Spencer E. Turner

Posted by Phil Lilley on December 28th, 2011
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He came, observed, then changed the system.

Spence Turner joined the Missouri Department of Conservation in February 1969 following completion of a MS Degree is Fisheries Science from Colorado State University as Missouri first trout biologist…whatever the heck that means. He studied under Dr. Robert Behnke completing original research on differences in microhabitat used by wild rainbow trout, wild brown trout, and domestic rainbow trout.

After reviewing Missouri’s trout program in force at the time, four trout parks and a few put-and-take trout fisheries, he realized Missouri had the potential to support a much more diverse trout fishery including wild rainbow trout fishing in several spring branches and a trophy brown trout fishery in spring branches and Lake Taneycomo. It took almost 15 years and several changes in personal to convince administers a more diverse trout fishery was possible, and in fact would improve trout fishing in the state greatly.

Before retiring in 1997, he initiated a smallmouth bass research program to improve smallmouth bass populations and fishing In Missouri streams that continues today. He believed Missouri has the potential, by using special regulations, for world class stream smallmouth fishing. It has yet to be completely realized.

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