News Release 071

Trout season marks the beginning of season for trout parks and surrounding communities

Volume 38-071 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Sue Holst
573-751- 6510

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., FEB. 17, 2010 -- March 1 marks the beginning of trout fishing season in Missouri's three trout parks.

Fishing season for rainbow trout officially begins at 6:30 a.m. March 1 at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, and Montauk State Park near Salem. For many fishermen, March 1 also means the unofficial beginning of spring as they anxiously await the beginning of trout season, which runs through Oct. 31. Among those fishermen waiting for the opening whistle at Montauk State Park will be Gov. Jay Nixon.

Opening day falls on a Monday this year, so the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which operates state parks, expects a good turnout with many fishermen taking a three-day weekend. It is expected that more than 8,000 trout tags will be sold at the three state parks on opening day. Trout tags can be purchased at the state park concession stores.

The parks' campgrounds, lodging units and restaurants are all expected to be busy. In the communities closest to the state parks, Cassville, Lebanon and Salem, business owners are also preparing for the fishermen. Although trout fishing occurs in the park, all of the communities around benefit from trout fishing season with busy hotels, motels, restaurants and retail stores.

Visitors for opening day can expect to see improvements at all three state parks. At Roaring River State Park, this will be the first trout season opener with the new store. The 5,169-square-foot store is located at the intersection of Highway 112 and F below the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center, making it easy to access from the campgrounds and various areas of the park. Built by the park's concessionaires in partnership with the department, the store replaces the one formerly located in the Roaring River Lodge. This new store is where fishermen will now purchase their trout tags and fishing licenses along with a variety of merchandise including fishing tackle and equipment.

The Cassville Chamber of Commerce will continue its long-standing tradition of offering coffee on the stream banks around 5 a.m. There will be a lunker weigh-in on the lower level of the CCC Lodge and the chamber will award prizes to anglers catching the largest fish in the men's, women's and youth's division at noon on opening day.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Roaring River hatchery, which was built in 1910 by Roland Bruner as part of a resort. His granddaughter, Betty Bruner Layton of Prairie Village, Kan., will be honored this year by firing the gun to start the trout season. A reception and program about the anniversary will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 28 at the conference center. An essay contest is being held at the Cassville Middle School for students who write a one-page essay on "A Century of Trout at Roaring River." The top two winning essays will receive the first and second youth tags for the 2010 trout season and $50 savings bonds donated by Freedom Bank. The tags and saving bonds will be presented to the winning students at the reception on Sunday.

Visitors to Montauk State Park can take advantage of a new fish cleaning station in the park located adjacent to the Bluff Spring Branch along Highway 119. The station offers a stainless steel cleaning table and rinsing sprayers to accommodate anglers as they prepare their freshly caught trout. The project is the result of the department's partnership with the Department of Conservation, who constructed the facility with funding provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sport Fish Restoration Program. A ceremony to dedicate the new facility will be held on opening morning.

Other improvements at Montauk State Park include the replacement of water mains and well houses and a new drinking water storage facility. Repairs have been completed in many of the rental cabins along with some painting projects in the campground showerhouses and at the lodge. Root wads have been installed in the stream at Hudson's Corner on the Current River to enhance trout habitat and diversify stream structure and hydrology.

At Bennett Spring State Park, most of the rooms in the 10-unit motel have been remodeled and several cabins have been repaired.

Trout season in Missouri is a cooperative effort of the Department of Natural Resources, which manages state parks, and the Department of Conservation, which operates the hatcheries and stocks the streams with trout.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, contact the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunciations Device for the Deaf) or visit the website at mostateparks.com.

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