Liberty lakes added to winter trout fishing

KANSAS CITY Mo -- For the first time, winter trout fishing is available at the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex in Liberty.

Two large lakes near the park entrance were stocked with 500 rainbow trout each on Wednesday. The trout fishing is a cooperative effort between the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

Each winter the MDC stocks selected Kansas City area lakes with rainbow trout to provide additional fishing opportunities in urban areas. Trout are not native to Missouri and cannot survive warm-water temperatures in the summer. But winter brings cooler temperature that enable the fish to survive. Those stocked at Liberty were raised at a department hatchery at Bennett Spring State Park.

“They’re a fun fish to catch,” said MDC Fisheries Biologist Jake Allman. “These are nice-size trout. They’re good for someone who enjoys a rainbow-trout meal.”

Chaumiere Lake in Kansas City, North, and two lakes at the James A. Reed Memorial Conservation Area in Lee’s Summit were also stocked with trout on Wednesday. Those lakes have been stocked in past years, too.

But this is the first year for Liberty parks to participate in the program. Both lakes at Fountain Bluff are near the entrance close to the park headquarters, 2200 E. Old 210 Highway, one-half-mile east of Missouri 291. Anglers can tell which lakes are stocked by brown signs posted on shore that provide information on limits.

Both lakes will be stocked again with more trout in January, February and March. Fountain Bluff will be open to anglers daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Anglers are asked to park vehicles in designated parking lots and not along park roadways. A telephone hotline is available for stocking updates for all Kansas City area lakes in the winter trout program at 816-655-6254, ext. 401.

All anglers wishing to keep trout they catch must have a $7 Missouri trout fishing permit. Trout permits are half-price for anglers less than 16 years of age. All anglers 16 to 65 years of age must also have a valid fishing license. Anglers from out of state who are over 65 must also have a valid fishing license. The daily limit for trout is four fish. Once an angler has harvested their fourth trout, they may continue fishing as long as all other trout are released. No culling of trout is allowed and there are no length limits on trout.