Trout season begins March 1 at three state parks

Friday, February 21, 2003

Trout season begins March 1 at state parks

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Grab your luckiest fishing hat and favorite rod and reel: At 6:30 a.m. March 1, trout season begins at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, and Montauk State Park near Salem.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials say they expect a large turnout since the opening day is on a Saturday, and they expect the crowds to carry over through Sunday. Officials expect more than 8,000 trout tags to be sold at the three state parks. Trout tags can be purchased at the state park concession stores located at each of the three parks. Trout fishing season runs through Oct. 31.

Although trout fishing will be the main activity, the parks offer other opportunities, including hiking and learning about the parks through exhibits in the interpretive and nature centers. All three parks feature campgrounds, which were included in a new campground reservation system initiated by the state park system Jan. 1. The parks also offer dining and lodging facilities.

New fishing regulations begin March 1

New regulations that begin March 1 in Missouri are designed to expand a few angler privileges and protect the populations of several species.

Anglers no longer will need permits from both Missouri and Kansas to fish from both banks of the Missouri River. Expansion of a Missouri-Kansas reciprocal agreement lets anyone with a valid Missouri or Kansas permit fish the backwaters and oxbow lakes throughout the portion of the Missouri that borders the two states.

The agreement also allows anglers to attach fishing equipment to land on either side of the river. Anglers must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing, regardless of the state in which they are licensed.

Catch-and-keep fishing for walleye and sauger returns to Wappapello Lake, the St. Francis River and their tributaries. Starting next month anglers fishing those waters may keep walleye and sauger that are at least 18 inches long. Several years of stocking by the Missouri Department of Conservation has re-established a walleye population that is strong enough to support some harvest pressure. A ban on harvesting walleye and sauger had been in effect since 1997.

MDC looks for comments through questionnaires

Starting this month, 16,400 Missourians will get to tell the Missouri Department of Conservation what they think of state conservation efforts through questionnaires mailed by the agency.

Residents throughout the state, including Cape Girardeau and other Southeast Missouri areas, are included. The survey comes with a postage-paid return envelope.

For more information, contact David Thorne at (573) 751-4115, extension 3365, or at thornd@mdc.state.mo.us.

-- From staff reports

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