Monday, April 16, 2018

Trout Fishing Report
Brought to you by
Weaver's Tackle Store

April 17, 2018


How's Fishing?

There have been some sweet fish caught lately. The best story I have for the day is about a really cool 10 year old boy that has fished a lot, but never for trout. He threw his line in at Bennett and came away with a five pound brown for his first fish at Bennett. He was over the moon with excitement and his family was so proud of him. What fun!


Our Hatchery manager, Ben Havens, sent the following email.
It reads as follows:
Sorry for the delay in getting this out… busy times around the hatchery!

The 2018 Trout season is off and running. Now if we could just get this weather to cooperate!

Here is an recap of last year-
2017 was another memory making year for the hatchery. The season began as normal. We hosted the new Governor Eric Greitens and he helped local fishermen Gary Madole sound the siren to ring in the new season. The first two months went by the book until the end of April. We received a 4” rain event starting on the 21st, with a 1.5’ spring rise. On the 25th we received 1” of rain, and a 6” spring rise. Beginning on the 29th, we received over 7” of rain and had a spring rise of almost 5 feet. The lower ends of the raceways were flooded with 8” of water and the middle pools had 2” of water over them. Due to the tremendous efforts of the hatchery staff no fish were lost during the flooding events. Cleanup efforts went well and we moved on with the season.

Attendance trended downward due to the highly unpredictable weather and very poor water clarity we had throughout the month of May. We received over 10 inches of rain for the month of May. Once the rains cleared we also had our busiest day of the year with 1,455 tags sold on the Sunday of Memorial day weekend. Things began to pick up and the rest of the fishing season went by rather quietly. We ended the season 135,226 tags. Down about 3.2% from 2016, but still better than 6 of the last 8 years.

Due to the rains, we held our rescheduled Kids Free Fishing Day on June 10. We had over 600 participants. New to the hatchery and park this year were a Veteran’s Free Fishing day and a Girls Free Fishing day. These events held in April and September help breakup the monotony of hatchery work and also serve and promote our park to visitors. We had over 250 veterans participate and 453 girls. Not bad for our first year! For fun, we hosted Haunted Hatchery Tours for the public on Halloween weekend. We had over 350 people tour the haunted hatchery in 2 hours in collaboration with other park activities going on that night.

The addition of a new UV sterilizer and other updates are working great in the hatchery building. We completed four spawns and collected 1.2 million eggs. From that we moved over 410,000 fingerlings outside in 2017. Our spawning success rate continues to improve and is the best we’ve seen since the new building and improvements went into production. We ended the year with 929,000 fish on inventory.

MARCH 2018
Fish Production

The outside fish production drastically improved this month as we saw great growth among all lots of fish. The extra spring flow helps to reduce stress on the fish and they respond with better growth. The first 2018 stockings are going well and winter urban fish stockings are completed for now. We have concluded our spawning efforts but are beginning to raise surplus spring eggs from Sheperd of the Hills Hatchery. We moved several more fingerling groups of fish outside from the building this month. Things are looking better and the water is clearing up every day. As of April 1st we have 945,000 trout on inventory.

Fish Stockings

We completed the following stockings this month. Avg. size of fish stocked is 12.59”

KC Urban Fishing 4,375 fish

Niangua River TMA – 1,050 fish

Bennett Trout Park-- 35,875 fish

Total Stocked - 41,300 fish

Spring Flows

We started the month at 406 cfs or 262 million gallons/day flow. We ended the month at 307 cfs or 198 million gallons/day. Average for this time of year is 171 MGD. We received between 5-6” of precipitation this past month. The stream started and ended the month murky and dirty from all the extra spring flows.

2018 DATES TO REMEMBER

April 21 -Veterans Fishing Day

May 5 -Kids Fishing Day

June 9 & 10 -Free Fishing Weekend

September 29 -Ladies Free Fishing Day

October 13 & 14 -Holland Derby

May 23 & 24 -Weed cutting

June 27 & 28 -Weed Cutting

August 8 & 9 -Weed Cutting

Sept 19 & 20 -Weed Cutting

Currently things are looking real good and the fishing is great! The water is regaining its clarity and looking better each day.

