MDC Nature Programs

Missouri Department of Conservation offers FREE nature classes for outdoor lovers of all ages and abilities. Registration is required for most classes unless indicated. Click on the BLUE text for each class. MDC’s Free Classes & Programs Sign up for email or text alerts to stay informed of MDC’s latest programs and events by going to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoP.

FISHING ~ EAGLE DAYS

APRIL 2024 ~ May 2024

Wildlife: Earth Week:Effects of Artificial Light on Wildlife

MDC Virtual Nature Center

  Registration Open    288 of 300 seats remaining

Friday, 4/19   2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hiking: Spring Wildflowers at Rockwoods

Rockwoods Reservation
Wildwood, MO 63038

  Registration Open    17 of 20 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/20   10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Frog or Toad?

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

  Registration Open    40 of 40 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/20   10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Native Plants: Earth Week: Helper Plants Virtual Program

MDC Virtual Nature Center

  Registration Open    293 of 300 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/20   2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Amphibian Night Hike

Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area
Saint Charles, MO 63301

  Registration Open    26 of 30 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/20   7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Nature Rx: Find Your Wild: Earth Day Hike & Nature Immersion

Emmenegger Nature Park
Saint Louis, MO 63122

  Registration Open    20 of 20 seats remaining

Monday, 4/22   1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Conservation Families: Stroller Stoll

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

  Registration Open    10 of 10 seats remaining

Tuesday, 4/23   9:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Snake Encounter

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Tuesday, 4/23   11:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Hiking: Spring on the Trail Among the Trees

Rockwoods Reservation
Wildwood, MO 63038

  Registration Open    25 of 25 seats remaining

Tuesday, 4/23   1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Wildlife: Missouri Mussels Virtual Program

MDC Virtual Nature Center

  Registration Open    290 of 300 seats remaining

Tuesday, 4/23   3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Wildlife: VIRTUAL: Animal Feeding

MDC Virtual Nature Center

  Registration Open    199 of 200 seats remaining

Friday, 4/26   2:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Conservation Families: Ask a Naturalist

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

  Registration Open    150 of 150 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/27   9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Snakes Spectacular!

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

  Registration Open    3 of 25 seats remaining

Saturday, 4/27   10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Snake Encounter

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Tuesday, 4/30   11:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Amphibians and Reptiles: Creature Feature: Alligator Snapping Turtle (V)

MDC Virtual Nature Center

  Registration Open    129 of 150 seats remaining

Tuesday, 4/30   2:00 PM to 2:30 PM

 

 

May 2024

Busch Wildlife Photography Contest

Date: Wednesday, May 1 – Saturday, August 31, 2024 10 pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Registration Not Required.

Calling all photographers! Whether you’re a professional or just like snapping photos on your phone, the Missouri Department of Conservation invites you to head on out to one of our largest Conservation Areas in the state this summer. With nearly 7,000 acres of land and a wide variety of habitats, Busch Conservation Area is host to hundreds of species of wildlife. From Cormorants on the lake, Turkeys in the fields, and Beavers in the creek, the possibilities of spotting some of our incredible Missouri wildlife are endless!

Starting May 1st, photos submitted via email to Sabrina.Hansen@mdc.mo.gov will be printed and displayed in the entrance of the St. Louis Regional Office within Busch CA for visitors to view and vote for their favorite photo of the week! You can also post your submitted photos on Facebook or Instagram using #BuschWildlifeoftheWeek. Fan favorite photos will be hung in the hallway of the Regional Office for all to enjoy throughout the summer season. The last day to submit summer photos will be August 31st.

Photos submitted MUST be taken at August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area, or our next-door neighbor Weldon Spring Conservation Area. Description of the location on either Conservation Area must be included in your email submission. Photo must include native Missouri wildlife, trees, or plants.

While we encourage participants to spot and photograph our flora and fauna, we ask that you remain at a healthy distance from any wildlife and respect all living things on our areas while also following all area regulations.

