold water and 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 of anglers for over forty years.”
The portion of the Guadalupe River below Canyon Dam is recognized as one of the top 100 trout streams in the nation and is considered the southernmost trout stream in North America.
Rainbow trout are unable to survive in most areas of Texas after winter. Due to warm water temperatures, anglers are encouraged to keep up to their daily bag limit of five trout.
However, exceptions exist within special trout-management zones on the Guadalupe River downstream of Canyon Lake’s dam. This portion of the river often remains cool enough for rainbow trout to survive year-round.
These zones include:
- Trout Zone 1: 800 yards downstream from Canyon Dam release downstream to east bridge on FM 306. For rainbow and brown trout, the length limit is a 12-18 inch slot. Trout 12 inches and less or 18 inches or greater in length may be retained. Daily bag = five trout and only one trout 18 inches or longer may be retained. Harvest of trout is by artificial lures only. Click here to see pole and line for special restrictions on lures in this area.
- Trout Zone 2: From east FM 306 bridge crossing downstream to 2nd crossing on River Road. For rainbow and brown trout, minimum length is 18 inches and daily bag limit is one fish. Harvest of trout is by artificial lures only. Click here for special restrictions on lures in this area.
Anglers 17 years of age and older will need a valid fishing license that includes a freshwater fishing endorsement.
Last year, TPWD offered a “no fee” public access lease at Camp Huaco Springs, located between New Braunfels and Sattler/Canyon Lake.
TPWD spokesperson Kirk McDonnell said details are still being worked out for this year’s arrangements.