MDC to offer free use of muskie fishing boats at Busch Conservation Area starting in October

News from the region
Published Date
09/30/2021
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St. CHARLES, Mo.—Anglers in the St. Louis area will have a chance to try their hand at catching the “fish of a thousand casts” this October.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is providing the opportunity to fish for muskellunge on Lake 35 at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. 

MDC will provide five boats for muskie anglers on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Oct. 1 at Lake 35.  The boats can be used free of charge and will be available for check out from the MDC St. Louis Regional Office 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and at the All In Bait and Tackle Shop adjacent to the regional office Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Anglers will be required to bring and show their own personal flotation devices to check out the boats.  Electric trolling motors are permitted, but gasoline motors are prohibited on the lake.  Oars are provided for motorless use. 

Muskies are on the move during the month of October due to favorable water temperatures, and this offers a window of opportunity for anglers willing to take on the challenge.  The fish are stocked in Busch Conservation Area’s Lake 35, and MDC fisheries biologists report sampling muskies measuring over 41 inches.

Muskellunge are popular among anglers because of their impressive size and unique challenge they present.  The largest fish of the pike family, muskie can grow from three to four feet long.  These slender top aquatic predators sport a mouth of razor-sharp teeth to back up their fierce reputation. 

Anglers may catch and keep one muskie per day.  Muskies must be at least 36 inches to take or possess.  Anglers will be asked to fill out voluntary angler survey to help improve future muskie fishing on the lake.

Busch Conservation Area’s Lake 35 offers a close and convenient option for seasoned muskellunge anglers to get a fast muskie fix.  It also provides a way for anglers new to the challenge to sample muskie fishing without investing a lot of time or money.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D, about two miles west of Highway 94.