MDC reminds anglers catch and keep trout starts Feb. 1 in St. Louis area lakes

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

St. LOUIS, Mo.—Have you been yearning for trout with bowtie pasta and spring vegetables? Or perhaps crispy golden trout stuffed with crabmeat and finished with oregano? Maybe you just want the plain smoked variety.

The good news is, you can bring rainbow trout to your table in any form you like starting Feb. 1.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds St. Louis area anglers that the start of February also begins catch and keep trout fishing season at MDC Winter Trout Fishing Lakes.

MDC normally stocks almost 40,000 rainbow trout each November through January in 12 St. Louis City and County lakes, as well as in five lakes at the MDC August A. Busch Conservation Area on Route D in St. Charles. MDC also adds several brood stock lunker trout—some as large as 10 lbs.—into the mix at its winter trout lakes.  

Between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, some lakes are catch-and-release only, and some are catch-and-keep. However, beginning Feb. 1, trout may be taken from all winter trout lakes. Rainbow trout are not native to the area but in winter the water is cold enough to support them. MDC’s winter trout program provides anglers a chance to enjoy a hard-fighting fish close to home. Trout anglers can feel free to use natural or prepared baits as well when keeping the fish.

Anglers should consult the St. Louis Area Winter Trout Program brochure for details, possession limits and bait restrictions, which is available at, or check regulations posted at the lakes. All trout anglers between age 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit to participate. Anglers wishing to catch and keep trout must also possess a trout permit.

Area lakes stocked with winter trout include:

  • Carondelet Park Boathouse Lake in St. Louis
  • January-Wabash Lake in Ferguson
  • Jefferson Lake in Forest Park
  • Koeneman Park Lake in Jennings
  • O’Fallon Park Lake in St. Louis
  • Suson Park’s Island Lake and Carp Lake
  • Tilles Park Lake in St. Louis County
  • Walker Lake in Kirkwood
  • Wild Acres Park Lake in Overland
  • Vlasis Park Lake in Ballwin
  • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 28

February is the perfect time for St. Louis area anglers to bring home fresh trout and try out their own favorite dishes, or find some new recipes on the MDC website.

For information about fishing, go online at