Opening Day

Anglers braved the rain Thursday, Nov. 1, to take part in fishing on the opening day of winter trout season at the Union City Lake. The lake had been closed for months while the city and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) made renovations. The lake was improved and made more accessible for people with all abilities. Fishing rules are posted around the lake and can be found on the MDC website.      Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

Winter trout season is set to begin at the Union City Lake.

For the second year in a row, the city is taking part in the winter rainbow trout season. Catch-and-release fishing only is available from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2020, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). 

Last year 2,000 rainbow trout were added to the lake. More trout will be added to last year’s crop, but not before for opening day.

Trout are expected to be stocked by the MDC in early November.

Union City Administrator Russell Rost said this is being done to prevent anglers from keeping any trout caught at the end of October.

Last year fishing was closed at the lake until Nov. 1 because of a renovation project. When the winter trout season opened, the lake never closed. The lake has been open for fishing year-round.

Rost said because the lake is currently open, if it were stocked in late October, anglers could catch and keep any trout before the Nov. 1 catch and release portion of the season.

In order to ensure the trout are available for the catch and release program, MDC will stock the lake on an undisclosed date in November. 

The 2018 winter trout season was a big hit. On opening day, a number of anglers braved the rain for a chance to catch trout. One fisherman said he had a dozen bites in his first 30 minutes.

Lake Rules

Anglers will have to comply with MDC rules. No one is allowed to possess a trout and MDC officials will be monitoring the lake.

Once the winter season ends, from Feb. 1 to Oct. 31, the daily limit 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 at 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.