Anglers may start harvesting trout in Perry County Feb. 1


Anglers may begin harvesting trout from Legion Lake in Perryville starting Feb. 1.
Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Management Biologist Salvador Mondragon said cooler than average temperatures caused a reduction in fishing activity in November and December.
“But if the lakes don’t freeze, we should have an excellent opener to the trout harvest season,” he said.  
MDC stocked trout in November at the start of the catch-and-release season. Roughly 3,760 rainbow trout were stocked during the first week in November at Perryville’s Legion Lake prior to the opener; 1,920 trout was stocked in Rotary Lake; 1,240 in Giessing Lake; and 2,240 at Sikeston Recreation Complex Pond.
“These fish provide a great amount of fishing opportunities through the fall and winter months when warmwater fishing is at a lull,” Mondragon said. “Along with catchable-size fish, a few ‘lunker’ trout were also stocked at each lake.”
MDC reminds anglers they must release trout caught now through January 31.  

Starting 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 also possess a trout permit.  
Mondragon said that based on years past, many trout can be typically caught during the first week of trout harvest season.
Many anglers frequently catch limits of trout using light weight or ultra-lite fishing tackle or fly tackle, he said.
“I recommend anglers use 2-4 lb. test line, small hooks and little or no added weight to their line,” Mondragon said. “Baits include almost any type of small spinner, small crank baits, and natural baits such as worms, cheese, and commercially produced dough baits.”
Get a free map from MDC that shows all managed trout waters in Missouri, stocked winter trout fishing areas around the state, regulations, permit and tag information, and MDC local phone numbers by emailing and requesting “FIS210 - MAP TROUT FISHING IN MO.”