Monday, April 10, 2017

4-11-17


How's Fishing?

The First Annual Veteran's-Fish-Free Day was a great success.   Friday was a perfect day.  There were anglers connecting for the first time as well as those getting an opportunity to catch up with old friends.
Comments on fish size have been very positive, some small fish in the stream, but plenty of good sized ones to catch and release or to keep for a fish fry.  (see 'Of Interest' following 'How's Fishing')
The best fishing has been sub-surface.  Cracklebacks, for example, are working very well.   Rooster Tails, White or bumble bee, have been very popular this weekend for those with a spin rod. The bedspread as well as the little gray deere, or angry deer, has also been popular.


Of Interest
Greetings-
For the month of March, we sold 15,344 tags. Tag sales were down 1,013 tags or 6.1% compared to a year ago, and were only 110 tags less than the five year avg. All the trout parks saw a decline in attendance this month, however here at Bennett we had the smallest decline. Although we have had fairly good weather, I believe with school spring breaks spread out over 6 weeks and having the Easter holiday later in April has brought our monthly numbers down a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to have a bigger than normal April.. We shall see.

Things are shaping up well for the 2017 fishing season. Fish are growing well thanks to good water quality and we have had an good stocking avg. size of 13.4” so far this year. Well above the 12.5” avg. we aim for.  We continue to have good success in the hatchery building.  We have had very low mortality and disease issues thus far thanks to improvements we made last year. Our new fish loading tower has been put into use and is proving to be a very useful tool for loading fish onto our stocking trucks.
I encourage everyone to come out to one of our hatchery tours we provide on Saturday mornings, we would be glad to show you around!

This past month we completed the following stockings: The numbers shown include any lunkers that we stocked.

Fish Stockings
Bennett Spring Trout Park -         37,930 fish
Niangua River TMA –                      906 fish
Urban Kansas City Stockings -    3,875 fish
Total Stocked     -                       42,705 fish

If you are wondering, the stocking rate for March was 2.47 fish per tag…This is more than the 2.25 fish/tag avg. we aim for. This simply means there’s few more fish in the stream, about 3,400 extra!

Fish Hauls— As shown in the stockings above, staff worked in cooperation with KC regional staff to complete the last urban stocking for this winter. We stocked the monthly commitment of 900 fish for the Niangua River TMA. These stockings normally take place on the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month. We will be stocking another 900 during April.  We took delivery of 275 “lunker” cull brood stock from SOH hatchery in Branson, along with 300 fall replacement brood stock. These will be used to stock our areas as well as diversify our brood stock genetics.

Bennett Spring Access Maintenance
Staff cleaned and prepared the area for increased use and also trimmed branches and brush damaged during wind and ice events. The privies were recently pumped and trash removed.  The parking lots were graded by regional staff.

Spring Flow--We started the month at 115 cfs (74 mgd) and gained 3” of rain throughout March ending at 170 cfs or 110 million gallons/day. The spring branch has raised about 5” over the month. We are about average for the month and the extra water is helping fish production.

Outreach--We had six scheduled hatchery tours this month for over 550 people.  Our next big event will be Veteran’s Free Fishing day on Friday, April 7, 2017 followed by representing the Hatchery at the Bennett Spring Earth Day festivities on April 22nd. Don’t forget about Kid’s Free Fishing coming up on May 6th. I would be glad to have some volunteers to help the kids untangle lines and catch fish! Let me know if you are interested in helping out!

As always, if you have any questions please stop by, give me a call or send me an email. And if you want to share the location of your secret mushroom patch, I’m all ears!

Thanks-
Ben

Ben Havens
Hatchery Manager
Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery
26142 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, Mo 65536
417-532-4418 x1062


What's Working?

From the fly case
Bennett Blue crackleback is still the winner this week
red crackleback
black zebra midge
mega worms - white or pink

Zone 1 & 2

green wooly worm with red tail
john deere mini jig
angry john deere or gray deere
bedspread
Marabou - shell & white, gingersnap, black & yellow - expecially eighth ounce gold plated head
glo ball - pink, peach, original tri color

Zone 3

power bait  -Hatchery pellet
trout magnet, gold glitter
Power bait - rainbow or florescent orange


Water Conditions
One of the budget cuts that the government is planning is eliminating the site that measures the flow and levels of the rivers and springs.  I will continue to give reports on the water conditions, but they will be objective and the result of physical observation.
The notice on the USGS site is as follows:  NOTICE: Streamgage data collection activities MAY BE DISCONTINUED at this location on July 1, 2017, due to lack of funding.  For inquiries concerning this streamgage, contact Paul Rydlund (prydlund@usgs.gov, 573-308-3572) or Shane Barks (csbarks@usgs.gov, 573-308-3674).

