More than 4,600 anglers visited Missouri State Parks’ three trout parks, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon and Montauk State Park near Salem on opening day of trout season. The catch-and-keep trout season officially began at 6:30 a.m., Thursday, March 1.
“Opening of trout season is a longstanding annual tradition for many families and I was excited to join anglers at Bennett Spring State Park for this season’s first day,” said Ben Ellis, director of Missouri State Parks. “March 1 marks the beginning of the busy recreation season at the three state parks that provide trout fishing, and we look forward to welcoming anglers, campers and outdoor lovers in all of our state parks throughout the year.”
Based on trout tag sales, 1,473 anglers visited Bennett Spring State Park, 1,573 anglers visited Montauk State Park and 1,620 anglers visited Roaring River State Park. This year’s combined total is an increase of nearly 300 compared to 2017.
In the communities closest to the three state parks, business owners see a positive economic impact from trout fishing as anglers travel from across the state and beyond to enjoy the sport in Missouri. Although trout fishing is allowed only in the parks, the nearby communities benefit with busy hotels, motels, restaurants and retail stores.
The catch-and-keep trout season continues through Oct. 1. Trout season in Missouri is a cooperative effort of Missouri State Parks, which manages state parks, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, which operates the hatcheries and stocks the streams with trout.