MDC: Trout harvest to begin in Jackson, Farmington, Perryville on Feb. 1

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Trout may be harvested from Rotary Lake in Jackson, Giessing Lake in Farmington, and Legion Lake in Perryville beginning Feb. 1, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Salvador Mondragon said fishing has been excellent this winter due to relatively warm temperatures. Anglers have been reporting success at all three lakes using a variety of artificial lures and flies, he said.

“If the lakes don’t freeze, we should have an excellent opener to the trout harvest season at all three lakes,” Mondragon said.  

MDC stocked trout in November at the start of the catch-and-release season.  

“These fish provide a tremendous amount of fishing opportunities through the fall and winter months when warmwater fishing is at a lull,” he said. “In addition to catchable-size fish, a few ‘lunker’ trout were also stocked at each lake.”

MDC reminds anglers they must release trout caught now through January 31.  

Starting Feb. 1, any bait may be used, and four trout may be kept regardless of size.  All anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit and any angler harvesting trout must possess a trout permit as well.  

Mondragon said that based on years past, “an incredible amount of trout” can be typically caught during the first week of trout harvest season.

Many anglers frequently catch limits of trout using light weight or ultra-lite fishing tackle or fly tackle.  Mondragon recommends anglers use 2-4 lb. test line, small hooks and little or no added weight to their line. Popular baits include almost any type of small spinner, small crank baits, and natural baits such as worms, cheese, and commercially produced dough baits.  

Get a free map from MDC that shows all managed trout waters in Missouri, stocked winter trout fishing areas around the state, regulations, permit and tag information, and MDC local phone numbers by emailing and requesting “FIS210 - MAP TROUT FISHING IN MO.” Find winter trout fishing areas online at

For additional information, contact the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573)290-5730 or visit