Trout Fest is a celebration of trout fishing in Missouri. It is taking place June 6 and 7 at Bennett Spring State Park. This is also “Free Fishing Weekend,” so all Trout Fest attendees are able to fish for free.
Trout Fest is a partnership between the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM), Missouri State Parks, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
Bennett Spring is one of the most popular State Parks in Missouri, with visitors coming from all across the Midwest each year to fish, camp, picnic and more. The spring from which the park derives its name is the third largest in the state, producing an average of 100,000,000 gallons of water a day that pour into the Niangua River. This makes for prime trout fishing habitat and opportunity.
Trout Fest consists of two days of free fishing, educational opportunities, hands-on experiences, vendors, entertainment and more. There will be tagged trout released each day into the river. If an angler catches a tagged trout, all they have to do is bring it to the CFM booth where they will receive a prize. There are no fees to participate. Once Trout Fest attendees have finished fishing, we hope they’ll take in some of the other opportunities the festival and state park has to offer.
The four organizations partnering to present Trout Fest are united behind a message of conservation, but each brings a slightly different perspective to Trout Fest.
CFM is the largest citizens conservation organization in the state, representing thousands of members and over 80 affiliated organizations. With many dedicated trout fisherman as members of CFM, and a number of trout organizations and clubs as affiliates, CFM sees Trout Fest as a way to promote the recreational aspects of visiting state parks and trout fishing, along with the importance of sound conservation.
For State Parks, Trout Fest offers another reason for Missourians to visit one of our incredible parks, in this case Bennett Spring, and to explore the wonders of nature. Missouri State Parks are some of the finest in the country, and Trout Fest will help shed light on one of our greatest.
DNR has an opportunity through Trout Fest to shed light on the importance of water, both from a health perspective and a recreational perspective. With 2015 being the year of water in Missouri, Trout Fest is a perfect tie-in. Bennett Spring is a perfect example of our state’s incredible natural resources.
For MDC, Trout Fest is a chance to further highlight the amazing cold water fishing opportunities we have here in Missouri. Many fishermen may not be aware of the fact that Missouri offers exceptional trout fishing. Trout Fest will help raise awareness.
Trout Fest is bringing all of these important groups and agencies together with a single event aimed at raising awareness and promoting outdoor recreation. All the attendees are in for an exciting festival environment focused on celebrating trout, fishing and parks.
We hope to see you at Bennett Spring for Trout Fest this June.