With longer nights and colder weather, it’s easy to get house bound. However the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to get outdoors and discover nature through winter trout fishing. Three lakes in mid-Missouri were recently stocked with rainbow trout for a winter fishing program co-sponsored by MDC. Trout were released in Cosmo-Bethel Lake in Columbia, Kiwanis Lake in Mexico, and McKay Park Lake in Jefferson City.
Cosmo-Bethel and McKay Park Lake each received about 2,400 fish and Kiwanis Lake received approximately 1,200 fish.
MDC stocks the lakes during the fall when the water is cold enough to support rainbow trout, a cold-water fish that lives in water temperatures less than 70 degrees.
“Stocking rainbow trout in city lakes offers a unique fishing opportunity for anglers who might not get to one of the four statewide trout parks,” said MDC Fisheries Regional Supervisor Tim Grace. “Plus, it provides good fishing at a time when there is less to do outdoors.”
From Nov. 1 – Jan. 31, it is catch and release only, meaning all trout must be released unharmed immediately. During this period, anglers may only fish with flies, artificial lures and unscented plastic baits.
Beginning Feb. 1, any bait may be used and four trout may be kept regardless of size.
All anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit and any angler harvesting trout must possess a trout permit as well.
For information about trout fishing in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/5596.