Annual pond restocking sets loose seasonal fish in northwest Houston parks

January 13, 2018

By the time the Texas Parks and Wildlife truck arrived at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve to drop off rainbow trout on a chilly Friday, some residents couldn’t wait to catch a few of the seasonal fish.

In Precinct 4, six parks had rainbow trout restocked, which included Burroughs Park, Bane Park, Dennis Johnston Park and Pundt Park.

Before arriving at the preserve, Brandon Hoffman had restocked the three-acre lake in Meyer Park.

“Trout’s a cool water species, so they do a lot better in the wintertime and they’re more active,” he said. “They don’t do very good in the summertime.”

The rainbow trout get their name from the iridescent colors and are restocked around the state as early as November until around early March, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The fish thrives in colder waters and are delivered to fishing areas around the state during colder months, Hoffman said.

After the pickup truck parked near the water, Hoffman measured Marshall lake’s temperature at 12.9 degrees Celsius, which is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife, the fish thrive in water below 70 degrees.

Hoffman then attached a tube to the back of the fish tank and dropped the trout into the lake.

Some fish flopped around, jumping up from the water while many swam away immediately.

Some eager residents were ready with their fishing rods to catch them.

“I wanted to try to get some rainbow trout today,” said Chuck Manger of Cypress as he tossed out a lure into the water and reeled it back in.

Manger said he was looking forward to catching trout and had called ahead of time to know when the fish would be stocked.

James Thornes from Cinco Ranch also looked up the dates when the fish would be available to catch. While he tends to fish closer to home at Mary Jo Peckham Park, Thornes said he has to compete for the fish, but is still looking forward to catching rainbow trout this winter.

“I’m definitely going to try there and see if I can beat the birds to the fish,” he said.

Because the trout is not native to Texas, it was an opportunity to catch them without having to travel outside of the state, Thornes said. Also, they’re edible.

“I don’t necessarily eat the rest of the other fish I catch and release,” he said. “But this one, it’s trout.”

While tossing out a lure, Manger was also looking forward to how he would prepare the trout he’d catch.

“You can put them on the grill whole,” he said. “Season it up a little bit - salt and pepper, garlic powder, olive oil and just grill it. It breaks off the bones.”