Page 1

Trout k l Ta Learning a lot on the job Page 3

Take a tour of Bennett’s historic buildings Page 10

May 2019

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ON THE JOB Assisstant Natural Resource Manager Zachary Knerr is loving his job and learning a lot CHRIS RODEN


Trout Talk photo/Chris Roden

Zachary Knerr stands on the bridge in Bennett Spring State Park where he has worked since August of 2018.

Zachary Knerr h a s a n o ff i c e adorned with redbud and dogwood trees and anglers wearing neoprene waders. He is one of two assistant natural resource managers working in Bennett Spring State Park. As such, his duties are many and varied. “This particular job really has a lot of variety and has a lot of really interesting aspects,” Knerr said. His duties offer a lot of variety while he assists

Gabe DuMond, the park’s natural resource manager, by training volunteers, handling emergency situations, helping with maintenance e orts dis ussing long-term goals for the park and recruiting and training volunteers and seasonal workers. “This year particularly we’ve done a lot of stewardship work, so even with all that, I still get to go out into the fie d ith our interpretive resource specialist and work on

fire ines do ontrolled burns and some of the more exciting aspects,” Knerr said. He might have pursued a career in law enforcement if not for a chance meeting with some Missouri State Parks representatives. While still attending The College of the Ozarks as a criminal justice major, the Columbia native was at an on-campus job fair looking for a o to he o set college expenses and stopped at the table where the Missouri State Parks made its

pitch. The nature of the work attracted him. Consequently, before he graduated in 2013, he worked at Table Rock State Park for two years as a State Park Youth Corps worker for two seasons as a seasonal worker and two seasons as a fulltime maintenance worker. “It was one of the jobs that helped me pay for my education,” Knerr said. The experience onfir ed that the park system offered something for him. CONTINUED ON PAGE 9




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Take a look at Bennett Spring State Park’s rules and regulations FISHING REGULATIONS The spring branch is stocked daily during the regu ar fishing season which is March 1 through Oct. 31. ai y er its are re uired to fish on the spring branch and zones are set aside for di erent inds of ures. Permits are available at the park store. or ore infor ation a . ZONE 1: From the hatchery dam upstream to the end of the area. Only ies are er itted. ZONE 2: From the hatchery dam to the hist e ridge. n y ies and artifi ia ures are er itted. ZONE 3: From the whistle bridge to the Niangua River. Only soft asti ait uns ented natura and s ented ait are er itted. ies and artifi ia ures are rohi ited even if natural bait or scent has been added. Zone areas are marked in the park and maps are also available in the Park Store. Trout Fishing Hours ri ay

a. . to a. . to

une and u y p.m.

. . . . a. . to


a. . to

e te


to er

. .

a. . to a. . to

. . . .

PARK HOURS Park Grounds: Sunrise to one hour ast sunset dai y DINING LODGE HOURS a. . to one hour after the during trout season

hist e

NATURE CENTER HOURS Feb. 25 through Oct. 31 a. . to . . ednesday through Sunday o .

through e .


PARK OFFICE HOURS SUMMER HOURS (On-Season) Feb. 25 through Oct. 31 a. . to . . onday through Friday osed on state ho idays STORE HOURS ne hour efore fishing o ia y starts through one hour after the regu ar fishing day ends a ording to the regular schedule daily during trout fishing season at the ar


A walk in the park There’s a lot more to do at Bennett Spring State Park than fish for trout Each month Trout Talk puts the spotlight on a different trail at Bennett Spring State Park. This month Trout Talk takes a look at one of the park’s most unique and popular walking trails: the Natural Tunnel Trail. The trail’s signature feature is the Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel, which is 296 feet long and forms an S curve through the hill. Formed from Gasconade dolomite, the tunnel contains a large gravel creek bed. On its way to the tunnel, the trail crosses Spring

Hollow and passes through many different habitats. The trail is a combination of roads used by people living in the area from the 1840s to present and rugged wooded areas crossed by small streams. The wooded areas support abundant wildlife including deer, squirrels, chipmunks, many woodland birds and insects, including ticks. Several bluffs have interesting geologic features, tiny caves, sheer rock faces and deep overhangs with vines and other foliage.

