Photo By MDC Staff, Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will raise the prices of its annual trout permits and daily trout tags with the start of 2020.

The effective date for all trout changes will be Feb. 29, 2020.

The cost of an annual trout permit will go from $7 to $10 for anglers 16 years of age and older and from $3.50 to $5 for anglers ages 15 and younger.

In addition, the cost of a daily trout tag to fish at three of Missouri’s four trout parks — Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park, and Roaring River State Park — will go from $3 to $4 for adults and from $2 to $3 for those 15 years of age and younger.

According to MDC, the price increases are needed to better cover its costs of running hatcheries and providing more than 1.7 million trout each year for public fishing.

The prices have not been raised since 1999.

MDC raises trout at five fish hatcheries and releases about 1.7 million trout around the state for public fishing each year. According to MDC, the annual cost of fish food and staff labor to raise a trout in 2003 was about $1 per fish. The annual cost in 2017 had jumped to nearly twice that amount.A trout permit is required to possess trout, except in trout parks where a daily trout fishing tag is required during the catch-and-keep season. In addition, a trout permit is required for winter fishing in trout parks during the catch-and-release season and for fishing year-round in Lake Taneycomo upstream from the U.S. Highway 65 bridge. To fish for trout, anglers must also have a fishing permit or qualify for an exemption.