Catch-and-keep trout fishing season officially underway in Missouri


Missouri – Missouri’s eagerly anticipated catch-and-keep trout fishing season started at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1, marking the beginning of an exciting period for fishing enthusiasts across the state. This season, which extends until October 31, invites both residents and visitors to explore Missouri’s trout parks and engage in the cherished tradition of trout fishing.

Before heading out, it’s important for anglers to familiarize themselves with the requirements and regulations to ensure a smooth fishing experience. Individuals aged 16 to 64 who are Missouri residents, as well as nonresidents aged 16 and over, must secure a fishing permit to partake in the season. Moreover, a daily trout tag is mandatory for those aiming to fish for trout. These tags are available at key locations, including Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, and Montauk State Park near Salem. The cost for a yearly resident fishing permit stands at $13, while a daily permit can be acquired for $8. Additionally, the daily trout tags are priced at $4 for adults and $3 for children aged 15 and under.

The limit for trout catch per day is set at four, aiming to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Anglers looking for more detailed information on fishing regulations and tips can visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website dedicated to trout parks fishing.

To facilitate access to permits and tags, the Missouri Department of Conservation encourages anglers to purchase their fishing permits in advance. This can be done through various vendors across the state, online, or via the Department’s MO Hunting and MO Fishing mobile apps.

The trout parks have also made provisions for the purchase of trout tags at the park stores, with extended hours around the opening day to accommodate the influx of visitors. For example, the Roaring River State Park store opened its doors at 9 a.m. on Thursday, February 29, and remained open until 7 p.m. the following day, March 1.

Visitors to the state trout parks can expect busy campgrounds, lodging units, and restaurants. It’s advisable to come well-prepared with necessities such as water and snacks and to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. For those unable to make it in person or wishing to share the experience with others, opening day activities at Bennett Spring State Park and Roaring River State Park were made accessible for online viewing.

To further engage the community, anglers were encouraged to share their opening day experiences on social media platforms by tagging @MoStateParks or using the hashtag #MoTroutSeason2024 on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

The trout season in Missouri represents a collaborative effort between Missouri State Parks, which manage the scenic state parks, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, responsible for operating hatcheries and stocking streams with trout.

In line with efforts to protect Missouri’s waterways, anglers are reminded of the ban on using footwear with porous soles made of felt or similar materials. This measure is in place to prevent the spread of the invasive alga didymo, commonly referred to as “rock snot,” which poses a threat to aquatic ecosystems.

For additional information on the trout season opening, including details on park store hours and contact information for the state trout parks, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the Missouri State Parks website or reach out directly to the parks.

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