MDC to stock nearly 9,100 rainbow trout in four SE Missouri waters

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) annual winter trout program begins Nov. 1 following the stocking of nearly 9,100 rainbow trout in four southeast Missouri waters – Perryville’s Legion Lake, Jackson’s Rotary Lake, Farmington’s Giessing Lake, and the Sikeston Recreation Complex Pond.

The cities of Jackson, Farmington, and Perryville, including Perry County, Perry County Sportsman Club, Sikeston, and MDC purchased the trout.

“Trout are not native to Missouri,” said MDC Fisheries Biologist Salvador Mondragon. “They have been introduced to our cold, spring-fed, Missouri streams. In winter, when the water is cold enough, specific lakes and ponds in urban areas are stocked to provide close-to-home trout fishing opportunities.”

Mondragon said roughly 3,760 rainbow trout will be stocked during the first week in November in Legion Lake prior to the opener; 1,920 trout will be stocked in Rotary Lake; 1,240 in Giessing Lake; and 2,240 at Sikeston Recreation Complex Pond.

Anglers can cast a line for this popular cold-water fish through the fall and winter months on a catch-and-release basis. Anglers may harvest trout beginning Feb. 1, 2024.

All trout must be immediately released unharmed Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2024. During this time, anglers may only use flies, artificial lures, and unscented plastic baits. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time, and chum is not permitted. Beginning Feb. 1, 2024, any bait may be used, and four trout may be kept regardless of size. 

All anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 must retain a valid Missouri fishing permit and any angler harvesting trout must also possess a trout permit. 

More information about fishing can be found online at, and by contacting MDC’s Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau at (573) 290-5730.