JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) March 1 marks the annual opening of catch-and-keep trout fishing in Missouri at the state’s four trout parks: Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James. The catch-and-keep season at the trout parks runs through Oct. 31.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) operates trout hatcheries at all four parks and stocks rainbow trout daily throughout the season.
“The pandemic created many challenges for all of us over the past year and, even with one hatchery closed due to extensive renovations, our hatchery staff continued to work hard producing fish at the other hatcheries for anglers to enjoy across the state,” said MDC Fisheries Section Chief Bruce Drecktrah. “Thanks to the teamwork of our hatchery staff and the coordination of our hatchery system in Missouri, we are looking to another great season in 2021.”
Drecktrah added that hatchery staff would again use data on trout tags sold in past years to anticipate the number of anglers expected on opening day. Staff will then stock about 20,000 trout across the four trout parks for anglers on opening day.