Fremont State Lakes State Recreation Area is a popular spot for anglers of all ages to cast a line and reel in a big one throughout the year.
Each spring and fall, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission aims to enhance fishing opportunities at Fremont Lakes SRA and other bodies of water throughout the state with trout stockings.
This year is no different as NGPC plans to stock 5,000 catchable-size rainbow trout in Lake No. 2 on Thursday.
Part of the reason for stocking of trout in the spring and the fall is to allow anglers a window to catch the fish before they die from getting too cold or too hot.
“There’s enough fishing pressure where the majority are harvested in a relatively short period of time,” Dean Rosenthal, fisheries division administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said.
Rosenthal, a 40-year veteran of Nebraska Game and Parks, said trout is stocked annually all throughout the state. There are a few streams located throughout the state that can sustain trout year-round, however, once water temperatures rise into the low 70s there is an immense amount of stress placed on the trout since they naturally occupy colder bodies of water.
“They start getting really stressed in that range and can’t handle anything above that temperature,” Rosenthal said. “There are cool areas in sandpits like the Fremont State Lakes, though, that sometimes help the fish survive a little longer.”
Lake No. 2 is stocked with trout in the 10 to 11-inch range, which is the ideal range for them being harvested after they are raised at the Grove Trout Rearing Station located in Royal, Rosenthal said.
Stocking a lake enables its ecosystem to thrive, Rosenthal said. When looking at which lakes around the state need stocking, several factors are taken into consideration.
“They set nets, electro-fish, use numerous sampling techniques,” he said. “In larger lakes these things are done on an annual basis and smaller lakes are done on a rotation – we have lots of lakes. They sample various things and have historical information that stocking is based off of.”
Along with determining where to stock, the decision to stock lakes with trout specifically, is partly done to allow not-so experienced anglers a chance to catch a fish.
According to information released by NGPC, trout fishing is a great way to introduce children to fishing because simple and inexpensive equipment can be used. A spinning or spin-cast rod and reel with a hook baited with a worm will work well to catch the rainbow trout. Spinners, salmon eggs, dough baits and artificial flies also can catch trout.
Rosenthal is happy that his department is able to provide anglers with a solid fishing experience.
“It (trout) is a very popular fish, people really enjoy the fight they give and they are also great for eating,” he said. “This also gives them the opportunity to fish for something they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to fish for.”
Along with the annual Fremont Lakes SRA trout stocking several other area lakes will be stocked on March 17.
Those lakes include Holmes Lake in Lincoln where 4,000 will be stocked, TaHaZouka Park Lake in Norfolk and Pawnee Park West Lake in Columbus where 1,500 trout will be stocked in each lake.
For more information about NGPC spring trout stocking, and general information about Nebraska fishing visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/fishing.