Spring Branch
Average water, clearing daily, a bit murky or stained .
4-11-17

Gage house level is 2.23 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 82 in 1936
current level is 197
25th percentile is 128
Median is 189
Mean is 233
75th percentile is 303
Max was 740 in 1929

Niangua River
4-11-17

Gage House reading (water level) is 2.93 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 88.9 in 2016
25th percentile is 122
Today's reading is 313
Median is 248
Mean is 284
75th percentile is 367
record high max was 789 in 2008


Lunker Club
4-7-17
Brett Heath from Dittmer , MO
2 pounds on Tiger tail wooly in zone 1

Cassie Allen from Canton, MO
2 pounds on orange power bait in zone 3

Zach Jagow from Lee's Summit, MO
3+ pounds, catch and release, on a black & yellow gold plated jig

James Lakey from Warrensburg, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a gray zebra scud in zone 2
4-8-17
Darth Muncy from St. Joseph, MO
2 pounds, 10 ounces on a black & yellow marabou

Dave Stewart from Lebanon, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a shell & brown marabou in zone 2

Charlie Whisenhunt from Scheller, IL
3 pounds , catch & release, on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

4-9-17
Patrick Meyer from Basehor, KS
2-1/2 pounds on orange & white glo ball in zone 1


Calendar of Events
Weed cutting April 12,13 @ 8:00 AM

Free Events from the Nature Center on Saturday, April 15th.
April 15th at 9 a.m. there will be a Spring Trail Hike. Meet at the Nature Center. This hike will go to the Spring then along the stream branch to the fish hatchery. Distance is one mile
Fish Hatchery tour begins at 10 a.m. Staff led tour will meet at the hatchery building across from the park store near the raceways.
The Bat Program will meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Video, games, and activities will follow a presentation about Missouri bats.

April 22 - Earth Day Activities. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone is invited - all free events. Meet above Bennett Spring near Pavilion/Shelter A
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Free Tree Seedlings. Build a Birdhouse. Leaf Rubbing Activity, Woodpecker Craft, Try a kayak on land! Water Exhibit, Stream Team Display. Soil Exhibition. Wildlife Activities. Games & Crafts.
At 2 p.m. There will be a bicycle class followed by participants joining the Park Ranger in a bicycle parade to the Nature Center.

Kids Free Fishing Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day May 6th. We stock special area just for the kids :).
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:15 PM

Weed cutting May 24 & 25 @ 8:00 AM

June 10th,11th Free Fishing
Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time: 7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM


Weather Forecast

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72.
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 76.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 76.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 72.


Quote of the Week
Normally people learn to cast, then to cast really far, and finally to cast short and actually fish.

Author:
Normann Kotzurek

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

Tuesday, April 4, 2017



How's Fishing?

The weather at Bennett has been mostly scattered showers, not anything substantial, but with the rainy weather in the surrounding areas, we haven't seen a lot of people fishing this week.  Although a bit dingy, the water levels in the stream and in the river are low, definitely not flooded here.
Despite the low numbers of anglers, we have had quite a few people bringing up good sized stringers of fish.  There are some smaller, some bigger, but generally the 'keep-able' fish are tending to be one and a half pounds and just over 13 inches.  A very good size for eating.


Of Interest

Don't forget to remind any veterans that April 7th is a free fishing day at Bennett Spring for them. This is the first year of the event for Bennett Spring. Weaver's always gives all veterans and active military 10% discount on their total purchase. For this special event, it will be 15%. Just show us your military ID card. It's a small way for us to say that we appreciate you!


Fishing Times
April                        7:00 A.M.                 7:30 P.M.
May                     6:30 A.M.             8:15 P.M.
June                        6:30 A.M.           8:30 P.M.
July                        6:30 A.M.                8:30 P.M.
August                7:00 A.M.           8:00 P.M.
September        7:30 A.M.                7:15 P.M.
October                7:30 A.M.                6:30 P.M.


