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Winter trout fishing kicks off around Missouri’s 32 urban lakes

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Hatchery workers stock trout at McCay State Park, some of more than 75,000 fish distributed among 32 urban lakes in Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is stocking more than 75,000 rainbow trout, including 193 “lunkers” in 32 urban-area lakes around the state for winter trout fishing beginning in early November. Many of these areas allow anglers to harvest trout as soon as they are stocked, while other areas are catch-and-release until Feb. 1. Find locations here.

The daily limit for catch-and-keep at these locations is four trout, but there is no length limit. All Missouri residents over age 15 and under age 65 must have a fishing permit, along with all nonresidents over age 15. To keep trout, anglers of all ages must have a Missouri trout permit.

“Trout are typically found in the cold, spring-fed, streams of southern Missouri,” says Andrew Branson MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist. “Stocking selected lakes and ponds around the state during the winter months provides close-to-home trout fishing opportunities in parts of Missouri that you normally won’t find trout.”

Buy hunting and fishing permits from vendors around the state, online at, or through MDC’s free mobile apps Mo Hunting and Mo Fishing. MDC’s mobile apps are available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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