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Grab your fishing pole and license — catch some rainbow trout at Covington’s Prisoners Lake

With a turn of a pipe’s cap on the back of a truck’s cold-water tank, fishing options in Covington got more colorful this week.

Usually, anglers hankering to catch a few rainbow trout have to plunk down a down payment on an Orvis fly rod, grab a few wet flies (Mayfly nymph? Copper John? Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear?), and find their way to Colorado or Idaho.

For the time being – as in, until the fish are all caught or the weather and water warm up to intolerable conditions – local anglers need only head up to Devou Park’s Prisoners Lake.

Just make sure you’re properly licensed.

Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife resources technician Adam Cecil releases 750 rainbow trout into Prisoners Lake (Photo provided)

Technicians from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources delivered 750 10-inch-and-bigger trout to the 3.8-acre lake today as part of its FINs (Fishing in Neighborhoods) program, whose aim “is to create quality fishing opportunities near cities of all sizes throughout the state.”

KDFWR technician Adam Cecil said the fish had been carefully raised from fertilized eggs at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, a process that takes about 14 months. A cold-water fish, they’ll survive in Prisoners Lake until late May or early June.

“But they don’t do well in warm water at all,” he said.

Met by Forestry/Devou Park supervisor Jason Roberts from Covington’s Public Works Department (he with the gate key), Cecil and fellow technician Elijah Thompson backed their KDFWR truck – easily recognizable by its fish mural – down a ramp at Prisoners.

After breaking through a veneer of ice and sweeping aside some floating algae, they unscrewed the cap on the tank full of 44-degree water and released the fish with a big splash.

Prisoners Lake is also regularly stocked with catfish and bluegill through the state’s FINs program.

Legal requirements

Anyone who fishes at Prisoners must have a state fishing license (note the new license year starts Monday, March 1). If you intend to keep your catch, you need a state trout permit as well. If you’re 15 or younger, you need neither. Here’s the LINK to learn more about or buy a license.
You don’t need a trout permit if you release your catch. But to help the fish survive, be sure to practice good catch-and-release techniques: Wet your hands, and don’t use a dry rag or your foot to hold them while you gently unhook them.

City of Covington

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