What's Working?
From the fly case

Bennett Blue or red crackleback
RGN's - rust
mega worms - white or pink
Hare's ear nymph

Zone 1 & 2

green wooly worm with red tail
john deere mini jig
angry john deere or gray deere
Marabou - gingersnap, red & yellow, salmon & brown, salmon & white, olive & black
glo ball - orange, salmon, original tri color
white brassie

Zone 3
Hatchery pellet
pink 3" grub
Power bait - chunky cheese

Water Conditions

Spring Branch
Still low water, only slightly higher but a bit murky or stained .
4-4-17

Gage house level is 2.05 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 80 in 1936
current level is 148
25th percentile is 128
Median is 192
Mean is 237
75th percentile is 273
Max was 562 in 1968

Niangua River
4-4-17

Gage House reading (water level) is 2.76 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 110 in 2016
25th percentile is 150
Today's reading is 272
Median is 300
Mean is 459
75th percentile is 562
record high max was 1770 in 2015



Lunker Club

4-1-17
Tom Kinney from Shelbina, MO
2.2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Chris Morris from Lee's Summit, MO
2 pounds on a black & gold marabou in zone1

William Ballantyne from Independence, MO
2 pounds on a black & olive marabou

Chris Morris from Lee's Summit
2 pounds on a gingersnap in zone 1

Tim Colyer from Independence MO
2 pounds on a black & gold Marabou

Kenny Pessetto from California, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Noah Driskell from Marshall, MO
2 pounds on a green wooly bugger in zone 1

4-2-17

Aaron Brown from INdependence, MO
2 pounds on a black & gold marabou in zone 1

Randall Rinehart from Marshall, MO
2 pounds on a black & orange marabou in zone 2

Matt Joslin from Kansas City, MO
2.3 on a 3" hot pink grub

4-4-17
Charles Beatty from Lake Wales, FL
2 pounds on a shell cracker



Weather Forecast

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 57. Northwest wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Friday: Patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 61.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 73.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 76.

Monday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 6



Calendar of Events

New *** Veterans free fishing day. Friday, April 7th. No tag needed just license if required.
Time: 7:00 AM to 7:30 PM

April 8 - Four free events from the Nature Center

Bridge Trail Walk - Time to be announced - call 417-532-3925 for more information. Trail has a gentle grade up and along the hillside behind the nature center then down to the CCC Bennett Spring bridge. Distance is .70 miles

Black Bear Program - 2 pm. The American black bear is one of the largest wild mammals in Missouri. Participants will learn more about the increasing bear population in Missouri.

Mole, Vole, Shrew program at 4 p.m. Held at the Nature Center. These small burrowing mammals are hard to tell apart. Participants will learn the differences between these tunneling creatures.

Evening Photo Walk. 4 p.m. starting at the Nature Center. Al Griffin will meet participants in the Nature Center. Bring your camera!

Weed cutting April 12,13 @ 8:00 AM

Free Events from the Nature Center on Saturday, April 15th.
April 15th at 9 a.m. there will be a Spring Trail Hike. Meet at the Nature Center. This hike will go to the Spring then along the stream branch to the fish hatchery. Distance is one mile
Fish Hatchery tour begins at 10 a.m. Staff led tour will meet at the hatchery building across from the park store near the raceways.
The Bat Program will meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Video, games, and activities will follow a presentation about Missouri bats.

April 22 - Earth Day Activities. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone is invited - all free events. Meet above Bennett Spring near Pavilion/Shelter A
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Free Tree Seedlings. Build a Birdhouse. Leaf Rubbing Activity, Woodpecker Craft, Try a kayak on land! Water Exhibit, Stream Team Display. Soil Exhibition. Wildlife Activities. Games & Crafts.
At 2 p.m. There will be a bicycle class followed by participants joining the Park Ranger in a bicycle parade to the Nature Center.

Kids Free Fishing Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day May 6th. We stock special area just for the kids :).
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:15 PM

Weed cutting May 24 & 25 @ 8:00 AM

June 10th,11th Free Fishing
Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time: 7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM


Quote of the Week

Anglers have a way of romanticizing their battles with fish.
Author:
Ernest Hemingway

Thanks for reading!
Lucy

Thursday, March 30, 2017

April 1, 2017



How's Fishing?