Let me know if you have questions-

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


Whats Working?

From the fly case
Bennett blue crackleback
green crackleback
red san juan worm
mega worm, white, red, or pink
mop- worm, orange
RGN - olive
gray scud

Zone 1 & 2
floss jig - white
white chenille jig
john deere, gray deere
Marabou - gingersnap, tequila sunrise. ginger
glo ball - egg colored, easter egg
rooster tail - glitter brown , yellow and black
Chartreuse rooster tail
bumble bee mini jig

Zone 3

power bait, orange, salmon peach
worms - plastic in pumpkin seed color or pink
night crawlers
trout magnet - glitter brown or gold


Water Conditions

Bennett Spring
April 16, 2018
Gage house level is 2.15
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 82 in 1981
25th percentile is 145
Current level is 161
Median is 231
Mean is 285
75th percentile is 360
Max was 1490 in 1941

Niangua River conditions
April 16, 2018
Gage House reading (water level) is 2.21 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 100 in 2014
25th percentile is 176
Median is 409
Today's reading is 262
75th percentile is 1070
Mean is 581
record high max was 1770 in 1993


Lunker Club

4-12-18
Ashleigh Smith from Centralia, MO
2-1/4 pounds on orange powerbait in zone 3

Jim Lucas from O'Fallon, MO
3-1/4 pounds on a white jig in zone 1

Jim Lucas from O'Fallon, MO
4.6 pounds on a ginger jig in zone 2

4-13-18
Joshua Smith from Centralia, MO
2-1/2 pounds on pink trout worm in the river

David Appleby from Lebanon, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a chartreuse rooster tail in zone 2

Mark Porrett from Waynesville, MO
3 pounds on white mini jig in zone 1

4-14-18
Tyler Davis from Columbia, MO
2 pounds on a bumble bee mini jig in zone 2

Brylie Hitchcock from St. Louis, MO
5 pounds on a white chenille jig in zone 2


Fishing Times

April 7:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
May 6:30 a.m. - 8:15 p.m.
June/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.


Calendar of Events

April 21 is Veterans Fishing Day
Veterans Free Fishing. All current or retired veterans with proof of service fish for free. On the day of the event, get your free daily tag at the park store.

April 21 - 10 a.m. Fish Hatchery Tour
Missouri Department of Conservation staff will give a guided tour of the fish hatchery on the first and third Saturdays during the on season of March through October. Meet at the newest hatchery building to find out what it takes to raise all those fish. The hatchery tour duration is approximately 45 minutes.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bat/Cave Awareness at Nature Center. Presentation at 2 p.m. by the Master Naturalist Group of Springfield.
Bennett Spring comes from an underwater cave, but there are many other caves within the park that wildlife call home. Missouri is known as the Cave State. Come learn more about bats and caves at the nature center. A special presentation from the Missouri Master Naturalist Springfield Plateau Chapter will begin at 2 p.m. and last approximately one hour.

April 22 - 1 p.m. Ranger Ride
Join a law enforcement ranger to learn the ABCs of bike riding. Participants will ride together across the historic CCC bridge around Bennett Spring to Shelter A and back. Participants are to meet at the fish hatchery fish feeding station across from the park store. The riding terrain is flat with some grassy off-road riding and one hill. Bring your bicycle, helmet and water.

Saturday, April 28 Snake Awareness
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Stop by to View and learn more about Missouri snakes by attending a live snake presentation by the Missouri Master Naturalist Springfield Plateau Chapter and Teen Jr. Leaders. A presentation will take place at 2 p.m. in the nature center in which participants will have an opportunity to touch live snakes.

May 5 - Kids Fishing Day

May 23 & 24 - Weed cutting

June 9 & 10 - Free Fishing Weekend

June 27 & 28 Weed Cutting

August 8 & 9 Weed Cutting

Sept 19 & 20 Weed Cutting

September 29 Ladies Fishing Day

October 13 & 14 Holland Derby


Quote of the Day

Who cares about finding a unified theory of the universe? What we need is a unified theory of fly-fishing.