The trail passes near a small cemetery that dates from the late 1880s and holds the graves of two families who lived in the area. The length of the trail is 7.5 miles with an estimated hiking time of 5 hours and 45 minutes.

THE LACLEDE COUNTY RECORD TROUT TALK MAY 2019 PAGE 9 is first year or ing in a ar as a student or er nerr did inter reti e rogra s in the ar a hitheater on ee ends. e a so assed out f yers to ea h site and ater a e to a rea i ation. his is a ar or ing at and these fo s are a e to ha e a that fa i y ti e e ause of the or utting on nerr said. hat ga e hi added in enti e as a aintenan e an to a e the a grounds oo etter. t s orth e ery oun e of e ort there s rea y not anything that o ares to hen you do a good o and you see fo s en oying their ti e ith fa i y e ause of the o you did. hat s rea y a good fee ing nerr said. s a student or er he found the or interesting. rea y fe in o e ith the o erations side of the ar the aintenan e side nerr said. fter he graduated or ing for the ar syste as his goa . e or ed at another ar efore a ying to ennett a

ring tate ar . fter inter ie ing for his o nerr i ed hat he sa . rea y rea y i ed ith the sta that as here in the inter ie and hen sto ed in and did a tour of the fa i ity started to get no a ot of the fo s that or ed here. t as a rea y good fit for hat anted to a o ish nerr said. us he gets to or ith eo e ho a e his o easier. nerr said his nu er one i e for or ing at ennett ring tate ar as the tea ith ho he or s. s e ifi a y ta ing a out our ar sta the aintenan e sta . hey ha e u ti e de ades of e erien e. or e to o e in ne to the anage ent side they ha e ust a ea th of no edge. ou an t rea y ua ify that e erien e. hey no a the in s and out s of this ar . t rea y a es y o easier sin e a ontinua y earning fro those guys nerr said. nerr a so targeted the sta at the ar store and the sta at the hat hery. fter his first t o ee s of or he for ed the i ression that the eo e of ennett

ring tate ar are ose. e ust fun tion i e a fa i y. e ta e are of ea h other. hen one erson needs he e go he the . hen e need he the hat hery and the ar store are a ays rea y ui to u in there. hat ind of or en iron ent ust a es it irtua y stress free hen you re trying to an things out hi h is rea y ni e nerr said. nerr started at ennett ring tate ar in ugust of and is gro ing rofessiona y on the o . y short ter or s goa s are to get a good gras on e erything at the ar and do that rea y e to the est of y a i ity. a sti in the earning hase on a ot of these things nerr said. nerr and his ife enna ha e a three year o d and a one year o d. or the ids it s ust this assi e ayground to ha e the state ar in their a yard. ou dn t ha e i ed a etter a e to raise ids nerr said. nerr is a ong ti e a e fisher an. o e er trout fishing is ne to hi . e is de e o ing his s i s and earning a the tri s as e as y tying.


de e o ing

y atien e


is y rod s i s are i ro ing ith ti e and ra ti e. not any here ose to astery. ha e fun nerr said. nerr has a fe ho ies. e gre u hunting and fishing shooting firear s hi ing a ing and usi ho ies he en oys ith his fa i y. oing those things are e en etter ith the fa i y nerr said. hen he gets to or ith the high s hoo students he sees the diso er hat the ar syste has to o er. ith issouri tate ar s there are ust a tre endous a ount of o ortunities nerr said. onse uent y nerr sees hi se f retiring after a ong areer or ing issouri tate ar s and ou d e ha y if it ere s ent at ennett ring tate ar . o e er he is not orried a out in hi h ar he or s. o e the detai s aren t rea y i ortant e ause rea y en oy here a at ennett ring. fee i e ha e a ot to earn here nerr said.