The Spring is being fished lightly this time of year.  Lots of room to throw  your line, and a decent amount of fish to annoy.   Stripping Cracklebacks and white floss jigs is still working well.  Nymph fishing about two feet down or a little more is also a productive way to go.  The water is up a little bit from what it has been, and if we get a significant amount of rain this week it should continue to be that way.  It's close to what is considered normal, so not too daunting.

Of Interest
Don't forget to remind any veterans that April 7th is a free fishing day at Bennett Spring for them.  This is the first year of the event for Bennett Spring.  Weaver's always gives all veterans and active military 10% discount on their total purchase. For this special event, it will be 15%.  Just show us your military ID card. It's a small way for us to say that we appreciate you!

Fishing Times

MONTH         BEGIN                 END

April        7:00 A.M.         7:30 P.M.
May           6:30 A.M.                8:15 P.M.
June           6:30 A.M.         8:30 P.M.
July           6:30 A.M.         8:30 P.M.
August        7:00 A.M.                8:00 P.M.
September 7:30 A.M.           7:15 P.M.
October        7:30 A.M         . 6:30 P.M.



What's Working?
From the fly case

Bennett Blue or red crackleback
RGN's - rust
mega worms - white or pink
zebra midge - black

Zone 1 & 2

green wooly worm with red tail
john deere mini jig
Marabou - gingersnap, red & yellow, salmon & brown, salmon & white
john deere mini jig
white floss jig
white brassie
hatchery pelletl

Zone 3

Power bait - chunky cheese
green & yellow worm



Water Conditions

Spring Branch
The water level has been very consistent for several weeks.
3-29-17

Gage house level is 2.20 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 87 in 1936
current level is 185
25th percentile is 141
Median is 213
Mean is 238
75th percentile is 293
Max was 718 in 1988


Niangua River
3-29-17

Gage House reading (water level) is 3.59 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 87 in 1996
25th percentile is 166
Today's reading is 510
Median is 341
Mean is 478
75th percentile is 633
record high max was 1800 in 2009



Lunker Club

3-26-17

Shaun Bohm from Huntsville, MO
2 pounds on a midge in zone 2

Chris Hawley from Columbia, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a gingersnap marabou in zone 1

3-27-17
Austin Knight from Cosby, MO
2 pounds on a brown rooster tail in zone 1

Spencer Kendall from Arnold, MO
2-1/4 pounds on an olive crackleback in zone 1

3-28-17
Brady Cleeton from Moberly, MO
2.1 pounds on a brown rooster tail in zone 1

3-29-17
Shirley Neiswender from Circlevile, KS
2-1/2 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3



Weather Forecast

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Wind chill values as low as 38 early. Northwest wind around 6 mph.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. East wind 8 to 11 mph.

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10am, then a chance of showers between 10am and 1pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Monday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 65.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Wednesday: Showers likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 64.

Thursday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 59.



 Calendar of Events

New *** Veterans free fishing day. Friday, April 7th. No tag needed just license if required.
Time: 7:00 AM to 7:30 PM

April 8 - Four free events from the Nature Center

Bridge Trail Walk - Time to be announced - call 417-532-3925 for more information. Trail has a gentle grade up and along the hillside behind the nature center then down to the CCC Bennett Spring bridge. Distance is .70 miles

Black Bear Program - 2 pm. The American black bear is one of the largest wild mammals in Missouri. Participants will learn more about the increasing bear population in Missouri.

Mole, Vole, Shrew program at 4 p.m. Held at the Nature Center. These small burrowing mammals are hard to tell apart. Participants will learn the differences between these tunneling creatures.

Evening Photo Walk. 4 p.m. starting at the Nature Center. Al Griffin will meet participants in the Nature Center. Bring your camera!

Weed cutting April 12,13 @ 8:00 AM

Free Events from the Nature Center on Saturday, April 15th.
April 15th at 9 a.m. there will be a Spring Trail Hike. Meet at the Nature Center. This hike will go to the Spring then along the stream branch to the fish hatchery. Distance is one mile
Fish Hatchery tour begins at 10 a.m. Staff led tour will meet at the hatchery building across from the park store near the raceways.
The Bat Program will meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Video, games, and activities will follow a presentation about Missouri bats.

