Opening Day 2024


The 2024 Bennett Spring Opening Day Siren Ringer will be Don Harbaugh, 93, of St. Louis.

Don has enjoyed fishing at Bennett Spring for 75+ years.  He is a Navy Reserve Veteran serving 12 years during the early 1950s. It is around this same time he began making the trip down to Bennett Spring to trout fish. 

He has mentored four generations of his family to become fishermen and women, including teaching his three daughters how to fish. Don and his wife of 69 years, Joan, not only fished during the regular trout season, but also during the winter catch and release season, taking advantage of the fishing opportunity during the quieter times of the year. Don made many memories for his family camping out of the old station wagon, pulling a camping trailer, and then upgrading to the small cabins in the park and surrounding resorts.  Over the many years, Don and his wife saved their money and always found time to make it to Bennett Spring as often as they could. As years passed and his family grew, he enjoyed time with his grandkids sharing his love of Bennett Spring. Don is proud to see the fishing tradition continues.

Opening day festivities will take place this year at the Bennett Spring Nature Center due to the Hatchery Renovation Project that is underway. Don will fire the opening gun at 6:30am sharp on March 1 to start the 2024 fishing season.