A New Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing
any Department trout hatchery since 1978.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery, at the base of Table Rock Dam, is Missouri’s largest trout producer and holds the greatest potential for expansion. James Civiello, hatchery manager at Shepherd of the Hills, said that expanding the facility will dramatically improve the hatchery’s ability to produce both brown and rainbow trout.
“A new dissolved oxygen system will help us grow more trout with our existing water supply while improving the quality of the water we release into Lake Taneycomo,” Civiello said.
Managers at Missouri’s four other trout hatcheries look forward to similar improvements.
Renovating hatcheries is necessary to produce not only more trout, but to improve the quality of trout. Fisheries Unit Chief Kevin Richards said the new goal is to produce rainbow trout that average 12.5 inches for all waters the Department stocks.
“Additional hatchery production also is needed so we’re not forced to continually operate at maximum capacity as we do now, “Coldwater Hatcheries Supervisor George Kromrey said.“Improvements will create some reserve capacity that we can use when unexpected losses occur and help ensure an uninterrupted supply of trout for stocking.”
New Trout Regulations
The new trout plan also calls for new management area designations and regulations. Th ese will become effective on March 1.
Trout Parks at Bennett Spring, Montauk, Maramec and Roaring River will be managed much as they’ve been in the past. However, two changes to statewide regulations will improve angling in the parks. First, the daily limit for trout has been reduced from fi ve to four. Th e possession limit will be reduced from 10 to eight. Although these changes may reduce the harvest for some anglers, they will help spread the harvest among more anglers and create more successful fi shing trips.
Second, the minimum length limit for brown trout caught from mosts streams, including the trout parks, will be 15 inches. In some waters, the minimum length limit for all trout will be 18 inches. Brown trout have the potential to grow large, but in the past, many browns in trout parks were harvested before they achieved their growth potential.
No changes are planned for winter catch-and-release fi shing at the trout parks. All four parks will be open for catch-and-release fi shing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from the second Friday in November through the second Sunday in February. A trout permit is required for fi shing during