Catchable-size rainbow trout are coming to a water near you!
Rainbow trout stockings scheduled this fall
LINCOLN, Neb. – Catchable-size rainbow trout are being stocked in city ponds and lakes across the state by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These stockings will enhance fishing opportunities this fall and winter.
Trout fishing is a great way to introduce children to fishing because simple and inexpensive equipment may be used. A spinning or spin-cast rod and reel with a hook baited with a worm will work well. Add a split shot a couple of feet above the hook and a bobber a couple of feet above the split shot. Spinners, salmon eggs, dough baits and artificial flies also can catch trout.
The stockings began Sept. 19 with 1,000 trout put in Elm Creek east of Red Cloud.
The stocked trout are approximately 10 inches in length. The following is a tentative stocking schedule, including quantities:
Sept. 26 – Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area Pond, Harrison, 600 trout; White River, southwest of Fort Robinson State Park (SP), 750; Bridgeport State Recreation Area (SRA) Middle Pit, Bridgeport, 2,000
Sept. 27 – Blue Creek, northwest of Lewellen, 750
Oct. 3 – Grabel Ponds, Fort Robinson SP, 2,400; Bridgeport SRA Northwest Pit, Bridgeport, 1,400
Oct. 4 – Bessey Pit, Halsey, 500
Oct. 5 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 3,400; Humphrey Pond, Ogallala, 600
Oct. 10 – North Morrill Pit, Morrill, 1,350; Middle Morrill Pit, Morrill, 450; South Morrill Pit, Morrill, 400; Riverside Discovery Center Pond, Scottsbluff, 900; Crystal Cove, South Sioux City, 4,500
Oct. 11 – Fremont Lakes SRA Lake No. 2, Fremont, 5,000
Oct. 12 – Curtis Golf Course Pond, Curtis, 150; Birdwood WMA, North Platte, 4,000
Oct. 13 – Holdrege City Park Pond, Holdrege, 1,800; Oxford City Lake, Oxford, 300; Lexington City Lake, Lexington, 750
Oct. 16 – Lake Halleck, Papillion, 1,200
Oct. 17 – Standing Bear Lake, Omaha, 3,750; Niobrara SP Pond, Niobrara, 750, Heartwell Park, Hastings, 810; Such’s Lake, Grand Island, 585; Bowling Lake (south pond), Lincoln, 400; Holmes Lake, Lincoln, 3,000; Lake Hellen, Gothenburg, 2,000; Windmill SRA Pit No. 2, Gibbon, 540; Fort Kearny SRA Pit No. 6, Kearney, 1,080
Oct. 18 – TaHaZouka Park Pond, Norfolk, 1,500; Pawnee Park West Lake, Columbus, 1,500; Benson Park Pond, Omaha, 1,050; CenturyLink Lake, Eugene T. Mahoney SP, 1,500; Melham Park Lake, Broken Bow, 875; Ansley City Pond, Ansley, 1,200; Rock Creek Lake SRA, Parks, 1,500
Oct. 19 – Standing Bear Lake, Omaha, 3,250; Hitchcock Park Pond, Omaha, 450; Towl Park Pond, Omaha, 300; Auburn City Pond, Auburn, 800; Stanton Park Pond, Falls City, 300; Pawnee City Pond, Pawnee City, 300; Humboldt City Park Pond, Humboldt, 600; Gracie Creek Pond, Burwell, 1,000, Ord City Lake, Ord, 1,500; Laing Lake, Alliance, 1,500; Carter P. Johnson Lake, Fort Robinson SP, 2,500
Oct. 26 – Steinhart Park East Pond, Nebraska City, 1,200; Weeping Water Pond, Weeping Water, 1,500; Grove Lake, Royal, 1,500; Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 4,000
Oct. 27 – David City Park West Pond, David City, 600
Oct. 31 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 4,000
Nov. 1 – Crystal Springs Middle Lake, Fairbury, 1,000
In addition, fish larger than 10 inches will be stocked Oct. 23 as follows: Fort Kearny SRA Pit No. 6, Kearney, 120 trout; Holdrege City Park Pond, Holdrege, 200; Windmill SRA Pit No. 2, Gibbon, 60; Such’s Lake, Grand Island, 65; Heartwell Park, Hastings, 90.
Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/fishing for more information on fishing in Nebraska.
As I often do, let me take the standard news release and take it to the next level by repeating some tips about catching those put & take trout and what to do with them. . . .
The Rainbow Trout that are being stocked have been raised in a fish hatchery for their entire lives. They are used to swimming around looking for someone to throw fish feed into the water for them. Once they are stocked that ceases, but they still tend to cruise around looking for food. They will simply swim around, but if you can imagine edges or paths that they might swim, that will give you some ideas of where they may be concentrated. If you know the stocking location, start there.
Although after stocking these Trout will not find pellets to eat, they are very curious and will eat a variety of prey items. If one bait is not working for you, try something else! They can be found just under the surface so I always start there, but again if you are not catching anything, try fishing deeper.
I am a huge fan of the PowerBait and Gulp! baits that have been developed by Berkley. They work great for trout! Those baits have been developed through extensive testing and they are very attractive to Trout. If you ain’t using them already, you should be.
Likewise, things that flash and move will get the attention of these curious Trout. Besides the spinners mentioned above, Rapala has a variety of shiny, small crankbaits that will flat out catch fish. Use ’em! Most times you can at least get the put & take Trout to follow those artificial baits so that you can see them and know there are Trout in the area. Even if they only follow the artificial spinners, spoons, or crankbaits, you will know there are Trout there and then you can stay in the area, switch it up and find something they will eat.
No, the put & take Trout have not been raised on “bugs” or insects, but after stocking they quickly learn those are food items. They are very catchable on the fly rod. Watch for rising fish and if you see them, try to “match the hatch”. If not, a Woolly Bugger is always a good fly to start with; fish it with twitches and short strips.
If I harvest Trout, a quick field-dressing and then getting them on ice is the best way to handle them.
I leave ’em like that, head attached, and then grill ’em or smoke ’em. Grilling is easy, put a little butter in the body cavity, a sprig of rosemary, sprinkle some lemon juice, seal up in foil, grill. Remember fish do not take long to cook. My smoking recipe is just as easy. . . soak overnight in brine, my brine recipe is mixed to taste with as much brown sugar as you can dissolve in water, lemon juice, garlic and some salt, and then smoke at low temperature until the skin and meat flake off the bones.
I mention this every time I blog about the put & take Trout stockings and am going to mention it again. . . . Yes, these fish are stocked with the expectation that folks will harvest them; that is what we want and we especially hope that kids and beginning anglers get to catch most of them. We do NOT intend for old anglers to fill their freezers with these fish–find a kid and take ’em fishing!