MDC stores around 1,200 rainbow trout in Lake Giessing | Outside
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) annual winter trout fishing program began Monday with the stocking of nearly 7,000 rainbow trout in three lakes in Southeast Missouri: Lake Giessing from Farmington, Legion Lake from Perryville and Rotary Lake from Jackson.
The towns of Farmington Jackson and Perryville, as well as Perry County, the Perry County Sportsmans Club, and the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased the supplied trout.
The annual winter trout fishing program begins Nov. 1, marking the opening of the winter trout season in Missouri. Anglers can cast a line for this popular cold water fish during the fall and winter months on a catch and release basis. Fishermen can also harvest trout from February 1, 2022.
The trout are not native to Missouri. They were introduced into the cold springs fed streams of southern Missouri. In winter, when the water is cold enough and contains enough oxygen to feed the trout, some lakes and ponds in urban areas are stocked to allow trout fishing near the house.
MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Salvador Mondragon said about 1,200 rainbow trout were stocked earlier this week in Lake Giessing before the opening; about 3,760 at Legion Lake; and 1,900 trout in Rotary Lake. Mondragon said several lunkers were also supplied.
According to the MDC, all trout must be immediately released unharmed from November 1 to January 31, 2022. During this period, fishermen can only use flies, artificial lures and unscented plastic baits. Only one fishing rod can be used at a time and chum is not allowed. From February 1, 2022, any bait can be used and four trout can be kept, regardless of their size.