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Hatchery managers use these estimates to determine how many trout to stock each day. Throughout most of the season, they stock 2.25 fish per expected angler. On opening day, however, they put three fish in the water for every angler they expect to attend. These fish average around 12 inches long. However, MDC also stocks dozens of “lunkers,” hatchery brood fish weighing upwards of 3 pounds. A few tip the scales at more than 10 pounds.
Three of Missouri’s trout parks–Bennett Spring, Montauk, and Roaring River–are owned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Maramec Spring Park is owned by the James Foundation. The Conservation Department operates trout hatcheries at all four. For more information about trout-park fishing, call:
• Bennett Spring - 417-532-4418.
• Maramec - 573-265-7801.
• Montauk - 573-548-2585.
• Roaring River - 417-847-2430.
Anglers need a daily trout tag to fish in Missouri’s trout parks. Missouri residents 16 through 64 need a fishing permit in addition to the daily tag. Nonresidents 16 and older also need a fishing permit.
One new feature at all four parks this year is the availability of wader-wash stations. These are baths with a 5-percent salt solution for boots and fishing gear. They are designed to kill the aquatic invasive species, Didymosphenia geminata. commonly known as Didymo. It’s less appetizing nickname, “rock snot,” captures its slimy experience and general undesirability.
Didymo is an invasive alga that forms dense mats on stream bottoms. It can become so thick that it disrupts natural food chains, making fishing impossible. Its arrival in trout streams around the globe probably is the result of its ability to cling to the porous surface of felt-soled fishing waders. Didymo is known to infest streams in 19 states. The infested stream nearest to Missouri is in northern Arkansas.
“We strongly encourage anglers to make use of the wader-wash stations to clean not only waders, but any fishing equipment that has been used in other states,” said MDC Hatchery Systems Manager James Civiello. “Anglers can unknowingly spread the microscopic alga on fishing gear, waders, and especially in any porous materials on wader soles.”
Civiello said anglers can help prevent the spread of rock snot by cleaning fishing gear and waders and drying them in the sun for 48 hours when moving between waters. They also can help by replacing felt-soled waders with rubber-soled ones.
Trout parks are only one option for Show-Me State anglers. For more about the state’s extensive system of trout streams and winter trout fishing, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/7248.
MDC also maintains rainbow and brown trout populations in 120 miles of 17 streams designated as blue-, red- or white-ribbon trout waters. Lake Taneycomo has world-class trophy trout fishing, and MDC stocks trout in selected lakes and ponds in several communities around the state during the winter months. You can find details about all these trout-fishing opportunities in the Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, which is available wherever fishing permits are sold or at http://bit.ly/g8carJ. Information about winter trout fishing in urban areas is available at http://bit.ly/gSLEyx.
A Trout Permit ($7 for adults, $3.50 for anglers under age 16) is required to possess trout on waters outside trout parks. A fishing permit also is required, unless the angler is exempt.
A survey conducted in 2001 showed that trout anglers spent more per day on their sport than anglers pursuing any other species. Trout anglers’ expenditures that year totaled $115,561,474.
These expenditures generated more than $240 million of business activity, supporting 2,078 jobs and creating nearly $52 million dollars in wages. This produced more than $5.5 million in state sales taxes, $2 million in state income taxes and more than $8 million in federal income taxes.
Thirty percent of Missouri’s trout anglers come from other states, so a substantial portion of trout fishing expenditures is “new money” for the state’s economy.
Missouri Trout Parks