The wait is over!
This Friday is the first day of trout-fishing season for Missouri residents, and St. James is the place to be if you're an avid fisherman.
The St. James Chamber of Commerce and the James Foundation in their usual tradition will welcome fishermen to Maramec Spring Park at 6:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts to celebrate the beginning of the 2013 season.
According to Jim Low of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Gary Benson will fire the starting pistol this year. Benson has been a familiar face at Maramec Spring for more than 50 years and supports kids’ fishing both as a volunteer and with donations of fishing supplies for their use.
St. James Mayor Dennis Wilson says improvements to the park include "water-quality monitoring and security of the pools," courtesy of the MDC.
“In preparation for the opening of the 2013 trout fishing season, the Department has also done considerable removal of natural aquatic debris through off-season dredging of portions of the Spring branch,” the mayor wrote in his recent column (See Page 4).
Low says an estimated 8,000 fishermen are expected to participate in the statewide opening day event,
“The long-range weather forecast for March 1 points to chilly but not unseasonably cold weather, with high temperatures in the 40s and a small chance of rain," Low wrote in a press release.
At Maramec Spring Park, hatchery manager Wesley Swee is planning for 1,500 anglers on March 1 and will stock 4,500 trout, plus 50 lunkers.
For more information about Maramec Spring Park, call 573-265-7801.