MDC photographers offer the following tips to help create the best photos: Try going during the early morning, or later into the evening. The light is usually much better during these times than the harsher, midday sun. Soft, cloudy days can also make for some pleasing light. Don’t forget to fill the frame with your subject—close-up photos tend to be much more engaging that subjects seen from a distance. Consider pulling out a macro or closeup lens. There are amazing details to be discovered in our native plants, and a host of tiny and cool insects and pollinators. And finally, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment.

You can also consult MDC’s online Field Guide at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide for more information about native wildlife and their habitats and behaviors.

Spring Bird Walk – Going the Distance!  Session 1

Registration period: Through May 3

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 8 – 9:30 am

Location: Forest Park-Kennedy Forest

Share the experience of spring bird migration with us! Kennedy Forest in Forest Park attracts a high concentration of beautiful birds, and it’s a “collector” for these birds escaping the concrete of the city. They will be looking for food, hopping around in the trees, and singing their little hearts out. How do they have enough energy and spunk to be singing after flying hundreds, if not thousands of miles?

If migration allows, we will be in for a spectacular show of colors, patterns, energy, and endurance! We will be moving very slowly through the forest along 0.5 miles of blacktop trail and boardwalks, looking for and learning about warblers, buntings, orioles, grosbeaks, flycatchers, and more!

We encourage all to attend. No prior bird knowledge required. Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, bird field guide, and binoculars if you have them. There will be a limited number of binoculars to borrow. Click here to register.

**We will meet at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest. We’ll meet near the corner of Wells Drive and the road leading to the Forest Park Picnic Pavilion #11. Park on Wells Drive.**

Spring Bird Walk – Going the Distance!  Session 2

Registration period: Through May 3

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 10 – 11:30 am

Location: Forest Park-Kennedy Forest

Share the experience of spring bird migration with us! Kennedy Forest in Forest Park attracts a high concentration of beautiful birds, and it’s a “collector” for these birds escaping the concrete of the city. They will be looking for food, hopping around in the trees, and singing their little hearts out. How do they have enough energy and spunk to be singing after flying hundreds, if not thousands of miles?

If migration allows, we will be in for a spectacular show of colors, patterns, energy, and endurance! We will be moving slowly through the forest and savannah along 1.5 miles on established trails and stairs, looking for and learning about warblers, buntings, orioles, grosbeaks, flycatchers, and more!

We encourage all to attend. No prior bird knowledge required. Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, bird field guide, and binoculars if you have them. There will be a limited number of binoculars to borrow. Click here to register.

**We will meet at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest. We’ll meet near the corner of Wells Drive and the road leading to the Forest Park Picnic Pavilion #11. Park on Wells Drive.**

Hike 102: Get out and Hike

Registration period: Through May 2

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 10 am – 12 pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

This hike is a follow-up to Hike 101 but all are welcome. We will determine a starting point by looking at a topographic map of Rockwoods Reservation. Learn more about hiking basics as we hike the trail we have chosen.Click here to register.

Meet at the Pavilion. Dress for the weather, closed toe shoes are required for hiking.

Poisonous and Venomous Things Discovery Table

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 10 am – 2 pm

Location: Forest Park Visitor Center

No registration required.

Come and learn about the poisonous and venomous plant and animals found in the State of Missouri. We will discuss snakes, spiders, bees, wasps, hornets, scorpions, mushrooms, and everybody’s favorite, poison ivy. No reservations are needed, so drop by the lobby of the Forest Park Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor Center & Educations Center any time between 10 am and 2 pm.

Watercolor Painting: Decorative Flowers

Registration period: Through May 4

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 10 – 11:30 am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Join MDC volunteer Pickett Lema for a hands-on lesson in watercolors. In this lesson Pickett will help you create hand painted cards. We encourage you to bring photos of your favorite flowers.

All supplies will be provided. Click here to register.

World Migratory Bird Day

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location: St. Louis Public Library- Kingshighway Library

No registration required.

