MDC offers winter trout fishing in St. Joseph

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Winter trout fishing is available again in St. Joseph, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) also is offering a free fly fishing class to help newcomers learn how to catch trout.

MDC on Oct. 30 stocked 800 rainbow trout in Everyday Pond, which is on the north side of the Missouri Western State University campus in St. Joseph. Also stocked were 12 brood fish, lunker trout, from MDC's Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery.

Anglers with a valid Missouri fishing permit can fish for the trout on a catch-and-release basis until Feb. 1. After Feb. 1, anglers with valid fishing permits and a trout permit may keep up to four trout. Only artificial lures may be used, live or scented baits are not allowed. All Missouri residents over age 15 and under 65 must have a valid fishing permit, and all non-residents over age 15 must have a fishing permit.

MDC's annual winter trout fishing program is popular with St. Joseph area anglers, said Eric Dennis, an MDC fisheries management biologist based in St. Joseph. Trout need cold, clear water to survive and are not native to northwest Missouri. But in winter, the cool water of ponds and lakes can support trout.

"It's amazing how many people utilize the urban trout program here," Dennis said. "The pond gets heavy use."

MDC's Discover Nature ̶ Fishing program will offer a free fly fishing course 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Everyday Pond, which is James McCarthy Drive between Faraon Street and MDC's Northwest Regional Office in St. Joseph. Instructor Tori McNutt will teach participants about fly fishing equipment along with two basic casts, the roll cast and the overhand cast. McNutt will also show the varied flies that can be used to catch fish with a fly rod.

After instruction, participants can grad a fly rod and fish. Chances are good they might catch one of the stocked trout. MDC will provide all equipment.

Advance registration for the fly fishing class is requested by Thursday, Nov. 5, by calling 816-271-3100.

For more information on Missouri's outdoors and MDC programs, visit