Trout fisherman filled Maramec Spring Park last Saturday for the opening of trout season. While poor weather predictions caused attendance to be lower than expected, a good crowd did attend the opening day.
“Well, it was a great day despite the poor weather predictions from the news stations. I was expecting 2,000 anglers for a Saturday opener, but the weather for Sunday knocked that down to 1,273 for the daily total,” Hatchery Manager Wes Swee said.
Of those in attendance, 1,137 adult and 136 kid tags were sold. St. James resident Eleanor Clover, a long-time trout angler, fired the opening pistol to open the day for trout fishermen. Throughout the morning, the St. James Chamber of Commerce pavilion served coffee and donuts to those in attendance.
The largest trout of the day was a six-pound, two-ounce lunker caught by Denny Radford, of Rolla. Katlin Richardson, of St. James, has the largest trout caught by a youth angler at five pounds, four ounces and the largest limit by a youth (15 and younger) at seven pounds, 15 ounces.. Kathy Amsinger, of St. James, had the first limit caught by a woman.
“The temperature got up to 50 degrees that day with no precipitation, so it turned out to be a decent day to fish. Other than poor attendance, the day went very smooth and the fishermen that did show up had a great day of fishing,” Swee said. “We stocked 6,000 fish, which made a limit easy to catch. The first stringers were coming in at the five-minute mark.”
Numbers were down all over Missouri’s trout parks, due to the weather.
“After talking to the other managers at Bennett, Roaring River, and Montauk, attendance was down about 30 percent due to the weather forecast,” Swee said.
Montauk expected to have nearly 3,000 anglers in attendance, but only had 2,163. Roaring River expected 2,500, but only 1,974 attended. Bennett expected 3,000 and had 1,626 attend. Overall, though, Swee is very encouraged for another great trout season at the Maramec Spring Park and looks forward future weekends with better weather.