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day! We will have free and fun activities for adults and children alike. Discover ways you can help bird conservation at the Howard Woods Urban Outreach Office, Brightside Demo Garden, and St. Louis Public Library- Kingshighway Branch to earn a bird-friendly prize.

Conservation Families:

Night Skies and Nature Art

Registration period: Through May 4

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024 1 – 2 pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Natural light is important to help balance and guide our natural world, especially at night. In urban areas such as St. Louis, you may not even be able to see the stars due to mass amounts of light, otherwise known as light pollution. Hear about light pollution, how it effects our wildlife, and learn ways to help lend a hand to those who need the night sky. We will make a moving and impactful postcard craft that will be put on display for visitors to look at, and then we will mail you your postcards after they’re taken down so you can remember the program. Click here to register.

Folklore of Birds

Registration period: Through May 10

Date: Friday, May 10, 2024 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Online only

Join us during your lunchtime for a virtual program on birds!

From heroic acts to being messengers, and symbols from good and bad, birds are important characters in legends, folklore, and mythology. Celebrate Migratory Bird Day by discovering the beauty and glory of birds in Missouri. Learn how their histories, personalities, and their influence has impacted how they are perceived and seen by mankind. Click here to register.

An email will be sent with the link a day before the program by noon. If you register after that time, another link will be sent the morning of the program to ensure everyone has the correct link to join.

Virtual: Copperhead Study Findings Presentation

Registration period: Through May 10

Date: Friday, May 10, 2024 7 – 8:30 pm

Location: Online only

Copperheads conjure up curiosity, mystery, and even fear. In truth they are one of Missouri’s most intriguing and often least understood venomous snakes.

Dr. Ben Jellen has conducted a study of copperheads at Powder Valley Nature Center over a period of five years. Learn about his latest findings at this special virtual presentation. Click here to register.

Participants attending this virtual program must include a valid email address when registering for the program. A WebEx link will be sent to all registered participants 24 hours before the program.

Goodness Snakes Alive!

Registration period: Through May 9

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024 9:30 – 11:00 am

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Snakes are amazing animals and not really scary at all. Come and join us to learn lots of neat things about snakes like how they move, smell, hear and eat. There will be live snakes that are found in Missouri to looks at and even touch. We will also go outside and try to find some snakes in their natural habitat. Participants should be prepared for a short walk on a crushed stone trail. Meet at the Rockwoods Visitor Center. Register each child attending. Click here to register.

Watercolor Painting: Mother’s Day Cards

Registration period: Through May 11

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024 10 – 11:30 am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Join volunteer Pickett Lema for a hands-on lesson in watercolors. In this lesson Pickett will help you make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. We encourage you to bring photos of your favorite native flower arrangements. All supplies will be provided. Click here to register.

Awesome Snakes and Lizards

Registration period: Through May 9

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024 1 – 2:30 pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Snakes and lizards are really amazing animals. Because they are reptiles, they are much different than the animals we are most familiar with. Come and discover many incredible things about the snakes and lizards that live in Missouri. There will even be a live snake that you will be able to touch if you would like to. We will also go outside and try to find some snakes and lizards in their natural habitat. Click here to register.

Meet at Rockwoods Visitor Center. Be prepared to take a short walk on the Trail Among the Trees.

Learn Atlatl

Registration period: Through May 10

Date: Monday, May 13, 2024 5:30 – 7 pm

Location: Jay Henges Shooting Range

An atlatl is an ancient tool used to throw a light spear known as a dart. This program will focus on practicing technique during sport target shooting for beginners. Information about different styles of atlatls and darts will also be covered. Click here to register.

Babes in the Woods:

What’s Croaking in the Woods?

Registration period: Through May 14

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 9 -10 am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

What is making all that noise near our pond on the Tanglevine trail? Join us to learn about the life cycle of amphibians. Then we will take a hike to look for tadpoles and frogs! Click here to register.

Conservation Kids: What’s

Croaking in the Woods?

