Anglers to descend on Roaring River Thursday

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
MK Spurrier, left, and Justin Ballard, employees with the Department of Conservation who work at the Roaring River Hatchery, load up nets full of trout from the hatchery to be stocked throughout Roaring River ahead of Opening Day Thursday. Staff said on Monday, they stocked about 4,000 trout in the river, which was a little higher and faster-flowing after last week’s prolonged rains. Kyle Troutman/

Chamber offering complimentary coffee, mugs

For Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery Manager, things at the park leading up to Opening Day have been routine.

Preparations for the 1,500 to 2,000 people expected to come to the park on March 1 include everything from getting the thousands of trout ready to be released to putting up signage throughout the park.

One sign this year will be new, as Zone 3 will be marked “No Entry,” this season.

Spurgeon said the area from the old bridge to the concrete Sprayfield bridge will be closed this season, as damages from the flood in April 2017 have made it dangerous.

“That’s the part that was blown out last year, and it just hasn’t been fixed yet,” he said. “We’ll start work on it by sloping the banks. They are really steep right now and that can be dangerous.”

Zone 3 is a bait area, where Spurgeon said anything from plastic to flies to live bait could be used.

People can still use them, he said, but they will have to go beyond the Sprayfield bridge to do so.

“The lower part of the park beyond the bridge will be unaffected,” he said. “There are no changes to Zone 1 or Zone 2.”

Opening Day falls on a Thursday this year. The last Thursday Opening Day was in 2012. On that day, meteorologists predicted 70-degree temperatures, but 1,839 anglers were greeted with a much cooler, crisper morning.

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will offer complimentary coffee and coffee mugs to anglers along the riverbanks at Roaring River State Park during Opening Day of trout season.

Brittany Crawford, director of the Chamber, said members will be serving 100 gallons free coffee starting at 5 a.m. The coffee is donated by Walmart, and prepped by Les Jacobs Ford. The Chamber will also be giving out about 850 free commemorative mugs on a first-come, first-served basis under the Les Jacobs Ford tent. 

The Chamber will also award $50 Cassville Cash certificates to individuals with the largest fish in the men, women and youth divisions. The youth division is for those 12 years of age and under. Anglers wishing to compete for these prizes must weigh their fish in at the Chamber weigh in station in front of the old CCC Lodge. Awards will be given at noon, and winners must be present to claim the prize.

The following businesses sponsored the mugs: Barry County Advertiser/Litho Printers, Casey’s General Store, Cassville Democrat, Crowder College, Davis & Son, LLC, goBEC Fiber Network, Hang Time Properties, Les Jacobs Ford, MariCorp U.S, Mo Parks, Inc., Oak Hill Court & RV Park, Paradise Valley Camping Club, Roaring River Resort, Rock Village Court & RV Park, Shelter Insurance Terri Lynn DeGraffenreid Brattin Agency and Tim’s Fly Shop. 

For more information on Opening Day, people may call the Chamber office at (417) 847-2814.

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