Avid fishermen won't let a little thing like rain, sleet or snow stop them from enjoying their favorite outdoor sport, and now they can continue working those lines and lures during catch and release season at any of four Missouri State Parks.
The winter catch and release season started Nov. 12 and continues through Feb. 14, 2011. Parks are open to anglers from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays throughout the season.
"Several fly fishermen love to come out during catch and release season," said Paul Sturgeon, hatchery manager at Roaring River State Park in Cassville. "It's less crowded, and they like the catch more than the keeping of the fish."
Roaring River has stocked 12-inch trout for the winter season, as well as 150 lunkers, or fish weighing over three to four pounds.
"Flies are the only lures that can be used during catch and release season," Spurgeon said.
Those wishing to fish at any of the four parks participating in the catch and release season, which also include Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park and Maramec State Spring, must have a trout permit. Those between the ages of 16 and 64 must also have a Missouri fishing license. Cost of the trout permit is $7. Resident hunting and fishing permits are available at a cost of $19; resident fishing permits cost $12.
Officials at Roaring River State Park will soon be able to sell those required permits.
"We're getting the equipment set up now," Spurgeon said. "We will most likely be able to sell any type of permit within the next couple of weeks."
The park will be open Thanksgiving and Christmas days with at least one staffer slated to be onhand to assist guests with any needs they may have.
"The spring is 58 degrees all year round," Spurgeon said. "No matter what time of year it is, the fish are happy."
For more information on the catch and release season at Roaring River State Park, contact the hatchery at 847-2539 or on the Internet at www.stateparks.com/roaring_river_barry.h....