SATIRE: Trout running off anglers at Roaring River

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Camden Runnels, middle, 7, of Cassville, is in the line of fire from one of the gigantic bull trout taking over Roaring River and spraying anglers while Caydn Smith, left, 11, is showing off his catch to his mother, Stacy Runnels, of Cassville. Photoshopped photo

Lunkers launching water cannons at fly fishermen

Fishing for trout at Roaring River is a Barry County tradition, however, anglers are visiting the park less and less often in recent days, as word has spread the fish are fighting back.

Paul Spurgeon, Manager at the Roaring River Hatchery, said on Monday, super-sized lunkers, which appear to be bull trout, started spraying unprepared anglers with water, which has been described as “water cannoning.”

“These fish are in the 25- to 30-pound range, and although they are easy to spot, they are smart and use the water’s refraction to make the fishermen think they are safe,” Spurgeon said. “Basically, they crawl the bottom like the suckers, slowly get to within a few feet from the bank, then shoot to the surface and water cannon the angler with what has to be about 3 or 4 gallons of water. It’s quite a sight to see in person.”

Tim Homesley, owner of Tim’s Fly Shop and frequent fly fisherman, said he was going for what looked like an 8-pound lunker on Monday morning when he was hit by the big fish.

“I was fishing up by the falls like I do at least five times a week, and I was sprayed from head to toe,” he said. “It’s more an inconvenience than anything else, but it can be dangerous. I kept fishing and it happened again 20 minutes later, and I almost slipped on a rock from how hard the pressure of the ‘water cannon’ hit me.”

Spurgeon said he and the Missouri Department of Conservation are fervently working to find out where the truck-sized trout have come from.

“Early indications show these fish have been living at the bottom of the spring for as many as three decades,” he said. “Trout normally only live about five years, so there must be something down in the spring below where we’ve explored that’s sustaining them and growing them to this monstrous size.

“So far, using drones, a couple of which have also been water cannoned and lost, we’ve determined there are about 20 of these fish in zones 1 and 2, which are our most-frequented zones. Some anglers are still trying to fish. They are wearing full-body rainsuits and are staying dry, but they aren’t having much luck catching any trout. The only ones that are have been breaking the zone rules and using onion for bait.”

Moving forward, Spurgeon said officials are crafting a plan to catch the pesky lunkers, which may lead to a loosening of keep limits and even fishing technique.

“We’re considering letting folks come in for a weekend with cast nets, and upping the limit from four to 10,” he said. “But we’re not quite ready to go that far yet. However, I do know one thing. Whenever we get all these mega-trout caught, we are going to have one heck of a fish fry.”

SATIRE DISCLOSURE: This article is not serious in nature. This news has been brought to you on behalf of April Fool’s Day!

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