JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., FEB. 29, 2012 – A mild winter has not lessened any enthusiasm for a springtime ritual – the opening of trout fishing season March 1 in Missouri’s three state parks featuring rainbow trout.
Trout fishing season officially begins at 6:30 a.m. March 1 at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon and Montauk State Park near Salem. For many fishermen, it is the unofficial start of spring. For other anglers, it is the beginning of a summer-long passion that runs until the season’s end on Oct. 31.
Opening day falls on a Thursday this year with Missouri State Parks officials anticipating eager anglers making a four-day weekend to maximize time in the state parks and in the water.
In the communities closest to the state parks, Cassville, Lebanon and Salem, business owners are also preparing for the fishermen. Although trout fishing occurs in the park, all of the communities around benefit from trout fishing season with busy hotels, motels, restaurants and retail stores.
Opening day fishermen in all three state parks will find numerous improvements ranging from new roofs, fresh coats of paint, several remodeled cabins and fourplexes, and energy-efficiency projects such as solar water heaters in the showerhouses.
In between successful fishing ventures, fishermen can catch an easy breakfast or lunch at the parks’ dining lodges. The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will continue its tradition of passing out complimentary opening day coffee mugs and coffee.
For fishermen unable to enjoy opening day in person, they can watch the action on the trout cam available online from Bennett Spring State Park. Located near one of the park’s most popular fishing spots, the cam picks up all the action and is great for fishermen unable to be there or for family members wanting to share in the excitement from their homes. The trout cam can be viewed at Mo.gov.
Trout season in Missouri is a cooperative effort of Missouri State Parks, which manages state parks, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, which operates the hatcheries and stocks the streams with trout.