Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Winter Trout Seasons Begin!

Winter is a fantastic time to trout fish for almost any type of fisherman, and it's already rolling!

It appears that all of the urban trout lakes have been stocked, and it sounds like the MDC and private hatcheries have once again put in some real beauties, including fishing in the 2-foot long range -- that 6 pounds of fury, folks.

PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE LAKE REGULATIONS. Most of our urban winter lakes across the state are flies & lures only and catch & release until spring time. It's your responsibility to make sure you know the rules and abide by them. I'm getting a good amount of emails filled with downright anger expressed at trout poachers. The game thief posse is out there, and they are watching. If you are tempted to put that big fish on a stringer, expect there to be witnesses armed with digital cameras and cell phones. Hate to sound so self righteous, but fishermen who care about maintaining our resources are not going to continue to allow this to happen. If you'd like to help stop poaching, please visit our Handling Poachers page.

Ok, enough of that grumpiness. Back to happiness. The trout parks are also open for business again, allowing strictly fly fishing catch and release efforts. Maramec Spring Park will again be open 7 days per week, while the other trout parks will be open Friday through Monday each week, with the season continuing until mid-February. I can't speak for the other 3 parks, but I was able to witness the work going on at Maramec this past Wednesday (11/8). They've been installing a good number of boulders throughout the length of the river to improve the habitat. It won't be long before each boulder will build a hole behind it full of fish, and you'll find fish in front of those boulders as well. This is fantastic news for Maramec fishermen, because a primary complaint of the park has been lack of structure and habitat. Prior to these new boulders being installed, there were really only 5 or 6 decent places to fish, each spot would crowd up early. I also noticed at Maramec a bunch of mongo huge fish swimming around -- 2 feet long was fairly typical. I asked the hatchery folks about this, and they confirmed that these trophy-sized fish had been put early that day strictly to make the catch & release season more fun for you guys!

Of course, fishing at our other Missouri trout streams will continue to be fair to fantastic all winter long. Hickory Creek and Stone Mill Spring both have catch and release seasons over the winter, but the other rivers will be fishable under normal regulations. If I'm wrong about this, click the "comments" icon and correct me. It won't hurt my feelings. I'm sure we're also all very interested in hearing what kinds of improvements are happening and Bennett, Roaring River and Montauk. Post a comment with what you've seen.

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