April 22 - Earth Day Activities. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone is invited - all free events. Meet above Bennett Spring near Pavilion/Shelter A
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Free Tree Seedlings. Build a Birdhouse. Leaf Rubbing Activity, Woodpecker Craft, Try a kayak on land! Water Exhibit, Stream Team Display. Soil Exhibition. Wildlife Activities. Games & Crafts.
At 2 p.m. There will be a bicycle class followed by participants joining the Park Ranger in a bicycle parade to the Nature Center.

Kids Free Fishing Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day May 6th. We stock special area just for the kids :).
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:15 PM

Weed cutting May 24 & 25 @ 8:00 AM



June 10th,11th Free Fishing
Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time: 7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM


Quote of the Week
 It is the constant - or inconstant - change, the infinite variety in fly-fishing that binds us fast. It is impossible to grow weary of a sport that is never the same on any two days of the year.

Author:
Theodore Gordon

Thanks for reading.
Lucy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


How's Fishing?

Early this week fishing was slow.  About the only thing working was a white floss jig or other small white jig or nymph.  You could sink a crackleback and strip it back with some luck, but for the most part it was pretty tough.  Then it started raining and it didn't matter what you threw in front of the fish's nose, he was after it!  We will continue to have rain in the forecast off and on for the next few days.  Hopefully it's enough to keep them biting, but not so much that it overwhelms those that are fishing!

Fishing Times

MONTH                               BEGIN                            END
March                              7:30 A.M.  CDT                        7:00 P.M.  CDT
April                         7:00 A.M.                                7:30 P.M.
May                           6:30 A.M.                                8:15 P.M.
June                                 6:30 A.M.                                8:30 P.M.
July                                6:30 A.M.                                8:30 P.M.
August                        7:00 A.M.                                8:00 P.M.
September                7:30 A.M.                                7:15 P.M.
October                        7:30 A.M.                                6:30 P.M.



What's Working?
From the fly case

Bennett Blue crackleback
RGN's rust or green
copper hot shot, tobacco brown
mega worms
zebra midge black

Zone 1 & 2

light brown rooster tail
john deere mini jig
Brown wooly worm
Marabou - Black or black & yellow
john deere mini jig
white floss jig
white brassie
peach glo ball
mega worm, pink or white
possum hair roach
brown roach

Zone 3
Power bait - salmon peach, white
Minnows
grubs - yellow or peach
orange worm
salmon trout magnet



Water Conditions

Spring Branch
The water level has been very consistent for several weeks.
3-22-17

Gage house level is 1.89 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 80 in 1936
current level is 113
25th percentile is 133
Median is 186
Mean is 226
75th percentile is 274
Max was 784 in 2012

Niangua River
3-22-17

Gage House reading (water level) is 1.92 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 40 in 1996
25th percentile is 163
Today's reading is 118
Median is 339
Mean is 657
75th percentile is 688
record high max was 3860 in 2012



Lunker Club

3-17-17

Randy Maledy from Arnold, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow  in zone 2

3-18-17
Andrea Ayers from Topeka, KS
2 pounds  on a white wire jig in zone 1

Tanner Abbott from Jefferson City, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

3-19-17
Ben Ortbals-Steinkamp from Hillsboro, MO
2 pounds on a white floss jig in zone 2

Kim Kistner from Independence, MO
2 pounds on a ruby 2 in zone 1

3-20-17
Bryan Moore from Kirksville, MO
2  pounds on a home tied fly in zone 1

3-21-17
James Griffith from Louisiana, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a light brown rooster tail in zone 1



Weather Forecast

Friday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 72. Breezy, with a south wind 13 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms before 10pm, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm between 10pm and 1am, then showers likely after 1am. Low around 53. South wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Saturday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 63. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 67.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 66.



Calendar of Events

March 25th Winter Hike at 10 am
Staff led hike from the nature center to the Spring Head and on the Spring Trail to the fish Hatchery. Length will be 1 mile and will last an hour.

March 25th Hellbender Program at 2 p.m.
The rare large salamander called the Hellbender is being raised and placed in the Niangua River. Join staff to learn more about this conservation effort!
All are free events. call 417-532-3925 for more information.

New *** Veterans free fishing day. Friday, April 7th. No tag needed just license if required.
Time: 7:00 AM to 7:30 PM

April 8 - Four free events from the Nature Center

Bridge Trail Walk - Time to be announced - call 417-532-3925 for more information. Trail has a gentle grade up and along the hillside behind the nature center then down to the CCC Bennett Spring bridge. Distance is .70 miles

Black Bear Program - 2 pm. The American black bear is one of the largest wild mammals in Missouri. Participants will learn more about the increasing bear population in Missouri.

