About Bennett Spring, Maramec Spring, Montauk

and Roaring River State Park

Page 2



Q10. I've heard that Roaring River has more stories and legends associated with it than any other park in Missouri. What are some of those stories and legends about, anyway?

A10. Bennett Spring, Maramec Spring, Montauk, and Roaring River are all steeped in history, but Roaring River has had a particularly colorful past. Years ago, the railroads only went as far as Tipton, Missouri (today home of the Orvis-Gokey factory). West of there, the mail had to travel by alternate forms of transportation. The Butterfield Overland Express carried mail to California in the late 1850s, and its route took it through Barry County. It was later replaced by the Pony Express because legislators from northern states feared that the route taken by Butterfield Overland Mail coaches would lead to southern expansion. During the Civil War years, Confederates and bushwhackers used to hide out in the hills in the Roaring River area, and some stories go back to those days. Many Missourians are familiar with the story of how Northern troops chased the Missouri governor and Confederate delegates to the Missouri General Assembly out of Jefferson City in 1861. It was at the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville that Governor Claiborne Jackson signed the Missouri Act of Secession on October 31 of that year. Other stories are told about the many times ownership to Roaring River changed hands, and about Thomas M. Sayman. The Civilian Conservation Corps years at Roaring River were somewhat colorful as well, and stories are told about the day the CCC's big "Bruner" dam broke. The life of Jeanne Wallace, the "Mountain Maid of Roaring River," was certainly interesting and the dramatic interpretations put on by Tracie Snodgrass in the amphitheater just outside the park help perpetuate stories about her (call 417-847-4639 for more information). Then there are the reports by very reliable sources that Prohibition-era ghosts have been heard partying in the lower level of Roaring River's lodge. Whether true or not, they certainly make good topics of discussion around the campfire late at night following a fine day of trout fishing!


Q11. What kind of trout are stocked in the Missouri trout parks?

A11. While some brown trout are stocked, the vast majority of trout stocked at Bennett Spring, Maramec Spring, Montauk, and Roaring River are Missouri Strain rainbows. These rainbows stem from the McCloud Strain that was originally brought to this state from California's McCloud River Station in the 1880s.

Q12. Aren't brown trout and rainbow trout the same except for their appearance?

A12. No. There are big differences between the two species. The strain of brown trout we have in Missouri is a combination of two types that were originally brought over from Europe in the 1890s. One type came from Loch Leven, near Edinburgh, Scotland, and the other type came from slow meadow-type tributaries of the Rhine River in Germany. Rainbows, on the other hand, originally inhabited swift mountain streams. With these vastly different backgrounds, it is not surprising that rainbows and browns behave far differently. One big difference between the two species is that browns are much more strongly attracted to large objects in the stream than rainbows are. Brown trout are much more wary than rainbows and are usually far harder to catch. Rainbows are more adaptable in their spawning requirements and can sustain themselves in Ozark streams where wild brown trout populations cannot. In the Missouri Wild Trout Management Areas (Barren Fork Creek, Blue Springs Creek, Crane Creek, Eleven Point River, Mill Creek, North Fork of the White River, and Spring Creek) you will encounter only rainbow trout because the water temperatures in these streams exceed the 53 F maximum that green brown trout eggs can withstand.


Q13. How can I obtain maps of the Missouri trout parks?

A13. Available in the office of each trout park are flyers containing regulations and a map for that park. Designed by Randy Noyes, these flyers are very helpful. Maps of the trout parks are also contained in a free  9" x 4" folded guide called "Missouri Trout Fishing," copies of which can be obtained by writing to the Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO  65102. Elsewhere on this website you will find links to maps of the parks currently available on the Internet.


Q 14.  How much do Missouri fishing permits cost?

A14.  Missouri hunting and fishing permit prices are posted online by the Missouri Department of Conservation at .


Q15. Are there any trout fishing clubs in Missouri I can join?

A15. Yes. Many Missouri trout fishermen belong to clubs affiliated with Trout Unlimited (T.U.) or the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). For additional information about Missouri trout fishing organizations, be sure to visit


montauklighthouse.jpg (8875 bytes)

Q16. I know there is a Montauk in the state of New York. Any connection?

A16. Yes. The pioneers who settled the village of Montauk, Missouri in the 1800s were originally from Montauk Point on Long Island, New York. They named their new village after their previous home back east. In addition to having a famous lighthouse originally authorized by George Washington, Montauk Point has some pretty respectable fishing, too.


Q17. Are there any privately operated trout parks in Missouri?

A17.Yes. Several of them are excellent and well worth visiting.  Links to their Web sites can be found at .



Q18.  How can I obtain trout recipes?cookbook.jpg (8192 bytes)

A18.  Today, most trout fishermen practice catch-and-release for a number of very good reasons. In the Missouri trout parks, however, most of the fish are hatchery raised, so keeping the trout you catch here does not hurt a scarce resource.  If you plan to keep your catch in these parks, you may interested to know that an excellent collection of trout recipes is contained in the USTFA Cookbook, published by the United States Trout Farmers' Association. 


Q19. How can I obtain additional Missouri vacation information?

A19. You can obtain a free Missouri travel kit from the Division of Tourism by calling 1-800-810-5500 or by ordering online through the Missouri travel kit web page.  To help keep you informed about what is currently going on in Missouri's parks and historical sites, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has an electronic newsletter available that you can subscribe to. (To subscribe to this free eFriends newsletter, go to .)  Scenic Driving the Ozarks by Don Kurz (ISBN 1-56044-485-1) is an excellent guide book that will provide you with valuable information about the region and is highly recommended.  


Q20. What are the telephone numbers for the Missouri trout parks?

A20. DNR's toll-free number for the Missouri state parks is 800-334-6946. Additional numbers are as follows:


Store/cabins  417-532-4307

Camping  417-532-4338

Dining lodge  417-532-4547

Pool  417-588-2071

Nature center  417-532-3925



Park office/camping  573-265-7387

The James Foundation   573-265-7124

Hatchery  573-265-7801

Shelter reservations  573-265-7124

Maramec Museum   573-265-3527



Park office/camping 573-548-2201

Lodging/dining 573-548-2434



Park office/camping 417-847-2539

Dining/lodging/pool/store 417-847-2330

Naturalist 417-847-3742


Q21. I live in the St. Louis area and am planning to visit Roaring River State Park for the first time.  What is the easiest route for me to take when driving there?

A21. Take I-44 through Springfield and on to Mt. Vernon, Missouri.  At Mt. Vernon, take H south to Monett.  At Monett, take Hwy. 37 to Cassville, and then take 112 to the park.


Q22. How can I subscribe to the Missouri Conservationist magazine?

A22. The Missouri Department of Conservation's magazine is free to adult Missouri residents and is only $7.00 per year for out of state subscriptions. (Foreign subscriptions are $10.00 per year.)  Subscription requests should be sent to Circulation, Missouri Conservationist Magazine, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO  65102-0180. You need to allow between 60 and 90 days for your subscription to begin. To read the magazine online, go to .

Q23. How can I obtain up-to-the-minute information about the current fishing conditions in the Ozarks?

A23. For a current Bennett Spring fishing report, see the Web site of Weaver's Tackle Store and for a current Roaring River fishing report see the Web site of Tim's Fly Shop.  Links to these and other very useful sites are found on the Fishing the Missouri Trout Parks  Weather and Fishing Reports page. 


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