St. Charles Conservation Agent reminds anglers catch and keep urban trout season begins Feb. 1

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.  If so, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has good news— you’ll be able to bring rainbow trout that you catch straight to your table.

St. Charles County Conservation Agent, Taylor Stutzman reminds trout anglers that catch and keep urban trout season starts Feb. 1 at MDC Urban Winter Trout Fishing Lakes.  This offers an ideal opportunity to acquire delicious, fresh, and locally sourced fish for the dinner table. 

“Between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, some winter urban trout lakes are catch-and-release only, and some are catch-and-keep,” said Agent Stutzman.  “But starting Feb. 1, trout may be taken from all winter trout lakes. Winter is the only time the water is cold enough to support trout,” she added.

MDC stocked around 40,000 rainbow trout during the 2023-24 Urban Winter Trout Season in nine St. Louis City and County Lakes.  Also, trout were stocked in Union City Lake in Franklin County, along with five lakes in the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area 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.  

Agent Stutzman said that trout anglers can feel free to use natural, prepared, or even live baits as well when keeping the fish.

“However, the use of trout or other Missouri gamefish eggs as bait is not permitted,” Stutzman reminded anglers.  “You are allowed to use multiple poles, though.  If more than three poles are used, they must be labeled,” Agent Stutzman said.  She added that the daily limit is four trout, with a total possession limit of eight.

To get full details on possession limits and bait restrictions anglers should go to, or check regulations posted at the lakes. 

“All trout anglers between age 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit to fish, and anglers who want to catch and keep trout must also possess a trout permit,” said Agent Stutzman.

Area lakes stocked with winter trout include:

  • Carondelet Park Boathouse Lake in St. Louis
  • January-Wabash Lake in Ferguson
  • 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
  • Union City Lake in Union, Franklin County
  • Walker Lake in Kirkwood
  • Vlasis Park Lake in Ballwin
  • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 7

“The winter trout program provides anglers a chance to enjoy a hard-fighting fish close to home. MDC invites you to get to your favorite urban lake this February and take advantage of this opportunity to bring home fresh trout for your favorite recipes,” said Agent Stutzman.

Find some new recipes for preparing trout on MDC’s website.  For information about fishing, go online at