Rods, Reels and Rainbows

Catching Rainbows

A happy angler shows off a rainbow trout caught in a Dallas-area community fishing lake stocked annually by TPWD.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s the holiday season; and we recommend celebrating with rods, reels and rainbows. Rainbow trout, that is.

We do winter stockings when the water temperatures permit it, to provide an opportunity for anglers to catch trout in Texas. It’s a species of fish that anglers wouldn’t catch otherwise, so we stock them, and we intend them all to be caught out during the season.

Carl Kittle (kitl) is a biologist with Inland Fisheries. He says thanks to abundant rainfall throughout most of the state, there’s plenty of access to stock lakes and ponds.

This year, things are pretty well back to normal. Looks like our normal level of stocking will happen.

The agency will stock more than 290-thousand rainbow trout in about 150 sites statewide.

We publish a schedule on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department webpage. Look for the winter trout stocking link.

Carl Kittle says we stock rainbows in winter because these fish cannot survive our hot summers. So, when you reel one in this winter, take it home and eat it.

We have two trout recipes at

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series and helps to fund rainbow trout stocking in Texas…

We record our series at The Block House in Austin, Texas and Joel Block engineers our program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

For convenience (or when you need to prepare something the kiddos will eat) fish sticks and canned tuna can save the day. However, when you can slow down and take a little extra time – and it really doesn’t take that much more time, but it tastes like it – excite the taste buds of family and friends with the savory goodness of well-prepared fresh fish. It’s sure to make a splash.

Whole Cooked Trout Italiana
Recipe by Cecilia Nasti
Prep & Cooking time: 30 minutes or less
Serves 2

Annual winter rainbow trout stocking runs December through early March statewide. They’re fun to catch and make great table fare.

• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
• 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
• 1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
• Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
• 2 whole, one-pound rainbow trout, cleaned, heads on
• 1 large lemon cut into wedges
• 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat the broiler.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, garlic and dried herbs; simmer over low heat, about 2-3 minutes. This will marry the flavors. Be mindful not to burn the garlic otherwise the oil may taste slightly bitter.
3. Remove the oil and herb mixture from the heat and stir in the vinegar, half the salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
4. Place the whole trout on the broiler pan and sprinkled each, inside and out, with the remaining salt.
5. With a pastry brush, apply the oil, herb and vinegar mixture onto the fish, both inside and out.
6. Broil the fish about 5-inches from the heat source for 4-5 minutes on one side, before gently turning it to other side and cooking an additional 2-3 minutes until just done; an instant read thermometer inserted into the fleshiest part of the fish should register 120-degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Brush the hot fish with some of the remaining oil, herb and vinegar mixture.

8. Plate and whole fish; sprinkle with chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, and serve with lemon wedges. Serve hot.
This dish would pair well with a winter salad of arugula, thin-sliced red onion, shaved fennel bulb, Texas Ruby Red grapefruit sections, Texas pecans, shaved parmesan cheese, and simple vinaigrette.

Baked trout.

Trout with Mexican Mint Marigold. Photo by Beth Pav.

Casa Pav Rainbow Trout with Mexican Mint Marigold
Recipe by Mike and Beth Pav

• 1lb or 1 filet (side w/skin) of trout, de-boned
• 1-2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoons of kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
• 2 tablespoons of Mexican Mint Marigold leaves, rough chop
• Several Mexican Mint Marigold flowers for garnish

1. Preheat Oven 400
2. Place parchment paper on a 1/2 sheet pan.
3. Gently place the trout on top of the parchment paper, skin-side down.
4. Drizzle olive oil over entire trout.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the entire trout.
6. With your fingers, softly rub olive oil, salt and pepper into the flesh of the fish.
7. Rinse & dry hands.
8. Sprinkle the rough chopped Mexican Mint Marigold leaves over the entire fish.
9. Gently place the Mexican Mint Marigold flowers in a line down the center of the filet, from tip to tail.
10. Place in over for up to 15 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Hints & Tips

• You may substitute tarragon for Mexican Mint Marigold.
• The yellow flowers do turn brown when roasted. So keep some aside to garnish the trout when done.

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