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