Trout have returned to the Union City Lake.
The Missouri Department of Conservation stocked the lake Tuesday morning. A total of 2,000 trout were added to the lake for the winter catch and release trout season.
The return of the trout also meant a return of the anglers. Parks and Recreation Director Angela Lairmore said word spread quickly that the lake was stocked.
“It didn’t take long for someone to drive by and be like ‘Oh, I was waiting for this day,’” she said.
By Tuesday afternoon a half-dozen anglers were putting their lines in the water looking for some trout. Most reported having success.
Tony Marquardt found a spot on the rock on the Clark Avenue shore. He said he had caught at least 10 fish in a short time Tuesday. Ron Hymer, who was stationed on one of the jetties, said he lost count after he reached double digits.
Some of the anglers said they were waiting for the lake to be stocked. One said he had stopped by every day since the start of the catch and release season to see if he could get a bite.
Lairmore said this is the 50th year the MDC has stocked Missouri lakes with trout. She said this year there was a good supply of large trout, called lunkers.
Eight lunkers were dropped into the lake. Lairmore said some were close to 10 pounds.
“They were really a nice size,” she said.
This is the second year the city has been involved in the trout program. Lairmore said the city has gotten a good response from the program.
“We just hope the regulations are followed,” she said. “It’s still a learning experience.”
Lairmore said last year state officials monitored fishing at the lake and issued warnings for violations. She said this year she’s been told there won’t be any warnings.
The most common violation reported last year involved bait. During the catch and release season, Lairmore said anglers aren’t allowed to use natural or prepared bait — it all has to be artificial.
The second most common violation involved permits. Lairmore said during catch and release season, anyone 16 and under and 64 and over can fish without a permit.
The exemption only works for catch and release. When the season is over and trout can be kept, she said every angler needs a permit.
Anglers will have to comply with MDC rules. No one is allowed to possess a trout and MDC officials will be monitoring the lake.
The winter season ends Feb. 1. Once the winter season ends, the regular season runs from Feb. 1 to Oct. 31.
For the winter season, no trout can be kept. The daily limit in the regular season is four trout with no length limit.
The lake has daily limits and length limits for other fish stocked in the water.
For largemouth bass, the daily limit is two and the fish must be a minimum of 18 inches.
Up to four catfish a day can be caught. There is no length requirement for catfish.
All other fish follow the state limit of up to 10 in the aggregate with no length limit.
For the season running Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, only one pole per person can be used. Anglers are only allowed artificial flies and lures — no natural or prepared baits.
From Feb. 1 to Oct. 31, a maximum of three poles per person may be used. There will be no restrictions on bait.
During that season, anglers must stop fishing for all species after having four trout in possession.
The lake only allows pole and line fishing. No live bait may be taken.
All anglers age 16 through 64 must have a permit. Anglers must have a trout permit to possess trout.
A summary of Missouri fishing regulations can be accessed on the MDC website or a hardcopy can be picked up at the Union Parks and Recreation Office.
For more information, people may call the park office at 636-583-8471.