Bennett Springs


Posted by Phil Lilley on September 20th, 2011
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Bennett Spring Trout Park is one of four state-run trout parks in Missouri, and by far, draws the largest crowd of anglers. Located 12 miles north of Lebanon, MO, Bennett Spring has the most flow of all the trout parks.

The spring was discovered and used by early settlers for grist and flour mills in the mid-19th century.  Its output of more than 100,000 gallons of water per day ranks fourth largest in Missouri’s springs,  and it feeds a well-stocked rainbow trout stream enjoyed by thousands of anglers each year.

Each night rainbows are stocked, the number correlating with the number of tags sold each day.  For every angler who purchased a daily tag, 2.5 rainbows are stocked each night.  That gives the new fish about 10 hours to find a hiding place before the ceremonial bell rings signaling the dawn of another fishing day.


  • Nature Center
  • Lodging with swimming pools
  • Camping
  • Hiking and bike trails
  • Great fly and tackle shops
  • Beautiful, peaceful surroundings

The natural food base  in the stream is scuds (freshwater shrimp), sculpins, other small minnows, a few crawfish, midges and various other flies, but they don’t thrive in big numbers.

In most of the park, visibility is not a problem.  You can see the trout — and they can see you!  That water clarity can correlate to a slow fishing (or catching) day, but not necessarily.  Freshly stocked trout are not the brightest fish in the water, especially early in the day.  You can target a trout, cast your fly, jig or spinner in front of it then thrill to watch it take your offering.  There’s nothing like seeing a rainbow trout sip a dry fly off the surface of the water and then landing it!!

Fishing Hours in Missouri Trout Parks

March 6:30 a.m. 7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
April 7:00 a.m. 7:30 p.m.
May 6:30 a.m. 8:15 p.m.
June 6:30 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
July 7:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m.
August 7:30 a.m. 7:15 p.m.
September 7:30 a.m. 6:30 p.m.

Daylight Savings Time Begins March 11 and ends November 4, 2012

Catch & Release Winter Season

  • Winter catch-and-release season is from the second Friday in November to the second Monday in February, open only Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday each week.
  • All anglers must possess a trout permit during the winter catch-and-release season.
  • The area open for winter fishing is from the hatchery to the bridge below the old dam in the lower campground.
  • Only flies are permitted during winter catch-and-release season.  A fly is defined as an artificial lure constructed on a single point hook, using any material except soft plastic and natural and scented bait that is tied, glued or otherwise permanently attached.
  • Fishing hours are from 8 a.m.until 4 p.m.

Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online!

Current Water Levels


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