The rainbow trout has an interesting history in Missouri

We are blessed here in Missouri because we have rainbow trout — a species more commonly found in the Rocky Mountains — in some of our Missouri Ozark streams.   

While some of those streams are periodically resupplied with hatchery-raised rainbows on an annual basis, there are a few streams, such as Mill Creek in Phelps County and Crane Creek in Stone County, that have what is commonly referred to as “wild trout” — meaning self-sustaining rainbow trout.   

Having “wild trout” is pretty cool, but the truth is that even our “wild trout” are not really native to Missouri.

The history of this 150-year effort to have self-sustaining wild rainbow trout in Missouri is frankly astounding and while it was not completely successful, it is laudable and should be respected.  

Matthew Taylor and his father Shawn Taylor fish for wild rainbow and browns in the North Fork of the White River near Tecumseh, MO.

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