2004 Wildlife Code Changes
Nov. 15, 2004, through March 31, 2005.
Expanded reciprocal fishing privileges with Kentucky. Any person possessing a valid sport fishing license issued by the state of Kentucky, or who is legally exempted from those license requirements, without further permit or license, may fish in the Mississippi River within the boundary of Missouri adjacent to the state of Kentucky. For the purposes of these reciprocal fishing privileges, the river is defined as the main channel and immediate side or secondary channels or chutes. It does not include oxbow or floodplain lakes, or backwaters that extend onto the floodplain or up tributaries when the Mississippi River level exceeds 33 feet at the Cairo, Ill., gauging station. Similarly, any person possessing a valid Missouri sport fishing permit, or who is legally exempted from those permit requirements, without additional permit or license, will have these same fishing privileges on the Mississippi River within the boundary of Kentucky. Both states' anglers must abide by the regulations of the state in whose waters they are fishing and, when fishing in waters in which they are not licensed to fish, shall comply with the most restrictive of the two states' regulations.
Black Bass on the Elk River. The daily limit is two black bass on the Elk River. On the Elk River, all black bass less than 15 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.
Smallmouth bass on the Big River. The black bass special management area on the Big River is expanded upstream to Leadwood Access in St. Francois County. From Leadwood Access downstream to the Maramec River, there is a 15-inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass, and the daily possession limit of 12 black bass, which may include no more than six largemouth and smallmouth bass in the aggregate, may include only one smallmouth bass.
Flathead Catfish on Longview Lake. The daily limit is reduced to one flathead catfish, and flathead catfish less than 24 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.
Rock Bass (goggle-eye) and Warmouth. All rock bass less than 8 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught on the Big Piney River from Highway 17 bridge (in Texas County) to its confluence with the Gasconade River. The daily limit for rock bass on the entire Big Piney River will return to the statewide daily limit of 15 fish.
Snagging and grabbing. The James River from Lake Springfield Dam to the Highway 160 bridge is opened to snagging, snaring and grabbing, and the harvest and possession of paddlefish will now be permitted on this portion of the river.
Hellbenders. Due to drastic declines in hellbender numbers in recent years, both the Ozark and eastern hellbender have been added to the state endangered species list. Hellbenders cannot be taken or possessed. Hellbenders caught on hook and line must be returned unharmed immediately to the water. It is unlawful to gig or otherwise harm hellbenders.