Registration period: Through May 14

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 8 – 9 am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

What is making all that noise near the pond on the Tanglevine trail? Join us to learn about amphibian life cycles. Then we will go for a hike to look for tadpoles and frogs! Click here to register.

Preserving Missouri’s Treasured Species

Registration period: Through May 12

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 9 am – 12 pm

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

When was the last time you saw a monarch butterfly fluttering through your flowers? Or a bald eagle swooping down to catch a fish in the Mississippi River? What about a gray bat returning to its place in a cave?

It might have been a while, but you may experience these events more often in the future because all these creatures have something in common. Each is or has been on a list of species protected by the (Federal) Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Wildlife Code of Missouri also helps to protect threatened and endangered species in Missouri.

We will discuss why certain species are in danger of extinction, and how the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is helping to preserve them for future generations. Click here to register.

Bring a sack lunch. Water, coffee, and dessert will be provided. Park in front of the visitor center.

Signs of Spring Discovery Hike

Registration period: Through May 15

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2024 10 – 11 am

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Birds are singing! Flowers are blooming! Learn about the seasonal changes that spring brings to Rockwoods Reservation. We will take a 1-mile hike on the Rock Quarry Trail to explore the signs of spring using your five senses. This program is targeted to students 5-12 years of age. The hike will be on natural terrain and include uphill and downhill hiking.

Meet at the Visitor Center. Please dress for the weather. Sunscreen, hats, closed toe shoes, and insect repellant are recommended. Click here to register.

Please register all participants attending individually. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Homeschool: Beginning Caving

Registration period: Through May 10

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2024 10 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Come on over to Rockwoods Reservation for afternoon of Spelunking! We will begin this program in the classroom at the Rockwoods Education Center, where we will learn more about caves in Missouri, what kind of critters we might find in them, and why our cave ecosystems are so special! After about 45 minutes in the classroom, we will gear up in our helmets and knee pads and head to Bathtub Cave to do some exploring.

**Note: You will have to crawl into the entrance and crawl in the cave. The very beginning of this cave is roughly 1 foot tall. Please dress appropriately for the weather and for 55-degree temperatures. Please wear pants and a long sleeve shirt that you do not mind getting dirty. An extra change of clothes, water, and a snack is recommended.

Helmets and one flashlight will be provided. Please wear rubber boots as well and bring two additional sources of light (such as headlamps or flashlights).

If large clusters of bats are encountered, the field trip portion will be cut short. Program will be canceled in inclement weather and rescheduled at a different date. Click here to register.

Please register each person who attends to go into the cave individually. ***Only the age range (7 and up) will be allowed in the cave.

Breakfast with the Birds and Blooms

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 8 -11 am

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

No reservations are required

Join us for breakfast while enjoying the birds and blooms of Rockwoods Reservation! Come and take a stroll through the newly renovated native wildflower gardens around the Visitor Center while enjoying a doughnut and a cup of shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee! Naturalists will be available to share information about the flowers and how you can grow them in your yards or container gardens. Also, spring is an excellent time to see and hear the wonderful birds of Rockwoods! Learn how to identify those birds using the Merlin bird identification app. Naturalists will also be sharing tips on what you can do to protect birds and help them thrive, including that coffee that you will be enjoying! All are welcome to stop by for a few minutes or spend some time relaxing with us enjoying the sights and sounds of spring!

Meet at the Visitor Center. All are welcome!

Goodness Snakes Alive

Registration period: Through May 17

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 9:30 – 11 am

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Snakes are amazing animals and not really scary at all. Come and join us to learn lots of neat things about snakes like how they move, smell, hear and eat. There will be live snakes that are found in Missouri to look at and even touch. We will take a hike on the Fallen Oak Trail (.7 miles) and try to find some snakes in their natural habitat. Click here to register.

