Fort Leonard Wood’s annual Kids’ Trout Fishing Derby is scheduled to take place this Saturday at Stone Mill Spring Recreation Area, located off of FLW 26, near Piney Valley Golf Course.
The derby — organized each year by the Directorate of Public Works’ Natural Resources Branch and the Outdoor Adventure Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation — provides the opportunity for anglers ages 15 and younger to earn prizes by catching any of the tagged rainbow trout the MDC adds to the spring prior to the event.
Registration will begin at 9 a-m and the derby will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking will be available at the trailhead for the recreation area and along FLW 26. Volunteers will be on hand to direct traffic. Here’s John Brant of the Fort Wood Natural Resources Branch.

Brant says an adult must accompany participating youth. Any natural, prepared or artificial bait may be used during the derby, but only one fishing pole per angler is allowed to help minimize crowding along the shoreline.

Due to the size of the expected crowd, participants are asked to follow social distancing protocols and keep at least six feet of distance from others. Participants are also reminded to bring their own fishing poles, tackle, and bait, but a small number of poles and some basic tackle will be available for loan on a first-come-first-serve basis. Adults are welcome to give young anglers fishing tips and encouragement, but they will not be allowed to fish themselves. The Missouri Department of Conservation is adding 500 rainbow trout to the spring for the derby this year, and any young angler who catches one with a special tag will get to choose a prize. Free hot dogs and sodas will be provided and a privy and hand-washing station will be available. Participants are reminded to dress for the weather. In addition to weather concerns, participants should plan for a half-mile walk from the parking area to the fishing spot. Brant said no shuttle service is available this year, due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place.