Author:

Graig Spole

Thanks for reading,
Lucy

Monday, April 2, 2018

How's Fishing?


The fishing has been tough for the last few days but today it seems everything changed. The fishing has been really great! It may be the sporadic cold weather that's moving in or they may just have gotten hungry, but either way, it's good for the angler.
There are very few people fishing right now, the weather is a bit on the damp and cold side. If you love to have the stream to yourself, this is your chance. The folks that are here fishing are very happy with the amount and size of fish they are catching.


What's working?
From the fly case

mega worm, white or pink
mop- worm, orange
RGN - olive
copper hot shot, olive or brown
zebra midge, black or olive
possum hair roach
weighted woolies

Zone 1 & 2
mini marabou, pink
john deere
Marabou - black, gingersnap, tequila sunrise, black, ginger or black & yellow.
rooster tail, tiger or black
grizzly wooly worm

Zone 3
Yellow X-scent powerbait
Salmon Peach X-Scent Powerbait
minnows
worms


Water Condtitions
Bennett Spring
April 2, 2018
Gage house level is 2.63
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 80 in 1936
25th percentile is 139
Median is 190
Mean is 265
75th percentile is 289
Current level is 364
Max was 1450 in 1983

Niangua River conditions
March 29, 2018
Gage House reading (water level) is 3.30 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 113 in 2014
25th percentile is 172
Median is 350
Today's reading is 391
75th percentile is 485
Mean is 537
record high max was 2860 in 2015


Lunker Club

3-30-18
Keith Kesler from Herman, MO
2-1/8 pounds on a black marabou in zone 1

3-30-18
Joe Hutson from Troy, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

3-31-18
Jordan Webster from Lebanon, MO
3-1/8 pounds on a pink mini marabou in zone 2


Fishing Times
April 7:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
May 6:30 a.m. - 8:15 p.m.
June/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.

Calendar of Events

April 10, 2018

Bennett Spring State Park is going to have a large amount of high school students (100) coming for a spring “work day” on Tuesday, April 10th. We need help and welcome everyone to participate as we need help facilitating/leading youth in different projects. To build relationships, character and pride of ownership within our community, an annual spring and fall work day are coordinated. The bondable moments create positive memories for all those involved. The event lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a break for lunch. (on your own-most have a picnic) Below are some projects listed for that day:

Missouri State Parks: Shovel and wheel barrel gravel onto the Savanna Trail, Nature Center wild garden clean-up, Remove flood and falling limbs from park grass, pick up trash and Garlic Mustard or other invasive species removal. We are in need of a lot of wheel barrels and shovels. If any of you can loan them for the day, please let me know. Last year we had 5-6 students per wheel barrel and it worked great.

Missouri Dept. of Conservation Projects: Spread Gravel, Rake Flood Debris and Limbs from Hatchery Areas, those with wagers will scrub the fish hatchery pools and mulch flower gardens. (MDC provides their own facilitators)
I still need volunteers to: Walk with some youth along the trail to look for invasive species (I have ID Cards) and pick up trash:

1. Bridge Trail and Oak Hickory Trail-around 1 mile
2. Natural Tunnel Trail-7.5 mile loop
3. Spring Trail-approx. 1 mile loop around spring
Put up canopy, table for first aid and drinking water station up by the Savanna Trail Head.
Stay inside at Nature Center to give guidance for late arrivals, those looking for a bathroom and guide youth in vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and mopping inside floors.
Stand near gravel to assist those shoveling.
Walk or stage themselves along the difficult wheel barrel route on the Savanna Trail to assist when needed and give encouragement. Example: Deep rutted areas & steep hill.
Assist youth as they smooth/rake gravel in specific erosion spot on the Savanna Trail

If you are interested, please let me know! J If you know other members of the community that would like to help, please let them know to contact me.

