Urban Fishing

A lake in Forest Park in St. Louis with tall buildings in the background
Urban Fishing

Every year, tens of thousands of Kansas City and St. Louis residents enjoy quick, convenient access to fishing through Missouri's urban fishing initiative. A network of over 30 urban lakes statewide means more opportunity for Missourians to fish locally than ever before.

Lakes feature a variety of fish, but what you catch will depend on the time of year and which lake you decide to visit.

Area regulations apply. Be sure to check MDC guide boards on-site before casting off.

Check out Prospects Reports for more on fishing in St. Louis and Kansas City.


Every November, rainbow trout are stocked in over 40 city lakes across Missouri. Find a lake near you!

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St. Louis has 17 urban lakes spread out across St. Louis and St. Louis County.


  • Channel catfish: Stocked at all lakes, March through September.
  • Trout: Stocked at selected lakes during the winter.

Fish stocking information is available by calling the St. Louis Fish Stocking Hotline at 636-300-9651.

Visitor information about all other public lakes and ponds in St. Louis can be found by contacting our regional office at 636-441-4554.


Kansas City has 13 urban lakes extending throughout the Kansas City area.


  • Channel catfish: Stocked at all lakes, April through September.
  • Trout: Stocked at selected lakes during the winter.

Call the Kansas City Fish Stocking Hotline at 816-525-0300 for the latest stocking dates.


The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Fishing Centers (CFC) are set up to serve St. Louis Area organized aquatic education, youth, and disabled fishing programs.

These lakes are specially-managed to increase success and provide good access. To maintain high success rates, all fish must be released and are closed to public fishing. CFC lakes are available at no cost, but must be reserved in advance. Though adults are encouraged to help kids fish, no adult fishing is allowed.

Who should participate?

  • Kids (age 18 years or younger) groups including at least 10 people with little or no fishing experience (Scouts, clubs, camps, etc.)
  • Schools
  • Disabled angler groups

Where are the centers located?

How do I reserve a CFC lake?

To reserve a CFC lake for a group or school, call and ask for available dates. You’ll need to provide the group name, group size, and contact information. These lakes reserve fast, so allow at least two-months prior to your event.

  • Bellefontaine CA (Missouri Department of Conservation, 314-877-6014)
  • Busch CA (Missouri Department of Conservation, 636-441-4554)
  • Forest Park (Missouri Department of Conservation, 314-301-1500)
  • Suson Park Rearing Pond (St. Louis County Parks, 314-615-8484)

What do I need to bring?

  • Signed lake reservation and/or special use permits which will be provided to you
  • Fishing equipment [Note: Free loaner rods and reels available for Busch CA groups by completing a request when a lake is reserved]
  • Terminal tackle (pliers, towels, extra hooks and bobbers, etc.)
  • Fishing bait
  • Drinking water
  • Camera

Growing Channel Catfish

Watch how channel catfish are raised at MDC's Chesapeake Hatchery.
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