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Saturday, May 18 from 9am to 3pm Trout Talk file photo/Chris Roden

Meet the Reps From

An angler fishes in Bennett Spring in front of the gauge house, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

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Come to Bennett Spring State Park Nature Center and pick up a self-guided tour brochure including a map and description of buildings built with stone and wood by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The CCC was a program borne of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Between the years of 1933 – 1937 several structures were created at Bennett Spring State Park. The Bennett Spring State Park 1772 CCC consisted of over 200 men that served in WWI. This brochure, created by a local resident and previous park interpreter, Becky Day, will guide you through the park to see these historical structures. There is also an exhibit display in the nature center that gives more information and pictures of that time

period that also houses historic artifacts. It is open now through Oct. 31, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors today cross the historic CCC stone bridge when going to the historic restaurant residing within Bennett Spring State Park. The park restaurant is within a CCC structure and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the months of March 1 – Oct. 31 daily from 7 a.m. until one hour after fishing for the day ends. Bennett Spring State Park is on 26250 Highway 64A in Lebanon. For more information about the event, call the Nature Center at 417-5323925. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.


Meet the rainbow trout MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION Species: Rainbow trout Scientific name: Oncorhynchus mykiss Claim to fame: ain o trout are a o u ar s ortfish in issouri. tudies ha e sho n trout fishing in the state ro ides a u ti i ion do ar enefit to the state s e ono y ea h year. issouri s urrent trout rogra consists of Lake Taneycomo, four trout parks, 20 trout anage ent areas and inter trout fisheries in ur an lakes in St. Louis and Kansas City. Virtually all of these areas and o ortunities are sustained y sto ings fro Missouri Department of Conservation hatcheries. The Department stocks more than 1.5 million trout annually in the state. Species status: Rainbow trout are not native to Missouri ut ere first i orted here in the s. he rain o trout s nati e range stret hes a ong the a ifi Coast from Alaska to northern Mexico. First discovered he first s ientifi des ri tion of the fish as ritten y ussian natura ist ohann u ius

a au in the th entury. Family matters: ain o trout e ong to the sa onidae fa i y of fish. his fa i y in udes se era s e ies high in ang ing o u arity su h as ro n trout sa on har and hitefish. Length: he a erage ength is to in hes ut onger engths ha e een re orted. Diet: Aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, snails and s a fish a e u the u of a rain o trout s diet. There is some variance based upon local availability of food. Weight: ost adu t rain o s aught in issouri range in eight fro under one ound to one and one ha f ounds ut they an gro arger. Distinguishing characteristics: The upper parts of a rain o s ody are dar o i e and thi y s e ed ith a s ots. f ourse the te ta e sign of a rain o is the in ish to in ish red stri e that runs the ength of the body on both sides. Life span: Rainbow trout have been reported to live up to 11 years in some parts of the country.

Habitat: ithin their natura range rain o trout inha it strea s natura y o urring a es and reser oirs. rout do est in aters that genera y re ain e o degrees . n issouri suita e trout ha itat is i ited to a ro i ate y i es of ar s s ring ran hes and s ring fed strea s and the a re o d ater reser oir of Lake Taneycomo. Life cycle: Most of the trout in Missouri waters come from hatchery-raised brood-stock, with the few exceptions of some areas where conditions are suitable for so e trout s a ning to o ur. n arts of the ontinent here trout re rodu e in the i d s a ning o urs fro ear y inter to ate s ring de ending on o a onditions. ggs are aid y the fe a e in a sha o it dug y the fe a e on ean gra e y ri es. he fe a e resu es digging u strea and the eggs are o ered y gra e arried do n y the urrent. o arenta are is ro ided to the eggs hi h are de endent on o ygen resent in the ater er o ating through the gra e . ggs hat h in a out days and the fry re ain in the gra e until the yolk sac is absorbed.


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Trout Talk May 2019  

Trout Fishing At Bennett Springs Outside Lebanon, MO.

Trout Talk May 2019  

Trout Fishing At Bennett Springs Outside Lebanon, MO.