Sincerely,

Patricia Chambers
Interpretive Resource Specialist
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Division of Missouri State Parks
Bennett Spring State Park
26250 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536
417-532-3925 or 417-532-7006
www.mostateparks.com

April 11 & 12 Weed cutting

April 21 Veterans Fishing Day

May 5 Kids Fishing Day

May 23 & 24 Weed cutting

June 9 & 10 Free Fishing Weekend

June 27 & 28 Weed Cutting

August 8 & 9 Weed Cutting

Sept 19 & 20 Weed Cutting

September 29 Ladies Fishing Day

October 13 & 14 Holland Derby


Quote of the Week

Sometimes, concentrating on some deeply undercut bank, if you were lucky you could catch a glimpse of something dark and larger than anything your imagination could conjure.

Author: Nick Lyons
Published: Mornings

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 4, 2018



Trout Fishing Report for Bennett  Spring
Brought to you by
Weaver's Tackle Store



March 4, 2018

How's Fishing?
I'ts been an unusual opening this year.  Although the water receded from the previous high water levels earlier in the week the fishing was still more difficult than usual.  The problem was the swiftness of the current and the color - which had a distinct similarity to chocolate milk.  There were some good sized fish caught and mostly satisfied anglers, but very few were really happy with the conditions.  It has gotten better with time, and will continue to, but the opening was tough.  One comment we heard more than one time was that once a 'pool' of fish was found, the catching was pretty easy.
The best lures have been white, yellow, orange or pink.  And a little sparkle is a good thing.
Total tags sold for Bennett Spring Opening Day were 1471.  This was up about 100 from last year.

Fishing Times

March 6:30 a.m. (7:30 Daylight savings Time )    -6:00 pm    (7:00 Daylight Savings time)
April   7:00 a.m.  -   7:30 p.m.
May  6:30 a.m.  -   8:15 p.m.
June/July 6:30 a.m.  -   8:30 p.m.
August 7:00 a.m.   -   8:00 p.m.
Sept  7:30 a.m   -   7:15 p.m.
October 7:30 a.m.  -   6:30 p.m.



What's Working?

From the fly case
Pink & white mega worm

Zone 1 & 2

White floss
Salmon brassie
Marabou - black & yellow, pink, white and peach & white. orange
Rooster tails - brown glitter, black with gold blade, Orange

Zone 3
Yellow power bait
Rainbow power bait
Salmon eggs
Opening Day 2018


Water Conditions
Bennett Spring

March 4, 2018
Gage house level is 2.52
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 87.3 in 2015
Current level is 267
25th percentile is 128
Median is 176
Mean is 165
75th percentile is 219
Max was 2250 in 1984

Niangua river

Niangua River conditions
March 4, 2018
Gage House reading (water level) is 4.20 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Today's reading is 260
Minimum was 75 in 1996
25th percentile is 88
Median is 199
Mean is 415
75th percentile is 513
record high max was 2650 in 2008




Lunker Club

March 1, 2018
Kenny Verser from Columbia, MO
3.5 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Ken Clements from Caseyville, IL
2.5 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Rich Osborn from Mascoutah, IL
2.5 on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Tyler Plant from Quincy, IL
2 pounds on a white jig in zone 1

Brian Wilson from Wellinton, MO
3 pounds on a black &yellow marabou in zone 1

Corey Bigler from Grandview MO
4.8 pounds on a orange /back spinner in zone 2

Matt Turley from Evansville, IN
3-1/8 pounds on a gingersnap marabou in zone 2

Matt Turley for Evansville, IN
2-1/4 pounds on a black & white marabou in zone 2

Tony Griffith from Holts Summit, MO
3 pounds on orange power bait in zone 3

Grant Schmitz from Jefferson City, MO
2 pounds on home bait in zone 3

Chris Gregory from Colombia, MO
2.25 pounds on a rainbow rooster tail in zone 1

Ken Clements from Caseyville, IL
2.2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Mark Drummond from Lee's Summit, MO
2 pounds on a glo-ball in zone 1

Wesley Moritz from Ashland, MO
2.5 pounds on orange power bait in zone 3

Ed Miller from Houstonia, MO
2.5 pounds on yellow sparkle power bait in the river

