Catching and releasing big trout takes skill and dedication. That's why the Conservation Department's "I Released a Lunker" program recognizes anglers who release big trout to fight another day.
Here's how to earn a patch:
- Catch a trout by legal methods that is at least 18 inches long.
- Release it in the presence of a witness (a photo really helps).
- Do it between March 1 and Oct. 31 in the trout parks located at Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park, Roaring River State Park and The James Foundation’s Maramec Spring Park.
- Find a Missouri Department of Conservation staff person at the fish hatchery located at the trout park and ask for an "I Released a Lunker" program application.
- Once you and your witness have signed the application, the MDC staff person will present your patch.
Win the Grand Slam Patch!
Why be satisfied with releasing lunkers at just one of Missouri's trout parks? Catch and release a lunker at all four parks and win the Grand Slam patch. Arrange the four individual patches around the colorful Grand Slam patch, and show the world you're serious about fishing Missouri's trout parks and releasing lunker trout for other anglers to enjoy.