TEMPLE WEATHER

LAKE BELTON GETS 2.2 MILLION NEW BASS

Dave Ross of Florence hauled in this 7-pound largemouth bass during a Lake Belton excursion with local fishing guide Bob Maindelle. Lake Belton’s fishing experience has benefited greatly from a stocking program that has introduced fish into the lake in nine of the past 10 years. 

Rainbow trout top stocking fish in local ponds, streams

DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE

Texas Parks & Wildlife is releasing millions of fish into Texas waters this year, including 2.2 million sunshine bass into Lake Belton and 123,165 channel catfish into Stillhouse Hollow.

The department also stocked 352,563 rainbow trout into small lakes, ponds and streams, including healthy populations in several Temple and Belton waters. Other ponds — such as Lion’s Park and Lake Polk — haven’t been stocked with any fish in about a decade.

According to Carl Kittel of TP&W’s Inland Fisheries Division, here is a look at local stockings since 2012.

Lake Belton

  • 2022: 2.2 million sunshine bass
  • 2021: 51,308 smallmouth bass and 1.2 million sunshine bass
  • 2020: 594,240 sunshine bass
  • 2018: 627,581 Palmetto bass and 5.945 smallmouth bass
  • 2017: 1.02 million Palmetto bass
  • 2016: 909,513 Palmetto bass and 160,740 Florida largemouth bass
  • 2015: 494,926 Palmetto bass
  • 2014: 36,136 Palmetto bass, 171,381 smallmouth bass and 21,699 sunshine bass
  • 2013: 1.2 million Palmetto bass
  • 2012: 20,225 smallmouth bass

Stillhouse Hollow

  • 2022: 123,165 channel catfish
  • 2021: 63,326 Florida largemouth bass
  • 2019: 65,593 Florida largemouth bass
  • 2018: 53,330 smallmouth bass

Miller Park Pond

  • 2022: 881 rainbow trout and 415 channel catfish
  • 2021: 1,520 rainbow trout, 408 channel
  • 2020: 1,117 rainbow trout
  • 2019: 1,367 rainbow trout, 304 channel catfish
  • 2018: 1,468 rainbow trout
  • 2017: 1,138 rainbow trout, 211 channel catfish
  • 2016: 502 rainbow trout
  • 2014: 509 channel catfish
  • 2013: 811 channel catfish
  • 2012: 1,400 rainbow trout and 402 channel catfish

Marvin Fenn Pond

  • 2020: 408 rainbow trout
  • 2019: 303 rainbow trout
  • 2018: 504 rainbow trout
  • 2017: 364 rainbow trout

Lake Polk

  • 2014: 1,087 channel catfish
  • 2012: 1,124 channel catfish

Temple Lions Park Pond

  • 2012: 414 channel catfish

Nolan Creek (Belton)

  • 2021: 1,458 rainbow trout
  • 2020: 1,626 rainbow trout
  • 2019: 1624 rainbow trout
  • 2018: 2,216 rainbow trout
  • 2017: 1,834 rainbow trout
  • 2016: 1,820 rainbow trout
  • 2015: 2,831 rainbow trout
  • 2014: 1,009 rainbow trout
  • 2013: 4,018 rainbow trout
  • 2012: 1,106 rainbow trout

Sunshine and Palmetto bass are crosses of white and striped bass. Sunshine bass are a hybrid of female white bass and male stripers, and the Palmetto bass are the opposite — a hybrid cross between a male white bass and a female striper.

Kittel said the Texas rainbow trout stocking program is very popular among anglers looking for a fun fight.

“Since rainbow trout generally do not reproduce in Texas, and because they are unable to survive through the hot summer in most areas, the species is primarily used in winter put-and-take fisheries,” he said. 

“Each winter, several hundred thousand rainbows are stocked in community fishing lakes around the state,” he said. “Much enthusiasm is generated by the annual stockings, and on occasion, banks are lined with anglers eager to catch their limit immediately after trout are stocked.”

The Leon River hasn’t received stocker fish since 1991, and the Lampasas River fish populations haven’t been directly bolstered since 1998. However, these rivers have benefited from stockings in Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow.

According to Kittel, Texas Parks & Wildlife’s 2023 stocking schedule won’t be announced until February.

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