Meramec River - Red Ribbon Area (Hwy 8 to Scott's Ford)


Bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass are proven stocking combination that provides both food and sport-fishing. When stocked in this order and properly managed, these species provide great fishing and good eating.

Annual Prospects Report

Trout fishing in the Meramec River is expected to be fair in 2024. Fall sampling indicated a lowe number of brown trout had survived from last year's stockings, and all trout numbers remain lower than historical averages.  Relatively few browns survive longer than six months post stocking to reach legal size; therefore, anglers are most likely to encounter rainbows or sub-legal browns. Brown trout stocking is scheduled for fall 2023 into early winter of 2024, and if stable water conditions prevail, anglers can expect to catch fair numbers of small browns with a slight chance to hook into a brown greater than 15 inches long. Rainbow trout numbers and sizes in 2024 are expected to be lower than recent years, as relatively few were found in last fall's sampling. Trout of either species greater than 18 inches in length will remain rare. Trout numbers are typically greatest in the three miles of stream below the Maramec Spring confluence.  Most larger trout seek the overhead cover in runs or deeper pools with downed trees, boulders, and other structure that offer a resting place or forage base. When the river is crystal clear, using light fishing line is helpful to inducing a strike. Anglers can also expect to encounter good numbers of smallmouth bass and rock bass in this area, around the numerous rootwads, submerged timber, and bluff faces. Wade fishing is generally easiest in the upper part of ribbon area from walk-in access points on Woodson K Woods Conservation Area or through The James Foundation’s Maramec Spring Park (there is a fee to park in the latter).  Float-through fishing is also available from the Highway 8 access to Scott’s Ford Access, but can be difficult for large or heavy watercraft in low-water conditions. 

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Meramec River in the St Louis region
Saint Louis

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