Local children may want to get their fishing poles ready for the long-awaited Murphy Rainbow Trout Roundup.
The event is one of the city’s most popular and was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rainbow Trout Roundup is set to return Saturday, Feb. 26 at the municipal pond located at 206 North Murphy Road.
The event is in its eighth year, and, with the exception of 2021, has been held every year since 2014.
“This fun event usually brings together several generations within families, spending a fun and entertaining time together,” said Kayla McFarland, special events coordinator for the city. “We see moms, dads and grandparents helping the youngsters perfect their fishing skills. As always, everyone has a great time.”
The roundup begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. According to city officials, there will be on-site registration, which begins at 8:30 a.m., but participants are encouraged to register online before the event.
There is no limit to the number of children who can register, says McFarland, and the event is open to residents and non-residents alike.
Anglers up to 6 years old may cast their lines from 9 a.m. to 10, with winners in this age group announced at 10:15 a.m. Anglers 7 to 17 years old start casting at 10 a.m. until the end of the tournament at 11:30 a.m. Winners in the 7 to 11 years old age group, as well as the winners between the ages of 12 and 17 will be announced at 11:35 a.m.
Prizes and trophies will be handed out in each age category for the shortest, longest and heaviest stringer of five rainbow trout only. In addition to the first-place trophy, a second-place medal in each category will be awarded.
The catch-and-keep limit is five trout per person. Bait will be provided free of charge and families may use available fishing poles available at no cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Adult family members can help the little ones with baiting the hooks, tending the line and pulling in their catches,” said McFarland. “Since many of the younger kids will be fishing for the first time, the excitement on their faces will make great photos.”
Anglers 18 years or older may not fish during the roundup; however, once the tournament concludes, they can cast their lines.
An exemption to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Licensing requirement will be in place until 4 p.m. At that point, Texas Parks and Wildlife monitors will begin checking for fishing licenses. This exemption only applies to the Murphy pond on Feb. 26. Licenses can be obtained at most retailers with an outdoors or hunting department.
Officials encourage cold weather gear as temperatures may be chilly and there is no lunch offered to participants.
The roundup is free of charge and participants can register at murphytx.org.