David Brown from Independence, MO
2 pounds on a brown woolie in zone 2

Shawn Viau from House Springs, MO
2.5 pounds on a glo ball in zone 1

Darla Todd from Mexico, MO
2.25 pounds on pink & orange power bait  (and spit)

Fred Todd from Mexico, MO 
2.5 pounds on pink & white power bait (no spit)

Brian Wilson from Wellington, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Ron Hoffman from Evansville, IN
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2



3-2-18

Bob Brandt from Eldon, MO
2.25 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Jay Lewis from Huntsville, MO
2.25 pounds on a minnow in zone 3

Austin Welch from Lee's Summit, MO
2-3/4 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3

Jeff Wheelan from Hannibal, MO
2.5 pounds on black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Arron Pauley from Columbia, MO
3.5 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3

Garnet Peck from Kirksville, MO
2.25 pounds on powerbait in zone 3

Ken Clemends from Cassybille, IL
2 pounds on a white jig in zone 2

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

Joe Gicona from OFallon, MO
2 pounds on white woolly bugger in zone 1

Tim Dejarnette (age 14) from Lee's Summit, MO
2.25 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Terry Hampton from Lee's Summit, MO
3.25 pounds on a black & red marabou in zone 2



3-3-18
Jake Sewell from Wellsville, MO
2 pounds on home made dough bait in zone 3

Wayne Robinson from Dittmer, MO
3 pounds on a red & black marabou in zone 1

C.J. Curd from Wellsville, MO
2 pounds on home made dough bait in zone 3

Cody Groner from New Haven, MO
2.25 pounds on a ginger marabou in zone 1

Bob Brandt from Eldon, MO
2.25 pounds on rainbow power bait in zone 3

Mark Brandt from Eldon, MO
2 pounds on rainbow power bait in zone 3

Jason Williams from KC Kansas
2.25 pounds on yellow power bait in zone 3

Zach Smith from Walnut Grove, MO
2 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Matt Sanders from Glasgow MO
2-1/4 pounds  on a San Juan worm

Mary Hollingsworth from Union city OK
2-1/4 pounds on a white jig in zone 1


3-4-18

Ron Hoffman from Evansville, IN
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

John McCetchan from Monticello,  MO
2-1/4 pounds on white power bait in zone 3

Jason Farris from Russellville, MO
2 pounds on a white marabou jig in zone 2

Nels Johnson from Lebanon, MO
2-1/8 pounds on cheese dough bait in zone 3



Weather Forecast

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Breezy, with a west wind 13 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. .

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 42.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 48.

Friday: A chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.

Saturday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59.




Calendar of Events

There will be events happening every weekend at the Nature Center. For more information about these events call Patricia Chambers.

Patricia Chambers
Interpretive Resource Specialist
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Bennett Spring State Park
26250 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536
417-532-3925 or 417-532-7006

April 11 & 12 Weed cutting

April 21 Veterans Fishing Day

May 5 Kids Fishing Day

May 23 & 24 Weed cutting

June 9 & 10 Free Fishing Weekend

June 27 & 28 Weed Cutting

August 8 & 9 Weed Cutting

Sept 19 & 20 Weed Cutting

September 29 Ladies Fishing Day

October 13 & 14 Holland Derby



Quote of the Week

It is the glory of the art of angling that its disciples never grow old. The muscles may relax and the beloved rod become a burden, but the fire of enthusiasm kindled in youth is never extinguished.
Author:   George Dawson
Published:   The Pleasures of Angling

Thanks for reading.  Lucy

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring

February 22, 2018



Taken opening day 2017


How's Fishing?

The main question on everyone's mind is "What will opening day be like?"  You know it will be a hoot, of course.  That's why you show up.  But, as far as weather, it should be pretty acceptable.  The forecast is for 50 to 60 degrees with scattered showers.  No big fronts going through (it did that earlier in the week) so the wind shouldn't be an issue, either.

