Gone Fishing

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Published on: Mar. 2, 2010

Last revision: Dec. 17, 2010

Gone Fishing

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transfer of plants or animals between water bodies, with boots with sticky rubber soles.

  • Report any fish kills, dying or diseased fish or water pollution to a Conservation Department fisheries biologist, or call the Department’s Environmental Services Unit at (573) 882-9880.

    A wide variety of trout fishing opportunities are available to Missouri anglers. However, the state’s trout waters are limited and can get crowded. To make everyone’s experience more enjoyable, consider the following:

    Respect Your Fellow Anglers:

    • Know and follow posted fishing regulations.
    • Don’t wade in front of others—allow space for backcasting.
    • Give priority to disabled anglers in areas accessible to them.
    • Don’t throw rocks or disturb the water.
    • Minimize noise—avoid loud music or yelling.

    Catch-and-Release Guidelines:

    • Minimize the amount of time you play a fish.
    • Handle the fish gently, keep it in the water and release it quickly.
    • Hold an exhausted fish underwater, facing upstream, until it swims away.
    • Use the heaviest tackle appropriate.
    • Use needle nose pliers to back the hook out. Never pull a swallowed hook; instead, cut the line.
    • Use barbless hooks or squeeze the barb flat to make releasing fish easier.

    Minimize Your Impact on the Environment:

    • Don’t litter! Bait containers, cigarette butts and fishing line harm wildlife and degrade the outdoor experience.
    • Use only designated trails and parking areas.
    • Don’t shuffle your feet in the water to stimulate fish to feed.


    Visit the links listed below for more information and to download maps of Missouri trout areas.

    Trout Parks: Missouri has four trout parks, heavily stocked and heavily fished. These parks are located at hatcheries and stocked daily. Their regular season is March 1 through Oct. 31.

    Winter Trout Areas: Several small lakes, with a Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 catch-and-release season. Most are stocked once in early November.

    White Ribbon Trout Areas: Fishing is permitted year-round. Stocked less intensively than trout parks. Daily limit is four trout with a 15-inch length limit on brown trout. Less crowded than trout parks and winter trout areas.

    Red Ribbon Trout Areas: Stocked less intensively than white ribbon areas. Browns are typically stocked once a year. Special regulations may include length limits, reduced creel limits and tackle restrictions.

    Blue Ribbon Trout Areas: Small streams are not stocked, but depend on self-sustaining populations of rainbow trout. Only artificial lures are permitted. Natural, soft plastic and scented baits are prohibited. The daily limit is one trout of 18 inches or greater length.

    Lake Taneycomo: Stocked with both rainbow and brown trout. Daily limit is four (one brown trout), there is no length limit on rainbow trout below Fall Creek, and the minimum length limit for browns is 20 inches. Above Fall Creek all rainbows between 12 and 20 inches must be released unharmed immediately and only flies and artificial lures may be used.

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