MDC stocks St. Louis lakes with rainbow trout
St. Louis, Mo.—A rainbow in the sky can bring life to even the drabbest of days. But a rainbow on the end of a fishing line can be just the thing to liven up an angler's entire winter.
During winter months, the metro St. Louis area is a great place to fish for trout, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) winter trout program.
Winter trout season for MDC's St. Louis Urban Fishing Program is now in full swing. That's good news for trout chasers who now need drive only minutes to pursue their passions rather than hours to a Missouri trout park.
During cold-weather months, MDC stocks approximately 38,000 rainbow trout each year in 12 St. Louis city and county lakes and five lakes at the MDC August A. Busch Conservation Area in St. Charles.
"We stock rainbow trout in winter from November through February," said MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau. "These trout are spawned and raised in Conservation Department hatcheries."
The rainbows bound for the St. Louis area come from MDC's Montauk Hatchery, southeast of Licking.
Area lakes stocked with winter trout include:
- August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 28
- 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 lakes 1, 2, and 3 in St. Louis County
- Tilles Park Lake in St. Louis County
- Walker Lake in Kirkwood
- Wild Acres Park Lake in Overland
- Vlasis Park Lake in Ballwin
Between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, some lakes are catch-and-release only, and some are catch-and-keep. After Feb. 1, trout may be harvested from all lakes. Anglers should consult the St. Louis Area Winter Trout Program brochure for details, possession limits and bait restrictions, which is available at MDC offices or at http://on.mo.gov/1jjrEp4 . 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.
MDC provides a chance for anglers to keep on top of trout stocking efforts in the St. Louis area.
"The fish stocking hotline has become very popular," Meneau said, "and we report to it right after we finish stocking for the day. It's toll free from anywhere in the St. Louis area. There's a recorded message that tells when we stocked, where we stocked and what fish we stocked."
Anglers should call the hotline at 636-300-9651 to get the latest information.
"As wonderful as fishing at one of Missouri's four trout parks or many Ozark streams can be," said Meneau, "these close-to-home opportunities make it easy for a quick trout fishing excursion after work, or during an activity-packed weekend. It also makes trout fishing much friendlier on the fuel budget."
For information about fishing, go online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing.