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Four of a Kind

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Published on: Feb. 3, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010

Missouri fishing license, along with a daily tag, which costs $3 for adults and $2 for kids age 15 and under. Anglers have to display their daily tags, which can only be purchased at the trout park.

Anyone can fish the trout parks without a state license or daily permit during Free Fishing Days, which are the first Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday of June. Children can fish for free on the Saturday following Mother's Day.

Daily limits for anglers are five fish,The possession limit is 10. In addition to the general regulations, each park has specific regulations dealing with the types of bait or lures allowed and the size and species of fish that may be included in the daily bag. Rules are clearly posted at the trout parks, but it's a good idea to pick up a printed copy of the fishing regulations when you buy your daily tag.

The trout parks are open to fishing in the winter, too, although anglers are not allowed to keep trout during this catch-and-release season, and only flies may be used. This winter season runs from the second Friday of November through the second Sunday of February. Fishing hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and fishing is allowed only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Anglers don't need a daily tag to fish, but they must have both a Missouri fishing license and a trout permit.

A good way to learn more about trout park fishing is to observe or consult with trout park regulars. They'll usually go out of their way to help. If you want to perform research at home, an Internet search for the trout park you are interested in will lead you to many interesting and valuable web sites.

Montauk Trout Park

Montauk has three separate fishing zones: one for fly fishing; another for catch-and-release fishing; and the third allowing artificial lures, natural bait and fly fishing methods. With its deep pools, fast runs and abundant rock and log structure, the water would look like it harbored trout, even if they didn't stock it regularly. Most of the trout caught are rainbows, but an occasional brown trout appears on the bragging board. Anglers purchased 2,089 daily tags for opening day of the 2002 season.

For more information, call (573) 548-2585 or (417) 256-7167.

Roaring River Trout Park

The park is divided into a no-wading zone in which only flies, artificial lures, and soft plastic bait may be used. Another zone allows the use of flies only and part of it, the only portion of the zone where wading is allowed, is catch-and-release only. The remaining zone allows artificial lures, soft plastic bait, and natural bait, as well as wading. This zone can be fished legally with either a trout permit or a daily fishing tag, in addition to a state fishing permit. 1,964 anglers bought daily tags here for opening day 2002.

For more information, call (417) 847-2430.

Bennett Spring Trout Park

Bennett Spring has three zones, flies only, selected artificial lures only and an area in which only natural baits and the artificial lures prohibited in other zones may be used. The daily limit is five fish, but only one can be a brown trout, and that fish must be 18 inches or longer. Bennett Spring attracts more anglers than any of the other trout parks. In 2002, more than 179,000 daily permits were sold through the season. 2,419 anglers bought permits for opening day.

For more information, call (417) 532-4418 or (417) 532-7612.

Maramec Spring Park

Maramec Spring has no separate fishing zones. You can fish with natural and artificial lures, as well as flies, throughout the park. Fishing becomes especially interesting in the fall when large brown and rainbow trout from the Meramec River migrate upstream into park waters. A $3 parking fee must be paid for each vehicle to enter the park. Frequent visitors can purchase a $15 annual parking pass. Maramec Spring Park sold 1,372 permits for the March 1 opening of the 2002 season.

For more information, call (573) 265-7801.

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