Missouri Welcomes Trout Season March 1


Article Tags:

Outdoor Adventure , outdoors , outdoor activities , fishing , Fish Farm / Hatchery , State Parks and State Historic Sites
Four trout parks, other streams in Missouri delight anglers
Author: Missouri Department of Conservation
As winter winds down, anglers throughout the Show-Me State are beginning to show some signs of trout fever. Symptoms include: tying flies, putting new fishing line on reels, checking waders for holes, and practicing casting. Most anglers who get trout fever get rid of it by doing one thing: visiting one of Missouri's four trout parks to participate in the catch-and-keep trout season.

March 1 marks the opening of catch-and-keep trout fishing at
Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park southwest of Salem, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James.

The season at the trout parks runs through Oct. 31, after which you can only catch and release trout.

If you want to make your trout-fishing trip a weekend (or longer) excursion, note that lodging options are available at
Bennett Spring, Montauk and Roaring River state parks. If you’re fishing at Maramec Spring, it’s a 10-minute drive north to Greenstay Hotel and Suites in St. James.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) operates trout hatcheries at the four parks. To help predict angler turnout on opening day, hatchery staff rely on permit records going back more than 70 years.

Montauk, Bennett Spring and Roaring River hatchery staffers expect crowds of about 2,000 anglers at each location while staffers at Maramec Spring are planning for a crowd of about 1,000.

Based on these predictions, hatchery staff will stock three trout per expected angler on opening day – that’s a total of more than 21,000 fish averaging around a foot in length. The hatcheries also will stock a mix of “lunkers” ranging from three to 10 pounds.

Anglers need a daily trout tag to fish in Missouri's trout parks. Daily trout tags can only be purchased at each of the four trout parks. Missouri residents ages 16-64 need a fishing permit in addition to the daily tag. Nonresidents 16 and older also need a fishing permit.

You can buy Missouri fishing permits from numerous vendors around the state, online at
mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through MDC’s free mobile apps, Mo Hunting and Mo Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

MDC stocks more than 800,000 trout annually at the state's four trout parks and approximately 1.5 million annually statewide.

The four aforementioned parks are among many places to fish for trout in the Show-Me State.

Lake Taneycomo in Branson (named by Trivago as the No. 1 best value destination in the U.S. for 2017) is another popular spot for trout fishing. The cool waters of the lake (about 58 degrees year-round) make for ideal conditions, and the fact it’s stocked with three-quarters of a million trout annually doesn’t hurt, either. There are ample lodging options in the Branson area.

There’s also a section of the
Roubidoux River near Waynesville that makes for a nice trout fishing destination. The trout area of the Roubidoux is divided into red-ribbon and white-ribbon sections and the boundaries are defined on MDC’s website. Waynesville is located on historic Route 66 in Pulaksi County and lodging options are found nearby in St. Robert.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has an extensive list of blue-, red- and white-ribbon trout areas across the state. To learn more about those areas, visit
MDC’s website.

(photos courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri State Parks)

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