The water will probably be a little higher and dirtier than it could be because of the recent rains, but we needed them so badly.  It's also a stress on the fish when the water is too low.  The stream is improving quickly.  It hit a high on the 21st of just over 3.5 feet.

The preseason meeting was held, as you know if you read the report, February 20th.  The siren ringer for this year is Skip Nichols.  His first opening day was when he was 12 and he has only missed two since then.  He and his wife honeymooned at Bennett Spring.  He is a very likable person as well, and many folks wrote in suggesting his name.  If you see him, congratulate him on the honor.

At the meeting, Hatchery manager Ben Havens talked about what we can expect in the year ahead.   There are strong numbers of decent size fish coming up.  I'm attaching a graph that was presented at the meeting that shows what the anticipated growth rates will be.  The average size fish last year was 13.04 inches.  For opening, three fish per tag will be stocked, based on an educated guess of 1500 anglers buying tags.
Normal stocking will resume this year which is 2.25 fish per tag sold.

Zone two had a little more gravel removed this winter.  The hatchery had some improvements as well.  This includes a new fish loader and a new oxygen generator.  A new system for keeping the eggs and fingerlings alive was installed as well, which increases the survival rates.  I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it involves recirculating clean water instead of running spring water through.  Spring water probably has more sediment and can result in cloudy water.    This is a good starting  point question for a tour of the hatchery!  Last year over 5000 people went through the building to see how the fish are raised.  There were 409000 fish raised from 1.3 million eggs.

I'm also including the stocking rates for browns and rainbow in the Niangua.  Fishing has been exceptional in the river this year and I am guessing it will continue to be so.  To watch the preseason meeting in it's entirety, check out the weaver's tackle facebook page.  Thanks to Chelsea for recording it.






Water Conditions

Bennett Spring

February 22, 2015
Bennett Spring
Gage house level is 2.91
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 76.6 in 1977
Current level is 410
25th percentile is 118
Median is 195
Mean is 165
75th percentile is 241
Max was 524 in 1985

Niangua river

Niangua River conditions
February 22, 2018
Gage House reading (water level) is 4.20 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Today's reading is 806
Minimum was 49 in 1996
25th percentile is 93
Median is 206
Mean is 432
75th percentile is 560
record high max was 1430 in 2010

March 1, 2017


Weather Forecast

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 53.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 58.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 61..

Wednesday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60

Thursday  ( MARCH 1 )  Cloudy high of 56°   20% chance of rain

Friday                Partly Cloudy high of 51°          20% chance of rain

Saturday              Partly Cloudy high of 57°      20% chance of rain

Sunday              PM Showers    high of 56          50% chance of rain

Calendar of Events

March 1 2018 - Opening day of Bennett Spring State Park Trout Season !!

There will be a chili lunch again this year from 11 am to 2 pm in the fire department building on Highway 64.   It's a fund raiser for Bennett Spring Volunteer Fire Department.  These are the first responders that volunteer their time to answer emergency calls in the area, both medical and environmental.  This event helps pay for new equipment and to keep the lights on.   No charge for the event, a donation is appreciated.

April 11 & 12        Weed cutting
April 21                Veterans Fishing Day
May 5                   Kids Fishing Day
May 23 & 24        Weed cutting
June 9 & 10         Free Fishing Weekend
June 27 & 28       Weed Cutting
August 8 & 9        Weed Cutting
Sept 19 & 20        Weed Cutting
September 29      Ladies Fishing Day
October 13 & 14  Holland Derby

There will be events happening every weekend at the Nature Center.  For more information about these events call Patricia Chambers
Patricia Chambers
Interpretive Resource Specialist
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Bennett Spring State Park
26250 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536
 417-532-3925 or 417-532-7006



Quote of the Week
This quote describes beautifully the relationship so many have with Bennett Spring.

We are what we cross paths with - not what we seek out, but what takes hold of us. Those associations create our core. They become the essence of our being. A little stream grabbed hold of me and became a meandering baseline, an anchor point from which I could take all bearings for things to come
Author   Craig Spinner
Published   From the Essay 'Nature has a Way of Finding us All'

Thanks for reading.  Lucy

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Trout Fishing Report for Bennett Spring



February 8, 2018

How's Fishing?