Mole, Vole, Shrew program at 4 p.m. Held at the Nature Center. These small burrowing mammals are hard to tell apart. Participants will learn the differences between these tunneling creatures.

Evening Photo Walk. 4 p.m. starting at the Nature Center. Al Griffin will meet participants in the Nature Center. Bring your camera!

Weed cutting April 12,13 @ 8:00 AM



Free Events from the Nature Center on Saturday, April 15th.
April 15th at 9 a.m. there will be a Spring Trail Hike. Meet at the Nature Center. This hike will go to the Spring then along the stream branch to the fish hatchery. Distance is one mile
Fish Hatchery tour begins at 10 a.m. Staff led tour will meet at the hatchery building across from the park store near the raceways.
The Bat Program will meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Video, games, and activities will follow a presentation about Missouri bats.

April 22 - Earth Day Activities. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone is invited - all free events. Meet above Bennett Spring near Pavilion/Shelter A
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Free Tree Seedlings. Build a Birdhouse. Leaf Rubbing Activity, Woodpecker Craft, Try a kayak on land! Water Exhibit, Stream Team Display. Soil Exhibition. Wildlife Activities. Games & Crafts.
At 2 p.m. There will be a bicycle class followed by participants joining the Park Ranger in a bicycle parade to the Nature Center.

Kids Free Fishing Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day May 6th. We stock special area just for the kids :).
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:15 PM

Weed cutting May 24 & 25 @ 8:00 AM

June 10th,11th Free Fishing
Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time: 7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM



Quote of the Week
My first question to a newbie nymph fisher is; can you fish worms? Best advice I can give someone like that is to do that same thing with a nymph. Dry flies, a different story.

Author:  Gert Jensen

Thanks for reading!  Lucy

Thursday, March 16, 2017


March 16, 2017



How's Fishing?
Winter had one last chance to nip noses and he took it this week.  Even so, fishing has been reasonably good for most.  It could be said that only the experienced 
die-hards are out there fishing at this point and so, of course, fish were caught.  I will give you that point.  But this weekend will make up for it.  It could reach 70 degrees by Sunday.  Ahhh, Missouri weather.  You gotta love it!



Of Interest
There are two new events this year at Bennett Spring.  The first is a free fishing day for veterans. This event is coming up soon.  April 7th. No tag for Veterans on this day needed, just a fishing license if required.  Be sure to mention it to anyone you know who loves to fish and has served, or is serving, our country.  Our thanks to all of you for your service as well as to your families for the sacrifices they have also made.
The second is the Ladies Free Fishing Day in September.  September 30, 2017 there is no charge to fish at Bennett Spring for the ladies.  You do need to have a current fishing license, but no tag is required.  



Fishing Times  

MONTH            BEGIN END

March               7:30 A.M.  CDT 7:00 P.M.  CDT
April 7:00 A.M. 7:30 P.M.
May 6:30 A.M. 8:15 P.M.
June 6:30 A.M           8:30 P.M.
July                    6:30 A.M. 8:30 P.M.
August 7:00 A.M. 8:00 P.M.
September 7:30 A.M. 7:15 P.M.
October 7:30 A.M.           6:30 P.M.



What's working?

From the fly case:

Bennett Blue crackleback
RGN's dark brown or green
mega worms
 Chamois worm 

Zone 1 & 2
bumble bee rooster tail 
Brown wooly worm
Marabou - Black or black & orange, peach & brown, olive & black or white
john deere mini jig
white floss jig
ginger woolies, ginger woolie buggers
mega worm, orange or white
possum hair roach
brown roach

Zone 3

power bait - salmon peach, yellow, cheese
minnows










Water Conditions

Spring Branch
The water level has been very consistent for a couple of weeks. 
3-16-17
Gage house level is 1.89 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 84 in 1936
current level is 113
25th percentile is 133
Median is 174
Mean is 239
75th percentile is 272
Max was 750 in 1973

Niangua River
3-16-17
Gage House reading (water level) is 1.80 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 48 in 1996
25th percentile is 99
Today's reading is 102
Median is 253
Mean is 299
75th percentile is 446
record high max was 1110 in 2011



Lunker Club

March 11, 2017
Ed Evers from Orlando, FL
2 pounds on a brown wooly in zone 1

March 12 
John Greer from Sweet Springs, MO
4 pounds on a chamois worm in zone 2

March 13
Pam Todd from Lee Summit, MO
2 pounds on a bumble bee rooster tail in zone 1



Weather Forecast

Friday: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before noon. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 67. South wind around 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. 

