About The Park:
Bennett Spring State Park is a main attraction for Rainbow trout fishing in Central Missouri.
Located 15 minutes from Lebanon, Missouri the park draws over 1 million people every year.
The river is stocked with over 320,000 rainbow trout yearly. It attracts over 150,000 fishermen yearly.
Fishing Season (catch and keep): March 1st through October 31st.
Catch And Release: 2nd Friday in Nov. through the 2nd Monday in February (Friday - Monday).
About The Spring:
At the source of the river is Missouri's third largest spring. It provides the river with nearly 100 million gallons of 57°F
At the spring's base is where the trout are stocked daily from the parks own trout hatchery.
A Little History
Bennett Spring offically became a state park on December 27, 1924 when the first 8.5 acres were purchased from Josie Bennett Smith. Weeks later over 560 acres were purchased from William Sherman Bennett (Josie's brother). These two purchases make up the land that now holds the park's store, office, dining lodge and trout hatchery.
Jerry Brice was on of the original settlers of the Bennett Spring area. Around the spring he built a mill for local farmers to bring their grain to for grinding.
Years later the Bennett family settled around the spring. Peter Bennett built a mill there as well to replace the one built by Brice that had washed away in a storm. This mill became a central trading post for farmers. Business was so strong Peter build 2 more mills.
It is thought that in the early 1900s William Sherman Bennett (Peter Bennett's son) emptied cans of young trout into the spring and found out the fish thrived in the cool waters of the spring.
Throughout the years the state purchased more land to surround the original 570 acres to turn it into the 3216 acres the park has today.