Missouri Trout Hunter

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

Friday, July 01, 2011

Trying to Improve Fishing Access at Bennett Spring

I received a letter from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation yesterday. When I saw the return address, my first thought was that I was in trouble (Ok, not really). It turns out, the foundation is undertaking an effort to get rid of that ugly concrete "bank" just downstream from the dam and right behind the hatchery office. Not only is it falling apart, but it's also fairly treacherous for those trying to access that part of the water -- definitely a good project to undertake. Here's the letter in its entirety:

I think you will be interested in a project that will benefit Bennett Spring State Park and trout hatchery. We have an opportunity to improve fishing access at one of the most visited areas of the park, the reach of stream below the dam and behind the MDC hatchery office. For $45,000 the Department of Conservation can replace an unsightly concrete bank with an attractive and functional fishing and viewing platform. We want to provide the funds to do this by November of this year.

Bennett Spring State Park and the Department of Conservation hatchery are two of the most popular attractions in southwest Missouri, drawing up to 180,000 anglers annually. People especially like to visit the park's scenic dam and waterfall. Anglers and viewers access this area by walking down a steep slope to a rough concrete surface. This unattractive concrete pad is deteriorating. The Department wants to replace it with a platform to improve public access and increase user safety.

Help make this project a reality by making a tax deductible contribution to the foundation, either by sending a check or visiting www.mochf.org. There is a link at the bottom of the home page, or you may go to the Donate Page.
Please indicate that the donation is for the "Bennett Spring Platform". I invite you to follow this project by subscribing to our e-newsletter on our home page or by sending us an email request. Thanks for considering an investment in your conservation heritage.

Sincerely,

Dave Murphy
President



Obviously, they're "swinging for the fences" and hoping that 45 financially comfortable trout fishermen will pony up a grand apiece, but I always tend to look at these efforts from the common man's perspective. So, here's my challenge to you: If you are a Bennett Spring fisherman, set aside $5 for each day you fish at the park this season -- put it in a coffee can under the bed. Then, after your last trip to Bennett this season, dump out the can, and send it to the foundation. If the park does indeed sell 180,000 daily tags per year, that comes to just 25 cents per fisherman per day to fully fund this project. So, your $5 will carry your own freight and the freight of 19 other fisherman who don't donate.

If you want to help more, then just forward a link to this posting to all the Bennett Spring trout fishermen you know, and ask them to forward it as well. An effort like this can lead to critical mass, and we can completely blow away that $45,000 goal. If you can provide the funds, the MDC will construct a 72-foot platform that will have the fishermen literally inches from the water's edge. That giant trout that always hides in that corner will be within reach!

Thanks for whatever you do to help.

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