Blue Ribbon Trout Slam a chance for anglers to test their mettle

The Missouri Department of Conservation is teaming up with Trout Unlimited, an organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s “cold-water fisheries and their watersheds” to offer a challenge to anglers who want to test their skills against some of the most elusive trout in the state. Blue Ribbon Trout Slam challenges anglers to catch trout in at least five of Missouri’s Blue Ribbon Trout Areas.
A Blue Ribbon Trout Area is a river or creek where trout live and reproduce naturally, as opposed to places like Roaring River or Lake Taneycomo, where the waters are stocked regularly. According to Blue Ribbon Trout Slam webpage on the MDC’s website, trout in the Blue Ribbon Areas are much harder to catch than those that are raised in hatcheries.
“Missouri’s Blue Ribbon Trout Areas provide excellent trout habitat that supports naturally reproducing trout,” the webpage states. “These trout are wary of predators and provide anglers with a challenging and authentic experience.”

Recognition of achievement
When anglers catch a trout in at least five of the Blue Ribbon Trout Areas, they achieve the Bronze Level of Accomplishment; this makes them eligible for a certificate and a bronze pin. If anglers catch a trout in seven of the trout areas, they achieve the Silver Level and are eligible for a certificate and a silver pen. If the anglers catch a trout in all nine areas, they achieve the Gold Level and are eligible for a certificate, a gold pen and a medallion. The nine Blue Ribbon Trout Areas are: Barren Fork Creek in Shannon County, Blue Springs Creek in Crawford County, Crane Creek in Lawrence and Stone counties, Current River in Dent County, Eleven Point River in Oregon County, North Fork of the White River in Ozark County, and Little Piney Creek, Mill Creek and Spring Creek, all in Phelps County.
Each time an angler catches a trout, they can enter the information about where and when they caught it on the Blue Ribbon Trout Slam page. Only trout caught in Blue Ribbon Trout Areas after Jan. 1, 2020 are eligible. Once a level of accomplishment is achieved, the name of the angler is posted under the Bronze, Silver or Gold Level headings. Anglers may complete more than one trout slam, but must complete the Gold Level before starting a new one. There is a limit of one trout per day that may be kept in a Blue Ribbon fishing area; only trout 18 inches in length and above may be kept.

Playing by the rules
Missouri fishing regulations state only flies and artificial lures may be used when fishing in Blue Ribbon Trout Areas. Natural and soft plastic baits are prohibited. Bowfishing, gigging and use of a atlatl (spear thrower) are also prohibited.
Anglers are also reminded to respect private property; they should enter the trout areas only at public access points or on private property with landowner permission; also ask permission before floating or wading through private property.
For more information on the Blue Ribbon Trout Slam or to record a catch, go online to Information about the Blue Ribbon Trout Areas can be found online at More information about Trout Unlimited can be found at


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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