"Trout Times" is a labor of love

Friday, March 2, 2007

Publishing the "Trout Times" for release on the opening day of trout season at Roaring River State Park is a project the Cassville Democrat staff has come to enjoy. The editorial process gets us excited about the start of Barry County's tourism season, which is unofficially marked by Opening Day, and also reminds us how blessed we are to live in such close proximity to one of Missouri's premiere state parks.

In only its third installment, the March 2007 edition of "Trout Times," which is inserted in this week's paper, is an interesting one. We update our readers on winter park improvements and also take a look at changes made to enhance the hatchery's trout raising capabilities.

This season's issue also includes a feature on a long-time park visitor who will be receiving the season's first trout tag. Jack Overman, of Pittsburg, Kan., has been fishing at Roaring River since 1932 and has attended 35 to 40 opening days at the park.

Another article touches upon two projects that are underway at Roaring River. The focus of both plans is to restore portions of the park to retain its early history.

One project will eventually rebuild the spring pool walkway using rocks harvested from the original vein used by CCC stone cutters. The second project seeks to reopen the historic Roaring River Schoolhouse as a site for weddings and educational programming.

We appreciate all the hard work of park employees in maintaining Roaring River's natural beauty in pristine fashion. Although the park is officially closed from November through February each year, the majority of park employees remain at work, undertaking maintenance projects to continue improving the park during the winter months.

Roaring River State Park has become one of my favorite destinations. If I'm feeling stressed out or overworked, a drive to the park is a perfect way to unwind and recapture my serenity. This past week the weather has been absolutely beautiful and I found it difficult to leave the park once my interviews were completed. In fact, on Friday, I finished up one interview and treated myself to a brisk walk around Campground #3.

Roaring River State Park is one of Cassville's greatest treasures, and it's important that area residents continue to support the park and pay tribute to the positive impact it has on our overall business climate. The park is one of the area's biggest draws and we hope it will continue to grow and thrive for decades to come.

As we finish up our latest "Trout Times," we'd like to ask our readers to consider contacting us with your thoughts on the publication. What are we doing well and what could be do better? We'd also love for some of you to submit ideas for future stories.

All correspondence can be directed to me by mail at: Lisa Schlichtman, Cassville Democrat, P.O. Box 486, Cassville MO 65625; or I can be reached by e-mail at cassvilledemocrat@mchsi.com.