Perry County’s Legion Lake welcomed a truckload of trout Wednesday morning, marking the beginning of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) annual winter trout program. Legion Lake was just one of four southeast Missouri locations to share the more than 9,000 fish, including Jackson’s Rotary Lake, Farmington’s Giessing Lake, and the Sikeston Recreation Complex Pond.
Perry County Commissioners Mike Sauer and Keith Hoehn were joined by clerk Jared Kutz and collector Dena Preston at the shoreline for the delivery.
The program is funded locally by Perry County, Perry County Sportsman Club and the City of Perryville.
Through the winter months, the MDC says fishing enthusiasts can participate on a catch-and-release basis for the trout and may harvest trout beginning Feb. 1, 2024.
“All trout must be immediately released unharmed Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2024. During this time, anglers may only use flies, artificial lures, and unscented plastic baits. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time, and chum is not permitted. Beginning Feb. 1, 2024, any bait may be used, and four trout may be kept regardless of size,” the MDC said in a release.
All anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 must retain a valid Missouri fishing permit and any angler harvesting trout must also possess a trout permit.
This is the eighth year Perry County has participated in the trout-stocking program.
Perry County Presiding Commissioner, Mike Sauer said there has been positive feedback on the fish-stocking program from the community.
“We have a lot of folks who appreciate being able to participate in trout fishing right here in Perry County,” he said. “Eventually, the trout should be able to populate the lake on their own, and we look forward to that time.”