A New Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing
Laclede counties, Bennett Spring to Prosperine Access)
* Consult the Wildlife Code for a complete listing of area boundaries and regulations.
** Catch and release from November 1 through February 28
At Stone Mill Spring Branch, from November 1 through February 28, only catch-and-release fishing using artificial lures and flies will be permitted. Anglers must possess a trout permit to fish there. In future years, similar winter catch-and-release rules will be established at other White Ribbon Trout Areas. These areas will provide great opportunities to catch and harvest trout, the occasional chance to harvest a large trout and additional opportunities for winter catch-and-release fishing.
Because of high angling pressure, regular stocking will continue at Lake Taneycomo. To help support these stocking efforts, a trout permit will be required for all anglers fishing upstream of the U.S. Highway 65 bridge on Lake Taneycomo. A trout permit still is required to possess trout below the Highway 65 Bridge. No other changes to fishing regulations on Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries have been made, except that the daily limit of four trout will apply.
“We wanted to make our trout regulations as consistent as possible,” said Protection Unit Chief Terry Roberson. “Also, we thought long and hard before reducing the limit from five to four, but we concluded it would help spread out the harvest and create more successful trout anglers.”
This change was broadly supported by anglers during public meetings conducted in 2003 to discuss the future of trout management in Missouri.
New Trout Fishing Opportunities
One of the most difficult tasks directed by the trout plan is to acquire more areas for anglers to fish.
Steve Eder, the Department’s Fisheries Division Administrator, said, “The Department of Conservation only acquires land from willing sellers, and the limited number of coldwater streams creates few purchase opportunities. Nonetheless, we have made acquisition of new trout waters, through purchase, easement or partnerships a high priority.”
A great example of a partnership is the new“White Ribbon” trout area on Hickory Creek, created through an agreement with the City of Neosho. Hickory Creek has held a few trout, but the Department plans to begin regular stocking there during 2005.
New winter trout fishing opportunities also have been created in city park lakes in Columbia, Jackson and Jefferson City. Trout stocked in these lakes are reared in private hatcheries, and the Department shares the cost of purchasing and stocking with local communities.
Ultimately, “A Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing” has three priorities: to create more successful trout fishing trips, to more equitably distribute trout harvest among anglers and to provide more trout fishing opportunities.
For more information about “A Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing,” or about trout fishing opportunities in Missouri, visit our website at: <www.missouriconservation.org/fish/sport/trout/>.
As Conservation Department Director John Hoskins said, “We want to provide the best possible trout fishing here in Missouri.”