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Published on: Feb. 14, 2012

casts,” muskie remain one of Missouri’s most elusive sport fish. MDC stocks muskies at Fellows Lake, Hazel Creek Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake and August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. In 2009, anglers reported catching a 36-inch or longer muskie for every 25 hours of effort—a big reward for perseverance. Recently, the first Missouri muskie to break the 50-inch threshold was caught by MDC fisheries biologists at Fellows Lake—proving that muskies are well suited for selected reservoirs in the Show-Me State.

The Department also has enhanced trout angling. With input from a number of trout-fishing organizations and citizens, the Conservation Commission approved A Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing in 2003. This plan, as well as other trout studies and scientifically based stocking, have greatly expanded the quantity and quality of trout fishing in Missouri.

Today, Missouri’s trout-fishing opportunities include four trout parks: Montauk, Roaring River, and Bennett and Maramec springs. The Department also manages 120 miles of spring-fed, cold-water trout streams, Lake Taneycomo, and winter trout areas in Columbia, Kirksville, Jackson, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Mexico, Sedalia, St. Joseph and St. Louis. Nearly 2 million trout, produced by Department hatcheries and the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, are stocked each year. Learn more about these trout areas at mdc.mo.gov/node/5603.

Watershed Conservation Benefits Sport Fish

MDC’s sport-fish management continues in the same tradition as it began—with the Department working with Missourians and for Missourians to ensure the state’s diverse fisheries only get better. More than 75 years ago, those early conservation efforts involved milk cans and determination—the only tools in the toolbox. Today, state-of-the-art hatcheries, solid science, public involvement and broad partnerships continue to improve Missouri’s world-class fishing.

“Science-based research is allowing us to learn more than ever before about the impacts of all sorts of things on Missouri’s sport fish,” says Vitello. “You can’t have quality smallmouth bass, for example, if the crayfish (their favorite food) don’t thrive. You can’t have healthy sport fish if the prey fish that support them, like shad, can’t make it. By studying the whole system, we learn more about what supports the entire web of life.”

MDC’s fisheries biologists continue to connect the dots between sport-fish management and watershed conservation. What is good for the land and the stream ultimately is good for Missouri’s most sought-after fish.

Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited has been a key partner in conservation since the 1970s. Trout Unlimited is a

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