WinterFisch FAQ

What is Mason County WinterFisch (WinterFisch)?
WinterFisch is a free (sponsored) Rainbow Trout fishing opportunity in participation with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) statewide winter Rainbow trout fishing program.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/trout_stocking.phtml .

WinterFisch involves two releases of Rainbow trout, one on December 4th, 2021 (1500 fish) and one on February 3rd, 2021 (1000 fish).  A total of 2500 fish are released.

Why WinterFisch?
WinterFisch provides a fishing opportunity during a time of the year when native fish are less active.  The program is intended to engage families in the outdoors through the sport of fishing. 

In addition to providing a fun and engaging outdoor activity for area residents it is intended that the event attract visitors to Mason County in support of local businesses.

When is WinterFisch?
The 2021/2022 Season will run from December 4th, 2021 through March 13th, 2022.

WinterFisch 2021/2022 kicks off on December 4th, 2021 with the WinterFisch Celebration that includes the release of 1500 trout, guidance, instruction, loaner poles, a variety of fishing and outdoor demos, music, fish cooking, campfires, and live music.   A second release of 1000 trout release will occur on February 3rd, 2022.

When will the trout be released?
The first release is scheduled for December 4th, 2021. The second release is February, 3rd, 2022.  

Where does WinterFisch happen?
In Mason County, Texas along the banks of the island, located downstream and upstream of the bridge over the Llano River at the James River Crossing on Highway 2389. This crossing is often called Dos Rios as it is where the James River meets the Llano River.

Other Rainbow trout releases occur near Mason at various times during the season, including Castell, Junction, and the South Llano River State Park, and Brady.

Is the event site ADA compliant?
The event site is not ADA compliant as it is on the natural river bank, which is very rocky and uneven.  If you have mobility restrictions and wish to partake in the fishing event please contact event managers to see what accommodations can be made.

Who can I contact for more information about WInterFisch?
Tony Plutino tonyplutino@gmail.com 512-496-2020
Don Gray donaldkgray@gmail.com 512-496-3583
Pete Munoz djaypete@icloud.com 325-347-7208

Who produces WinterFisch?
Tony Plutino, Llano River Region Adventures created the event and is primary organizer.
The WinterFisch Team is Tony Plutino, Don Gray, Pete Munoz, Robert Rayburn, and Terry “Buck” Pittsford.
To volunteer or sponsor contact Tony Plutino at tonyplutino@gmail.com or 512-496-2020.

SPONSORS! – We couldn’t do it without generous support of many local and out-of-county sponsors.  Please visit FishTheLlano.com for a complete list.  Be sure to visit and thank our sponsors.  We are always looking for additional financial and prize sponsors!

I caught a tagged fish! What does that mean?
A few fish are tagged with red and yellow tags and fishers who reel these in are eligible for small prizes. Red Tag – Prize valued from $25-$50.  Yellow Tag – Prize valued at $10-$25

Red and yellow tag submitters will be automatically entered into a Grand Prize Raffle.  The drawing will be held in the week after WinterFisch ends on March 13th, 2022.

What are the Grand Prizes?
1. Temple Fork Fly Fishing Rod & Reel Combo donated by Living Waters Fly Fishing of Round Rock, Texas.
2. Two-night cabin stay at Dos Rios RV Park and Campground.
3. Two-night cabin stay at The Fish Camp.
4. Two-night cabin stay at River Sounds Campground.
5. Galveston Day Sailing Adventure

How do I claim my prize for a tagged fish?
Take your picture with your tagged fish if possible.  Keep the tag. Contact: Tony Plutino at tonyplutino@gmail.com or 512-496-2020.

What do I catch the trout with?
Fly fishing – Your favorite fly. Match with conditions.
Spin & Crank – Kernel corn – Marshmallows –  Power Bait – Small spoons & Rooster tails.

For more tips on catching Rainbow trout please click here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_t3200_1692.pdf

I think I might have a record fish.  Who do I contact about Fish Records?
Don Gray is the official TPWD record keeper for Mason County, Texas.  Contact Don at donaldkgray@gmail.com or 512-496-3583.

Will these fish breed?
No. Rainbow trout will not survive in water above 70F and do not breed in Texas lakes or streams.  The exception is a small area of perennially cold water released from Canyon Dam on the Guadalupe River.

Are these Rainbow trout harmful to native fish and other flora and fauna?
No. TPWD biologists have determined that there is no harmful interaction between stocked Rainbow Trout and native flora and fauna.

How much do the Rainbow Trout cost?
Trout are $1.65 each for the 2021/2022season.  This price is subject to change each season.

How much does it cost to fish for the stocked trout?
There is no charge for fishing for the stocked trout, but a valid Texas Fishing License is needed.

The trout are paid for by a consortium of local and out-of-county sponsors. 

Do I need a fishing license?
Yes. All fishers 17 and older must have a valid Texas Fishing License.

Minors under 17 may fish for free.

Where can I buy a Texas Fishing License?
Texas Fishing Licenses can be purchased in Mason at:
Lowes Markets 325-347-5906 Event Sponsor
Mason Feed Store 325-347-6381 Event Sponsor
Stripes Convenience Store 325-347-5133
The Wildlife Ranch, Inc. 325-347-8808

Visit TPWD online for additional locations or to purchase online.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/licenses/online_sales

I don’t have a rod and reel. What can I do?
Loaner poles for you and your group are available by contacting Don Gray at donaldkgray@gmail.com or 512-496-3583.

Is there a daily bag limit or are there other regulations?
Yes.  Please click here for TPWD rules and regulations regarding stocked Rainbow trout fishing.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/trout_stocking.phtml

I have a question about Mason County WinterFisch.  Who do I contact?
Email or call  the event manager, Mason County resident Tony Plutino, at tonyplutino@gmail.net or 512-496-2020.