Fishing stories start with stocked ponds

By Collen McGeeDecember 7, 2023

Fishing stories start with stocked ponds
Every fishing story starts with a fish. The main character is either the one that got away or the biggest one caught that day. Nov. 30, about 1,680 pounds of fishing story starts were released into Moon Lake and Cameron Springs in time for the opening day of trout season. (Photo Credit: Collen McGee) VIEW ORIGINAL

Anglers who fish the lakes and ponds of Fort Riley now have the makings of some new fish stories in time for rainbow trout season. About 1,680 pounds of the fish, some reaching two pounds or more, were released into two installation fishing holes Nov. 30, 2023.

For Cameron Springs, just off of 1st Division Road, 750 pounds were turned loose just after 6 a.m. the day before the official start to the trout fishing season. Moon Lake received the balance of the fish as the sun started to light up the area.

According to Mike Houck, a supervisory wildlife biologist with the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Public Works, the fish were raised at a hatchery in Missouri and were purchased under contract by the State of Kansas. Through a partnership between Fort Riley and Kansas Wildlife and Parks, the non-native rainbow trout are stocked here to give anglers a winter fishing opportunity.

The opportunity for either a good-sized fish or at least the makings of a fishing story during the winter season will be plentiful even with a shorter season this year.

“The season has been condensed,” Houck said. “It used to start Nov. 1. Now, it's a month later and then it used to run … into April and now they've condensed the season down and it ends March 31st.”

Though the season is shorter this year, the supply of trout is not a short one.

“We should be getting more fish for stocking,” Houck said. “There'll be a stocking around the first week of January and then another one in February.”

Houck revealed that there had also been an earlier stocking in November from a Kansas State hatchery that provided some fish he estimated to be larger than the ones stocked Nov. 30. So, the two lakes will receive a total of 4 loads throughout the season to supply Fort Riley anglers.

A Kansas fishing license and a trout tag are required for every angler aged 16 to 74. Fishing requirements on Fort Riley are the same as those that govern the rest of the state. For more information or to buy a license, visit and click on the yellow tab marked Fishing or the one for Licenses & Permits.

For those who fish Cameron Springs and Moon Lake, you do not have to check in via the iSportsman website. However, there are 27 other ponds in areas that do require iSportsman registration. You can visit to learn more about winter sports opportunities.