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

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