NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In the dead of winter, going fishing is not something that comes to mind for most folks. But the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is stocking a popular species of fish that thrives in the cold water: rainbow trout!
The TWRA is stocking more than 70,000 rainbow trout across Tennessee in places that are easy to reach, particularly from the shoreline and where a boat is not necessary.
A lot of people may not know that you can catch rainbow trout during the cold weather months in places like the pond at Shelby Bottoms in Shelby Park, below Percy Priest Dam, on the Harpeth River near Franklin, or at Nice’s Mill along the Stones River in Murfreesboro, just to name a few.
“The goal was to allow for a fishing opportunity in the wintertime, especially in areas where people don’t have access to trout,” explained Barry Cross, TWRA’s Region 2 Outreach Communications Co-Ordinator. “The colder waters and colder temperatures made it possible to put trout into these areas and allow people to fish for a species they might not ever get to fish for. In the wintertime, a lot of our species here in Middle Tennessee are warm-water species and they don’t bite as well. Trout love that cold water. So, it’s a great opportunity for people to come out and fish on a warm day in the wintertime, and hopefully bring some fish home to the table.”
Willie Otis fishes at the pond at Shelby Bottoms in Shelby Park.
“Sometimes I catch two or three,” said Otis. “It’s just the kinds I’ve caught in here at times. I’ve caught catfish in here and trout.”
The TWRA is encouraging people to catch these fish and take them home for dinner. They are cold-water fish and need to be caught before the summer-time.
“The rainbow trout that we put in is a cold-water species,” explained Cross. They love colder water. So once the water reaches over 70 degrees, they won’t do well. They will start dying. So, this is a ‘put and take’ fishery. We want people to come out and catch fish and take them home and cook them.”
There are numerous ponds, rivers, and lakes where rainbow trout are being stocked for the cold weather months, from the Tennessee River to the Cumberland Plateau. They stocked them once already in December. Here are the January and February schedules:
Remember that besides a regular fishing license, a trout license must also be obtained for trout fishing.
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