Special Event: Scout and Family Day

Registration period: Through May 17

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 10 am – 2 pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

This Scouting event is free and will offer Scouts and their families the opportunities to test their outdoor skills, work toward a number of conservation-related merit badges* and explore the diversity of career opportunities with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Found throughout the grounds at PVCNC, activity stations will help Scouts and their families appreciate nature and acquire valuable skills they can use in the future. Activities include:

  • Fire Building
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Compass and Orienteering
  • MO Plant and Animal ID
  • Crafts
  • and more!

Activity stations will be both indoors and outdoors. Participants may want to bring a refillable water bottle and wear sturdy shoes. Registration is required. To secure your spots, register everyone who will be attending this event (including children).

*Scout leaders should note that MDC will offer activities that may be applied towards merit badges, but the department is not authorized to sign off on badges. It’s recommended that participants working toward badges bring their own counselors to certify them. Click here to register.

Spring Wildflowers at Rockwoods

Registration period: Through May 18

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 10 am – 12 pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Want to see spring wildflowers and hike with a group? Meet at the pavilion for an introduction. We hope to find bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches, bloodroot, trillium, wild phlox, and spring beauty. Rockwoods is a little piece of the Ozarks close to home. According to MDC, “The terrain is reminiscent of the Ozark hills and many plants and animals found in hill country are also found here.”

We will hike about 2 miles. The hike includes hills and stairs. Picnic facilities are available if you want to bring your lunch. Click here to register.

Dress for the weather and protection from poison ivy. Insect repellent is recommended. Bring water and magnifying glass if you have one. Please register each participant individually.

Awesome Snakes and Lizards

Registration period: Through May 17

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024 1 – 2:30 pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Snakes and lizards are really amazing animals. Because they are reptiles, they are much different than the animals we are most familiar with. Come and discover many incredible things about the snakes and lizards that live in Missouri. There will be live snakes that are found in Missouri to look at and even touch. We will be taking a hike on The Fallen Oak Trail (.7 miles) and try to find some snakes and lizards in their natural habitat. Click here to register.

Valley View Glades Trail Guided Hike

Registration period: Through May 18

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2024 11 am – 1 pm

Location: Valley View Glades Trailhead

Explore and learn about the unique and diverse ecosystems of Valley View Glades Natural Area with an MDC naturalist. Valley View Glades Trail is a marked loop trail that runs 2.6 miles through the glade and an oak-hickory forest. Terrain is moderate and has several uphill and downhill stretches. Trail is unpaved and not ADA accessible. Please dress for the weather. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots, water, a hat, and sunscreen, socks that cover the ankles, and bug spray are recommended. Trekking poles would be useful, and extra trekking poles will be available to use if desired. There are no restrooms at the trailhead, and closest public restrooms are in the town of Hillsboro about 10 minutes away. For the comfort and safety of all participants, dogs will not be welcome on this guided hike.

Children are welcome at guardian’s discretion. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by trusted adult. Please register each person attending separately. Click here to register.

Conservation Kids: You and Me under the Canopy: Get a Life Cycle!

Registration period: Through May 23

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024 10:30 – 11:30 am

Location: Tower Grove Park-New Comfort Station

Do your little ones enjoy being in nature? Appreciate the natural world through a story, songs, movement, and play as you sit under the canopy for a “nature” adventure. Come see the topic we are exploring this month. Younger children and siblings are welcome. Meet the naturalist at the West End Picnic Site. Please dress for the weather. Click here to register.

Forest/Woodland Management Workshop: Woodland Workshop

Registration period: Through May 10

Date: Friday, May 24, 2024 9 am – 2 pm

Location: Warren County USDA Service Center

Come join us for a workshop geared toward managing forests and woodlands. This workshop will highlight different management options available to maximize wildlife potential and timber value. Stops on the tour will highlight restoration activities including prescribed fire and woodland restoration, and we will discuss different management practices as well. Part of this workshop will include a 1-mile hike through steep and rugged hills to view various timber management projects, so please come prepared with appropriate clothes and footwear. Lunch will be provided but seating is limited so please bring a lawn chair.

