Holton Stocks Elkhorn Lake With Trout
Holton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Reichle said local anglers have had his phone ringing off the hook recently, asking when Elkhorn Lake will be restocked with trout.
“I have numerous calls to make to people to let them know the trout are here,” Reichle said recently after a shipment of more than 500 pounds of rainbow trout for the 2020-21 winter season, totaling about 1,000 fish, was delivered to the lake, located at Holton’s Rafters Park.
The delivery from Cedar Springs Trout Farm of Broadwater, Neb., marks the 11th winter season that the City of Holton is working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP) to stock the lake with rainbow trout.
Holton’s Parks and Recreation Department is also partnering with the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce to encourage trout fishing at Elkhorn, Reichle said, noting that six trout (like the one shown in the photo at right) have been tagged.
Lucky anglers who catch one of the tagged fish may bring the tags to Holton City Hall to receive $25 in “Chamber Bucks” and a $25 Parks and Recreation gift certificate, good for redemption at the department’s activities and sports events.
Trout season in Kansas opened on Nov. 1, Reichle said, and will continue through April 15. Anglers looking to catch trout from rivers, streams and lakes where trout are located are required to have a trout permit, which costs $14.50 and is good for the season, while fishing licenses are good for a calendar year.
Trout are generally recognized as a “stream fish” and are most often found in rivers or streams that allow for migration to larger bodies of water that allow for spawning. However, it has been noted that Elkhorn Lake in late fall, winter and early spring months provide the fish with ideal temperatures for survival — preferably 62 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler.
Elkhorn Lake is classified as “Type 2 trout water,” meaning that trout permits are required for fishing or possessing trout during trout season, which generally runs from Nov. 1 through April 15. After that, KDWPT officials noted, trout permits are not necessary, but the daily limit of five trout is still in effect after that point.
Trout can be caught with live bait or artificial lures, such as jigs or spinners, or by using fly-fishing or drift-fishing techniques. Although trout are known for sometimes taking live bait from the bottom of a stream or lake, many consider it preferable to float bait just off the bottom, and when using artificial lures, it is recommended to fish near cover, such as tree roots, rocks or overhangs.
A light-action rod with a four to six-pound test line is considered by many to be the best rod to use for trout fishing. Furthermore, the best time for fishing for trout in lakes is between first light and mid-morning.
All Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and non-residents 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. Trout permits may be purchased at KDWPT offices, most county clerk offices, licensed vendors such as Walmart or online at ksoutdoors.com/License-Permits
The four-acre Elkhorn Lake is considered a community lake by KDWPT. Other fish in the lake include bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, bass and walleye. For more information on the lake and the city’s other parks and recreation facilities, contact Reichle at 364-9000.