This will be the last weekend for the catch and release season.  March 1st is fast approaching.   Opening day is always a treat, but there seems to be a lot of excitement this year for some reason.  Maybe the winter was a bit more brutal than usual and we are all very ready for Spring.  It's much too early to predict what the weather will be like on the first of March, but from past experience, the only thing that will keep the anglers away is that the roads are too icy to drive on.  And sometimes, not event that!

Now is the time to get your gear ready for the season.  If nothing else, it will give you something productive to do while you wait. 
If you are using, or at least starting with on opening day, a spin rod, the first step is to clean it up.  Wipe all the debris, mud, and fish scum off of the outside of the reel.  You will then need reel oil and reel grease.  Use the grease on gears.  Use the oil for everything else, such as the handle and joints.   The most important thing is the first step - make sure it's clean before you lubricate. 
Next, check your line.  More headaches are caused by old line than any other single thing.  Pull about four feet of the line off the reel and see what it looks like.  Does it curl or is it twisted?  The best answer is to replace the old line and start fresh for the season.  At Bennett, a good two pound line is best if you can manage it.  A four pound line will work almost as well, especially on a closed face reel.  The color of the line is important as well.  It seems what works best is a line with a greenish cast, probably because of the water color.  If you like the invisibility of fluorocarbon line, a two to three foot leader on the end of the green line works well.  It gives you the superior casting ability of the green line combined with the transparent effect of the fluorocarbon. 
Now take a look at your rod and reel seat.  Again, cleaning them is most important.   Start with mild soap and wipe dry with a soft cloth.  Do you see any nicks or cracks in the rod from winter storage?  Or are there any burrs on the guides that will nick the line as you are fishing?  This is the time to address these issues by repairing or replacing your equipment.  At Weaver's we have an extensive selection of rods to choose from this Spring.  When you buy a new reel or combo at our store, we put new line on for no additional charge. 
Taking a little care of your equipment will go a long way towards making that first catch of the season successful and enjoyable. 
Next week we will look at taking care of your fly rod

The pre-season meeting will be on February 20th in the Bennett Room at 6:30.  This meeting is open to the public.  There is a lot of good information at each meeting about fish availability, size, and what we expect for the coming season both at Bennett and in the Niangua. 



Water Conditions

Bennett Spring
February 8, 2018
Bennett Spring
Gage house level is 1.78
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 77 in 1977
Current level is 83.2
25th percentile is 106
Median is 136
Mean is 165
75th percentile is 210
Max was 364 in 1995




Niangua river
Niangua River conditions
February 8, 2018
Gage House reading (water level) is 1.09 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Today's reading is 50.5
Minimum was 77 in 2011
25th percentile is 94
Median is 151
Mean is 217
75th percentile is 226
record high max was 674 in 2008



Weather Forecast


Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Wind chill values as low as 30 early. South wind 7 to 13 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.

Friday Night: A chance of freezing drizzle after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Wind chill values as low as 17. North wind 6 to 9 mph.

Saturday: Freezing rain likely, possibly mixed with sleet, becoming all freezing rain after 5pm. Cloudy, with a high near 28. Wind chill values as low as 15. North wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Saturday Night: Freezing rain and sleet likely before 11pm, then freezing rain likely between 11pm and 4am, then a chance of snow after 4am. Cloudy, with a low around 18. North wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 42.

Calendar of Events

February 20th - Preseason Meeting

The pre-season meeting will be on February 20th in the Bennett Room at 6:30.  This meeting is open to the public.  There is a lot of good information at each meeting about fish availability, size, and what we expect for the coming season both at Bennett and in the Niangua.

The following is an email from the Nature Center at Bennett Spring





Quote of the Day

"Fly tackle has improved considerably since 1676, when Charles Cotton advised anglers to 'fish fine and far off,' but no one has ever improved on that statement.
Author:  John Gierach

Winter diving in the Spring Hole


Thanks for reading and looking forward to seeing you soon!
Lucy