JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has been stocking select lakes and ponds across the Show-Me State for over 50 years as part of their annual winter trout program. To provide fishermen a closer location to home during the winter months, they’re adding three locations in Southeast Missouri this year.
80,000 rainbow trout have already been stocked in over 35 urban lakes for this season. Although anglers can typically harvest their catch at many of the lakes and ponds, some areas have implemented a catch-and-release program until February 1.
Currently, the MDC plans to stock 7,000 rainbow trout in three Southeast Missouri spots at Jackson’s Rotary Lake, Farmington’s Giessing Lake and Perryville’s Legion Lake. The trout were raised at MDC’s Bennett Spring, Shepherd of the Hills and Montauk hatcheries and purchased by the cities of Jackson, Farmington and Perryville.
12 St. Louis City, County and area lakes will also be stocked with the hatchery-raised winter trout. MDC’s St. Louis Urban Fishing Program informs anglers of the most recent stocking efforts with their ‘stocking hotline’. The hotline is updated immediately after locations are stocked and anglers can call to find out when, where and how many trout were stocked in the region.
Those interested in receiving the latest stocking information for the St. Louis region can call the hotline at 636-300-9651.
Additionally, Hannibal Parks and Recreation recently began a 25-year agreement with the MDC to stock Huckleberry Park Pond. The agreement states that the MDC will provide 50% of funds to provide the fish and it will have a catch-and-release protocol, requiring all trout to be returned safely to the water until January 31.
The MDC has also decided to add several of the large Lunker trout to the chosen bodies of water with some of the fish weighing as much as 10 lbs.
Daily limits and tackle restrictions may vary by each area. Missouri anglers 15 to 65 years old must possess a fishing permit along with a Missouri trout permit in order to keep their catch, and all nonresident fishermen 15 years or older must possess a fishing permit.
For more information about winter trout-fishing locations, regulations and tips, you can visit the MDC winter trout website.