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 64. Wind chill values as low as 36 early. North wind around 7 mph. 

Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers before 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 70.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64.



Calendar of Events

March 18th - Staff led tour of the Trout Fish Hatchery
Meet near the raceways across from the Park store.

March 25th Winter Hike at 10 am
Staff led hike from the nature center to the Spring Head and on the Spring Trail
to the fish Hatchery. Length will be 1 mile and will last an hour.
March 25th Hellbender Program at 2 p.m.
The rare large salamander called the Hellbender is being raised and placed
in the Niangua River. Join staff to learn more about this conservation effort!
All are free events. call 417-532-3925 for more information.

New Veterans free fishing day. Friday, April 7th. No tag needed just license if required.
Time:   7:00 AM to 7:30 PM

April 8 - Four free events from the Nature Center
Bridge Trail Walk - Time to be announced - call 417-532-3925 for more information.  Trail has a gentle grade up and along the hillside behind the nature center then down to the CCC Bennett Spring bridge.  Distance is .70 miles
Black Bear Program - 2 pm.  The American black bear is one of the largest wild mammals in Missouri.  Participants will learn more about the increasing bear population in Missouri.
Mole, Vole, Shrew program at 4 p.m.   Held at the Nature Center.  These small burrowing mammals are hard to tell apart. Participants will learn  the differences between these tunneling creatures.
Evening Photo Walk.  4 p.m. starting at the Nature Center.  Al Griffin will meet participants in the Nature Center.  Bring your camera!
Weed cutting April 12,13 @ 8:00 AM

Free Events from the Nature Center on Saturday, April 15th. 
April 15th at 9 a.m.  there will be a Spring Trail Hike.  Meet at the Nature Center.  This hike will go to the Spring then along the stream branch to the fish hatchery.  Distance is one mile
Fish Hatchery tour begins at 10 a.m. Staff led tour will meet at the hatchery building across from the park store near the raceways.
The Bat Program will meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m.   Video, games, and activities will follow a presentation about Missouri bats.

April 22 - Earth Day Activities.  10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.   Everyone is invited - all free events.  Meet above Bennett Spring near Pavilion/Shelter A
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Free Tree Seedlings.  Build a Birdhouse.  Leaf Rubbing Activity, Woodpecker Craft, Try a kayak on land!  Water Exhibit, Stream Team Display. 
 Soil Exhibition.  Wildlife Activities.  Games & Crafts. 
At 2 p.m. There will be a bicycle class followed by participants joining the Park Ranger in a bicycle parade to the Nature Center.

Kids Free Fishing :)
 Saturday, May 6, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day May 6th. We stock special area just for the kids :).
Time:   6:30 AM to 8:15 PM

 Weed cutting May 24 & 25 @ 8:00 AM

June 10th,11th  Free Fishing
 Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
  New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time:   7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

 Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time:   7:30 AM to 6:30 PM



Quote of the Week

It is just as well to remember that angling is only a recreation, not a profession.  We usually find that men of the greatest experience are the most liberal and least dogmatic.

Author:  Theodore Gordon

Thanks for reading!  
Lucy

Sunday, March 5, 2017

March 5, 2017


How's Fishing?

It was a great opening day this year.  The crowds were a bit lighter than expected - there were 1290 adult tags sold and 76 kids.   The weather forecast, although it turned out to be a mild morning for March first, may have scared some anglers or the fact that it was a Wednesday opening could also play into it.  When you have work and school schedules, it's often hard to coordinate a trip, even for something as important as opening day!
Governor Eric Greitens surprised us with an opening day visit.  He seemed to enjoy his visit and for us, well, it's always fun to hob nob a bit.
 There were 50 lunkers put in for opening day weighing in at three pounds or more.  The lunker club is back in business!

