TEXAS OUTDOORS: Rainbow Trout swim freely in the Guadalupe

To give Texas fisherman something to catch in the winter, hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout are transported to the Lone Star State every year.

Rainbow trouts draw thousands of fishermen to the banks and into the water of the Guadalupe River. When you hook one, its a fight unlike any other species in Texas.

And the amazing thing about it is that they're not even a species native to Texas.

Texas Parks and Wildlife began stocking rainbow trout in Texas waters in the 1980's.

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"We do this to give fisherman a winter opportunity to catch fish" said Hue Glenwinkle with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

On this day, 750 trout were released just below Canyon Lake dam. This location is just one of dozens of sites throughout the state where the stocking program is thriving. At the more than 160 sites across the state, this year more than 300,000 trout will be stocked.

Glenwinkle says they are "put and take" fisheries.

"We hope the fisherman are able to catch them and utilize the fish before the springtime temperatures make the water too hot," he said.

Trout typically can not survive in water warmer than 77 degrees and stop growing if the water is above 73 degrees.

The Guadalupe River, especially this time of year, provides excellent conditions for the non-native swimmers. They are typically released in the waterways when they are eight to 10 inches, but it is not unusual for someone to land a three- to five-pounder.

There are numerous public areas downstream of Canyon Lake where you have free access to the river to try your luck. There are very specific rules to the trout program, though. Before grabbing your rod and heading there, click this link to look at the regulations.