About 5,400 anglers participated in the opening day of trout season.

Clear blue skies and streams stocked with rainbow trout greeted anglers at three state parks for last week’s opening day of trout fishing.

More than 5,400 fishermen took advantage of the opportunity to catch their first trout of the season at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon and Montauk State Park near Salem.

By the end of the day, the official count of fishermen at the three parks was 5,431 with 1,901 at Roaring River State Park, 1,813 at Montauk State Park and 1,717 at Bennett Spring State Park. A total of 624 youths spent the day experiencing a traditional outdoor pleasure with 364 at Roaring River State Park where schools are closed for opening day of trout season.

Gov. Jay Nixon was one of the anglers who enjoyed the day at Bennett Spring State Park. An avid fisherman who often fished at Montauk State Park during his childhood, the governor decided to try his luck this year with the other anglers at Bennett Spring. He was accompanied by First Lady Georganne Nixon. Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Department of Natural Resources, also joined the Nixons for the first day of trout season at Bennett Spring.

The opening of trout season is a great day for fishermen, and it is also a good day for the state parks and the surrounding communities. It’s been estimated that trout anglers spend an average of $82.54 each for opening day.

“Today has been a very successful opening and is a tremendous shot in the arm for local economies, especially in the surrounding communities of Salem, Cassville and Lebanon,” said Bill Bryan, director of the department’s division of state parks.

The opening of trout season also means the traditional start of the busy season for Montauk, Roaring River and Bennett Spring state parks so it is welcomed every year in the state park system, according to Bryan.


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