Fishing can be a leisure activity or a competition. Either way, St. Joseph has numerous sites to choose from.
Depending on whether a fisherman has a boat or just a pole and bait, there are ponds, lakes and rivers close by. The Missouri Department of Conservation makes sure to keep local ponds like the Krug Park Lagoon and Everyday Pond filled with quality fish.
Parker Rice, a conservation agent, said most bodies of water in the area carry similar fish.
“In northwest Missouri, people typically find bass, catfish, bluegill and trout in ponds and lakes,” Rice said.
One opportunity Rice said he doesn’t see people take advantage of is on the northeast side of St. Joseph.
“People don’t take advantage of the 102 River and Platte River, because there’s some excellent catfishing in that,” Rice said.
Common fish found in the rivers are channel, blue and flathead catfish.
Rice said people don’t use those locations as often because there’s only one access point, but he said he hopes to create more fishing access in the coming years.
Other popular areas in or close to St. Joseph are the Missouri River, Belcher Branch Lake and Happy Hollow Lake.
In order to fish in any of these locations in Missouri, a fishing license is required for those aged 16 to 65.
Buchanan County ponds, rivers and lakes vary in catch-and-release policies. Krug Park Lagoon is one of the places that requires fisherman catch and release, with the exception of catching trout at certain points in the year.
“You can keep trout to eat in early winter, but that requires the proper trout stamps,” Rice said.
Fishing on bodies of water, like rivers, also requires safety precautions.
“If you’re fishing on the river, you’re going to need a flotation device, whistle or horn, and make sure someone knows where you are,” Rice said.
Due to high waters from flooding, the Missouri River is an area fishermen need to be cautious on when navigating boats, due to underwater structure changing.
To find more nearby fishing locations, use the Missouri Department of Conservation apps MO Outdoors and MO fishing. Both are free.