MDC stocks rainbow trout in local lakes to kick off winter trout season

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has stocked 6,800 rainbow trout in four urban-area lakes in central Missouri. Rainbow trout thrive in cold water, and do well in local lakes during the winter.

Cosmo-Bethel Park Lake in Columbia received 2,400 rainbow trout, McKay Park in Jefferson City received 2,400, Veteran’s Park in Fulton received 800, and Mexico’s Kiwanis Park received 1,200. In addition, each impoundment received a number of “lunkers” to add to the allure of the fishing experience.

Anglers may begin fishing for trout in these lakes immediately, though regulations allow for catch-and-release only through Jan. 31. Beginning Feb. 1, anglers with a trout permit may keep as many as four trout, of any length, per day. All anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit and any angler harvesting trout must also possess a Missouri trout permit.

Stocking trout in urban-area impoundments increases access to public fishing opportunities through the winter months.

“Trout are typically found in the cold, spring-fed, streams of southern Missouri,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said. “Stocking selected lakes and ponds around the state during the winter months provide close-to-home trout fishing opportunities in parts of Missouri that you normally won’t find trout.” 

For more information about trout stocking in central Missouri, contact MDC’s Central Regional Office in Columbia at (573) 815-7900. For more information about fishing in Missouri, visit

Buy hunting and fishing permits from vendors around the state, online at, or through MDC’s free mobile apps -- Mo Hunting and Mo Fishing -- available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. NEW: SAVE TIME by buying permits for yourself, family, and friends in a single transaction. Select the “Additional Customer” option during your permit purchase.