This workshop is on private land south of Warrenton. Location and directions will be provided to all registrants after registration closes. Click here to register.

Nature’s Nook Book Club

Registration period: Through May 24

Date: Friday, May 24, 2024 10 – 11:30 am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Join us as we read OF TIME AND TURTLES by Sy Montgomery (one of our favorite authors). This book is about rescuing turtles and the people who devote their lives to saving them. Click here to register.

Beginning Archery

Registration period: Through May 28

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 3 – 4:30 pm

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Come to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area and put your basic archery skills to the test! We will learn about archery and archery range safety, how to use a compound bow, and test out our new skills! Following NASP requirements, all participants must be ages 9 and up.

Please note that this program will take place outside, so please dress accordingly, and bring a water bottle and sunscreen. Click here to register.

Beginning Archery

Registration period: Through May 28

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 5:30 – 7 pm

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Come to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area and put your basic archery skills to the test! We will learn about archery and archery range safety, how to use a compound bow, and test out our new skills! Following NASP requirements, all participants must be ages 9 and up.

Please note that this program will take place outside, so please dress accordingly, and bring a water bottle and sunscreen. Click here to register.

Conservation Families: Trivia Night

Registration period: Through May 30

Date: Friday, May 31, 2024 7 – 9:00 pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Gather your family and friends to put your nature knowledge to the test! Questions will cover several topics, all with a nature twist. Teams will be limited to 6 participants. Each participant on your team must register separately. The minimum age to register is 12, but younger children are welcome to attend. Don’t have a full team? No worries, we can help you find a friendly group. Participants will be able to arrive 30 minutes early to set up their table. Bonus points will be given to the team with the best table theme and décor. Feel free to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages and snacks

Eagles of Missouri:

Learn more about bald eagles in Missouri from the MDC online Field Guide at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.

FISHING

Rainbow trout now ready for catching in MDC-stocked St. Louis area lakes

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—During winter months, the metro St. Louis area is a great place to fish for rainbow trout, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Winter Trout Program.  Winter Trout Season for MDC’s St. Louis Urban Fishing Program starts in November.  That’s good news for trout chasers who now only need to drive minutes to pursue their passions rather than hours to a Missouri trout park or distant Ozark stream. During cold-weather months, MDC will stock nearly 40,000 rainbow trout from November until February this year in nine St. Louis City and County lakes, Union City Lake in Franklin County, as well as in five lakes in the August A. Busch Conservation Area on Route D in St. Charles. Anglers should note that Gendron Lake in St. Ann, Jefferson Lake in Forest Park, and Wild Acres Park Lake in Overland will not be stocked with trout during the 2023-2024 Winter Trout Season.  Each of these three lakes are currently undergoing renovation projects making them inaccessible to fishing. MDC will continue to add several brood stock lunker trout—some as large as 10 lbs.—into the mix at its urban winter trout lakes, including the ones in August A. Busch Conservation Area. Area lakes stocked with winter trout this winter include:

  • Carondelet Park Boathouse Lake in St. Louis
  • January-Wabash Lake in Ferguson
  • Koeneman Park Lake in Jennings
  • O’Fallon Park Lake in St. Louis
  • Suson Park’s Island Lake and Carp Lake
  • Tilles Park Lake in St. Louis County
  • Union City Lake in Union, Franklin County
  • Walker Lake in Kirkwood
  • Vlasis Park Lake in Ballwin
  • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area lakes 3, 7, 21, 22, and 23

Some lakes are catch-and-release only, and some are catch-and-keep.  After Feb. 1, trout may be harvested from all lakes.  Anglers can find information on specific winter trout lakes statewide at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zd5, or check regulations posted at the lakes.  All trout anglers between age 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit to participate.  Anglers wishing to catch and keep trout must also possess a trout permit regardless of age. Anglers are encouraged to call the hotline at 636-300-9651 to get the latest stocking information.  For information about fishing, go online at http://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z9N.