AUSTIN – Grab your fishing poles and mark your calendars for December 5-15 to participate in Trout Fest 2020 at Cal Young Park Pond in Abilene. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is teaming up with the City of Abilene to host the event that is open to anglers of all ages.
“Trout Fest 2020 provides the perfect opportunity to get outside, spend time with your family, and fish close to home,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Abilene Inland Fisheries Assistant Biologist. “Rainbow trout are only stocked during the winter months, so we hope that families take advantage of this unique fishing opportunity and participate in the event.”
Cal Young Park Pond will be stocked with 1,750 rainbow trout leading up to the opening day of Trout Fest 2020 December 5. Four age groups have been established for the event, eight and under with an adult, 9-12 with an adult, 13-16 with an adult, and 17 years of age and older. Three prize categories have also been setup; longest trout, biggest “other” fish, and most days fished. Three winners in each age group will be announced on December 16 and if there happens to be a tie in one of the categories, a random winner will be drawn.
The contest is free, but in order to officially enter, anglers must scan the QR code on one of the signs at Cal Young Park Pond. Once the QR code has been scanned, it will redirect the angler to a website in order to share the name, age, email address, and photo of the catch next to a measuring device. The photo MUST have the catch next to a ruler or measuring device for the entry to be officially counted in the contest. Even if an angler hasn’t reeled in a fish, they can still scan the QR code and fill out the information to be included for a chance to win the “Most Days Fished” award.
Anglers can fish as many days as they would like during the event but are reminded to scan the QR code each day to submit a catch or share that they visited Cal Young Park Pond to fish. Anglers are also encouraged to share photos on social media (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter) with the hashtag #GottaCatchATrout for a chance to win a prize.
There will be limited loaner tackle available for the event through TPWD. To reserve a pole, families can call the TPWD Inland Fisheries-Abilene District office at (325) 692-0921 to arrange a pickup time. Families that borrow poles and any other equipment through the TPWD Loaner Program should plan to return it following the event.
Participants will need to follow the state and local guidelines when it comes to practicing social distancing and other safety measures. In addition, anglers 17 and older are required to have a valid Texas Fishing License to fish on any public body of water in Texas and statewide bag and length limits will also be in effect. To learn more about freshwater fishing regulations and licenses, visit the TPWD website.