TYLER – Warm weather is great for spring breakers looking to get outside after a winter hibernating indoors, but its bad news for winter-loving rainbow trout who thrive in the colder water. Tyler area spring breakers can take advantage of the changing fishing seasons and catch the rest of these winter-fish for free March 13 to 16 at the Tyler Nature Center.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and local partners are stocking 2,000 rainbow trout and providing a limited amount of fishing gear and bait to loan out for free from 8:30 to noon each day of the event. There is no pre-registration or fishing license required to participate, and TPWD staff will be on hand to assist anyone who needs tips on catching these colorful fish.
Not only is the fishing free, anglers are also encouraged to keep their daily catch limit of up to five rainbow trout and one channel catfish.
“Anglers have the choice of releasing their catch or keeping their daily limit; however, the trout cannot survive after water gets warm so we encourage anglers to harvest their fish,” said TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist Richard Ott, “If anglers want to dress their fish we will have ice and fish-cleaning facilities available at the event courtesy of the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation.”
After spending the morning on the water fishing, anglers are encouraged to put on their hiking shoes and explore the scenic outdoor hiking trails that the Tyler Nature Center also has to offer.
Special Rules: Kids under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults who attend these events must bring at least one child to fish with.
Recommended Equipment: A light-action rod and reel combination (one per child) with small fishing hooks, light line 12 lb. test or less, small bobbers (optional), and small split shot. For bait, bring salmon eggs, whole kernel corn, marshmallows, small worms or prepared trout bait (Berkley PowerBait Hatchery Formula Chews or similar). Small rooster-tail spinners work well, but we require that you use single hooks only on this bait type. If you intend to keep trout, please bring a stringer or small cooler.
How to Get Here: From ESE Loop 323 in Tyler, go southeast on University Boulevard (Spur 248). Take a right turn on F.M. 848 (Bascom Road). Go 0.2 mile and turn right at The Nature Center gate. Please park in main parking area and walk to pond using the concrete trail near the kiosk.