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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park, some claim, is by far the best trout fishing destination in the Midwest.  In the summer season, the park is alive with families enjoying all aspects of the facilities.  The park has a great campground along the river, cabins for nightly rental, a park store with dining and a variety of free programs by the parks service on nature and the park itself.  Montauk Mill, which was built over 116 years ago, is a place of interest.  Free tours are given daily on the on season March 1st to October 31st, and by request during the winter months.

The area around Montauk has good opportunists for day trips to explore the Ozark hills. Bo's Hollow which is located about two miles from the park on Ashley Creek road transports the visitors back in time to the early days of the model T's and an reconstructed Ozark village. Great Bar-B-Q is also served in the village.

Montauk Park has over 1.5 miles of nature trails for the families to enjoy and see a wide variety of wildlife. Other day trips are trips to the towns of Licking and Salem both only 20 minets from Montauk. Both towns offer a variety of Ozark foods and antiquate shops.

Montauk Camping sites can be reserved online at The Missouri Department Of Natural Resource site. Other camping is avalabe at Eagles nest, Trade Winds, Happy Pappy's all located close to the park. Tackle and fly shops is limited to The Lodge and Reed's Cabins both have the items you will need to get you fishing.


Trout Fishing

Rainbow and brown trout can be caught in and just outside the park on the Current River, which starts at Montauk Spring. The catch-and-release fishing area, has had fish habitat work done in the past few years, adding wood, rock structures, and under cut banks to the river. This area above the hatchery and the CCC rock bridge has trophy brown and rainbow trout waiting to test your skills.

Springs in the northern end of Montauk State Park combine with tiny Pigeon Creek to form the headwaters of the famed Current River. The upper park has been designated a catch-and- release area for trophy trout restricted to flies and lures only.  There are no hook restrictions, but no soft plastics or scented baits are allowed.


The Blue Ribbon Trophy area of the Current River starts at the lower park boundary (marked with a cable).  This area extend from Montauk to Ceder Grove, and is one of the most pristine of Missouri trout streams. This area is best accessed from Montauk and several areas are a short drive from Montauk.

The natural food base here is scuds (freshwater shrimp), sculpins, other small minnows, crawfish, midges, and various other flies, but they do not propagate in large numbers.

The official trout season opens March 1 and runs through Oct. 31. Catch-and-release fishing is available on weekends during the winter. A fishing license and daily trout tag are required.

Montauk Fish Hatchery raises about 300,000 to 400,000 rainbows and stocks about 200,000 trout in the park annually.


Park History

Early residents came to the area from New York and named their first post office after Montauk in Suffolk County, Long Island. Because of its proximity to the springs and its abundant supply of water power, the village of Montauk proved to be an excellent spot for milling. A total of four mills served the community at various times. The last, a gristmill built in 1896, still stands in the park. The mill contains most of its original machinery and is open seasonally for tours.

Things To Do in the Area

  • Trout Fishing
  • Fly & Tackle Shop
  • Hiking Trails (Pine Ridge and Montauk Trails)
  • Camping
  • Housekeeping Cabins
  • Canoeing & Kayaking
  • Gristmill Tour

You don't have to be an angler, however, to enjoy all that Montauk State Park and the surrounding region have to offer. The Current River is known as one of the finest canoeing rivers in the Midwest. Although canoes are not allowed within the state park boundaries, the northernmost canoe access to the Current River, Tan Vat, is located just below the park's southeast border. Both the Current River and the nearby Jack's Fork River have been designated as National Scenic Riverways by the National Park Service, which helps preserve them in their natural, free-flowing state. Additional information about area canoe rental agencies can be obtained from the park office or lodge.

Interpretive programs are presented by the park naturalists throughout spring, summer and fall.

Fishing Hours in Missouri Trout Parks

March 6:30 a.m. 7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
April   7:00 a.m.   7:30 p.m.
May   6:30 a.m.   8:15 p.m.
June   6:30 a.m.   8:30 p.m.
July   7:00 a.m.   8:00 p.m.
August   7:30 a.m.   7:15 p.m.
September   7:30 a.m.   6:30 p.m.

River Levels


Current River at Montauk State Park

Fishing Regulations


Trout fishing is permitted in accordance with the Wildlife Code and posted restrictions daily from March 1st to October 31st, and during the winter catch and release season.  Throughout the year all anglers shall have a state fishing permit except those 15 years and younger or Missouri residents 65 years and older.  Any resident of Missouri 65 years and older shall carry a valid Missouri motor vehicle operator's license, notarized affidavit, or similar official document proving his/her eligibility based on residence and age.

Each anglers hall sign and display a daily trout tag purchased on the area.  The statewide daily limits if 4 trout, regardless of number of daily tags purchased or waters fished.  No person shall continue to fish for any species in these trout waters after harvesting a daily limit of 4 trout anywhere in Missouri.

Each anglers shall keep their trout separate at all times and identified with the angler's name and address.

Daily Limit - 4 trout, possession limit is 8 trout.  All brown trout less than 15 inches must be released unharmed immediately after capture.  There is no minimum length limit on rainbow trout.

Only a single pole or rod may be used.  Gigging, snaring, snagging and the taking of live bait are NOT permitted.

No person shall continue to fish for any species in these trout waters after having four trout in possession.

Wading is permitted by anglers only.

Swimming and use of water craft is prohibited.

The use of game fish or parts thereof for bait or chumming is NOT permitted.


Trout Lure & Fly Definitions

Fly:  An artificial lure constructed on a single point hook, using any material except soft plastic bait and natural and scented baits as defined below, that is tied, glued or otherwise permanently attached.

Artificial Lure:  A lure constructed of any material excluding soft plastic bait and natural and scented bait as defined below.

Soft Plastic Bait:  Synthetic eggs, synthetic worms, synthetic grubs and soft plastic lures.

Natural and Scented Baits:  A natural fish food such as bait fish, crayfish, frogs permitted as bait, grubs, insects, larvae, worms, salmon eggs, cheese, corn and other food substances not containing any ingredient to stupefy, injure or kill fish. This does not include flies or artificial lures. It does include dough bait, putty or paste-type bait, any substance designed to attract fish by taste or smell and any fly, lure or bait containing or used with such substances.

Park fishermen are required to have a Missouri Fishing Permit and a Daily Trout Tag.  These can be purchased at the Reed's Tackle Shop.

COST- $3.00 Daily Tag For Adults
$2.00 Daily Tag For Children 15 Under

Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online!

Winter Catch-and-Release Season

2015-16 Catch and Release Season starts November 13, 2015 and ends February 8, 2016.

Winter catch-and-release season is from the second Friday in November to the Second Monday in February. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday only.

Fishing is only permitted upstream from the old low water bridge located just below the ADA fishing pier in the campground.

All anglers must possess a Trout Permit during the winter catch and release season.

Only flies are permitted during the winter catch and release season (see Lure & Fly Definitions).

Missouri Wildlife Code

Report Violations - Poachers  In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.

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