No matter what the weather is like, spring will arrive Saturday at Missouri’s trout parks.
By BRENT FRAZEE
The Kansas City Star
That’s the annual opening day of the season at the state’s four trout parks — Bennett Spring (near Lebanon), Roaring River (near Cassville), Montauk (near Salem) and Maramec Spring (near St. James). And whether there be snow, cold or freezing rain, the show will go on.
“For a lot of fishermen, this is tradition,” said Mike Mitchell, manager of the trout hatchery at Bennett Spring. “They’ll show up, no matter how bad the weather is.”
Forecasts call for snow or freezing rain Saturday throughout much of the Ozarks. Still, officials anticipate a big crowd with the opener falling on a weekend.
About 30,000 trout will be stocked for the opener in the four parks. The season will begin at 6:30 a.m.
Trout in the ’burbs
If you’re a Kansas City-area resident, you don’t have to make a road trip to catch trout.
The Missouri Department of Conservation this week stocked a mix of rainbows and brown trout at several metro locations.
The James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area near Lee’s Summit topped the list, with trout stocked in Coot and Plover lakes and Honker Pond, which is reserved for kids’ fishing.
Chaumiere Lake in Kansas City, North (located at the intersection of Northeast 43rd Street and North Indiana Avenue) and the lakes at the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex in Liberty (2200 East Old Highway 210) also received trout.
Time to buy a license
Don’t forget to buy your 2014 Missouri fishing license before you head out Saturday.
March 1 is the start of the new permit year for fishing, small-game hunting, trout fishing and combination hunting and fishing licenses.
One of the easiest ways to buy a permit is by going to the Department of Conservation’s website, mdc.mo.gov and clicking on “Buy Permits.” The e-Permits option lets fishermen, hunters and trappers buy permits at home and immediately print them off.
Permits also can be purchased through vendors or by calling 800-392-4115.
Words from the pros
Want to get some bass-fishing advice from the pros? Head to the Kansas City-area Bass Pro Shops this weekend.
Rick Clunn, one of the best pros of all-time, and Brent Chapman, the Lake Quivira fisherman who was the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, will give talks Saturday and Sunday. Mike Webb, national pro staff member for Bass Pro, also will make presentations.
On Saturday at the Independence store, Webb will speak at 1 p.m., Chapman at 2 p.m. and Clunn at 3 p.m. On Sunday at the Olathe store, Webb will speak at 1 p.m., Clunn at 2 p.m. and Chapman at 3 p.m.
Expo time again
The fifth annual Kansas Hunting and Fishing Expo will be held March 8-9 at the Flint Hills Mall in Emporia, Kan.
The show, which will be open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. March 8 and 1 to 5 p.m. March 9, will feature exhibits by more than 70 vendors and conservation organizations.
In the Kids Korner, youngsters will be able to participate on the Daisy “Take Aim” BB Shooting Range, archery shooting and casting. Kids also will be able to meet Remington Wagner, 2013 Central Region B.A.S.S. national junior champion, on Saturday.
Students from Emporia State University will organize and run the event.
To reach Brent Frazee, The Star’s outdoors editor, call 816-234-4319 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.