Governor Eric Greitens and Gary Modale, the whistle blower for 2017, share a light moment

Fishing Times

MONTH                                 BEGIN                    END
March                                6:30 A.M.  CST 6:00 P.M.  CST
March  Daylight Savings Time 7:30 A.M.  CDT 7:00 P.M.  CDT
April                                        7:00 A.M         . 7:30 P.M.
May                                         6:30 A.M.         8:15 P.M.
June                                         6:30 A.M.         8:30 P.M.
July                                         6:30 A.M.         8:30 P.M.
August                             7:00 A.M.                8:00 P.M.
September                        7:30 A.M.         7:15 P.M.
October                           7:30 A.M.                 6:30 P.M.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Conservation Department with local fly tyer, Kay Crabtree

What's Working?

From the fly case
Bennett Blue crackleback
RGN's dark brown or green
mega worms
midges, black or olive

zone 1 & 2
Brassie - red or red & white
Marabou - classic black & yellow, pink & white, moss, gingersnap, green & black, olive, ginger,
tinsel jigs
Rooster Tails, pink & white, bumblebee, brown
peacock mini jig
white floss
ginger woolies, ginger woolie buggers
mega worm, orange or white

zone 2
spoons, silver or gold small sized

zone 3
power bait - salmon peach, yellow, cheese
trout magnet- salmon or white


Water Conditions

March 5, 2017

Gage house level is 1.89 feet
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 85.6 in 2015
25th percentile is 129
Median is 177
Mean is 206
75th percentile is 245
current level is 113
Max was 930 in 1984



Niangua River
3-5-17

Gage House reading (water level) is 1.58 feet
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 70 in 1996
25th percentile is 120
Median is 208
Mean is 379
75th percentile is 596
Today's reading is 77.1
record high max was 1220 in 2008



Lunker Club

3-1-17
Zach Hagadon from Walnut Iowa
4-1/4 pounds in zone 2 on a black & yellow marabou

Lindy Wood from Louisiana, MO
2 pounds on cheese bait in zone 3

Dino Nolte from Ft. Worth TX
6 pounds on a black & yellow gold plated marabou in zone 1

Dylan Witherspoon from Windsor, MO
4-1/4 pounds on a gingersnap in zone 2

Mike Hamilton from ST. Charles, MO
3-3/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Adam Bradley from Odessa, MO
2-1/3 pounds on a brown rooster tail in zone 1

Frank Bellew from Kansas City, MO
6.2 ounces on a black & green marabou in zone 2

Justin Schroeder from Marshall, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Jeff Huffman from Warrensburg, MO
7-1/2 ounds on a salmon trout magnet in zone 2

Stephen Stacy from Ellington, MO
4-3/4 pounds on a pink & white rooster tail in zone 1

Frank Bellew from Kansas City, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Joshua Broderick from Kansas City, Kansas
3.5 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Jacob Ley from Collinsville, IL
3.25 on a red brassie in zone 2

Gene Huelskamp from Raytown, MO
5 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Dallas Smith from Mexico, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a white mega worm in zone 2

Joshua Broderick from Kansas City, MO
4.5 pounds on a black & yellow fly in zone 1

3-2-17

John Schaaf from Buffalo, MO
3-3/4 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

Jim Lucas from OFallon, MO
3 pounds on power bait in zone 3

Jim Lucas from OFallon, MO
5 pounds on a home tied jig in zone 2

Tom Flamm from Bowling green, MO
2-1/2 pounds on a worm in zone 3

3-3-17

Kenny Verser from Columbia, MO
2 pounds on a white marabou in zone 2

3-4-17

Tommy Doellman from St. Louis, MO
2 pounds on a black & brown marabou jig in zone 1

Jake Crawford from St. Charles, MO
4 pounds, Catch & release, on an orange mega worm in zone 1

Kyle Cullifer from Macon, MO
2 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

3-5-16
Matthew Johnson  from Nixa MO
4-1/2 pounds on white trout magnet in zone 3

Susan Werdehausen from Waynesville, MO
4-3/4 pounds on a pink worm in zone 3




Weather Forecast

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 64.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Saturday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 63.

Quote of the Week

The dream is everything in the sport of fishing. You dream with every cast of your fly that the shadowy form will finally rise to your fly. You dream as you drop off to sleep at night about the lunker that got loose just as you were about to net it.

Author:  Christipher Lehmann Haupt

Published:  The Ultimate Fishing Book

Thanks for reading and welcome to the 2017 season.
Lucy