The 2016 trout season should be another good one with daily stockings of rainbow trout at Bennett Spring State Park from March 1 through October 31. There are three fishing zones within Bennett Spring State Park. Zone 1 runs from the Hatchery Dam upstream to the spring area. Only flies are permitted in Zone 1. Zone 2 runs from the hatchery dam downstream to the Whistle Bridge. Only flies and artificial lures are permitted in Zone 2. Zone 3 runs from the Whistle Bridge downstream to the Niangua River. Only soft plastic bait (unscented) and natural and scented bait are permitted in Zone 3. All flies and artificial lures are prohibited in Zone 3, even if natural bait or scent has been added.
Each year the park hosts special events that encourage angling as a family activity and provide novice anglers the opportunity to experience trout fishing. Kids Free Fishing Day takes place on the first Saturday in May. For 2016, the event will be held on Saturday, May 7th. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to come out and take advantage of the resources at Bennett Spring. Children age 15 and under will receive a free tag to fish in Bennett Spring State Park on Kids Free Fishing Day. There will be a special fishing area for children only to ensure that they have a successful trip. This area will extend from the hatchery outlet in Zone 2 to the first riffle past the Suzy Hole in Zone 3. This area will be marked with signs and will be patrolled to make sure that children are the only anglers fishing there. Children need to observe the zone regulations, length limits for brown trout, and daily limits. There will be streamside volunteers to assist participants with knot tying, lure selection, and fishing advice. There will be several activities for the children and food will be provided for kids age 15 and under. All anglers must abide by normal fishing hours for May, which are 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Anglers also have the opportunity to to fish during Free Fishing Days which are held in June on the first Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday.
Anglers also have the opportunity to catch and release trout during the winter fishing season. Bennett Spring Trout Park is open for catch-and-release fishing only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from the second Friday in November thru the second Monday in February. Only flies may be used and all fish must be released unharmed immediately during the catch and release season.