The purpose of the annual review is to determine whether the existing regulations continue to fulfill the mission of conserving the state’s forest, fish and wildlife resources without unnecessarily regimenting or inconveniencing the public. When specific needs are identified, rule changes are recommended to the Missouri Conservation Commission for approval.
Rule changes that appear in the 2005 Wildlife Code, which should be available by mid-February, become effective March 1, 2005 and are highlighted in this summary. Hunters, anglers and trappers are responsible for understanding the regulations before venturing afield.
Fish may not be taken by gig, crossbow and longbow on the following waters:
Fish taken by gig, crossbow and longbow may not be possessed on these waters or the banks thereof.
Trout Daily Limits. The statewide daily limit for trout is now four trout in the aggregate, unless otherwise restricted. The daily limit is now one trout in:
The daily limit is now two trout in the Maramec River and its tributaries, except Maramec Spring Branch, in Crawford and Phelps counties from Highway 8 Bridge to Scott’s Ford. The daily limit is also two trout in the unimpounded portion of the North Fork of the White River and its tributaries in Ozark County from Patrick Bridge to Norfork Lake. Also, the daily limit is now two trout on Roubidoux Creek in Pulaski County, from the elevated utility crossing approximately one-half mile below Business I-44 Bridge in Waynesville to its confluence with the Gasconade River.
Trout Length Limits. All brown trout less than 15 inches in total length must be released unharmed immediately after being caught from the unimpounded portion of any stream, unless otherwise restricted.
All brown trout and all rainbow trout less than 18 inches in total length must be released unharmed immediately after being caught from:
Trout Permits. A trout permit is required in addition to the prescribed fishing permit for fishing at:
Trout Parks. The daily limit is four trout, and no person shall continue to fish for any species after having four trout in possession.
From March 1 through October 31, no person with four trout already in possession may fish on the designated portions of Montauk State Park and Roaring River State Park where catch-and-release fishing only is permitted .
Stone Mill Spring Branch. Fishing is permitted on designated waters during posted hours. All anglers must have a valid trout permit. Not more than one pole and line may be used by one person at any time. Gigging, snaring, snagging, and the taking of live bait are prohibited. Flies, artificial lures, unscented soft plastic baits and natural and scented baits may be used, except in waters posted as restricted to specific baits or lures. The use of any foods to attract fish, except when placed on a hook, is prohibited.
Trout fishing is permitted from March 1 through October 31. The daily limit is four trout, and no person shall continue to fish for any species after having four trout in possession.
Trout fishing is also permitted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from November 1 through the last day in February as posted. Only flies and artificial lures may be used, and all fish must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught. Fish may not be possessed on these waters.
Live Bait (Frogs). Bullfrogs and green frogs taken and possessed under statewide seasons and limits may be used as bait. The daily limit remains eight bullfrogs and green frogs in the aggregate. The daily limit for southern leopard frog, plains leopard frog and cricket frog is five each.
Experimental Hand Fishing Season. An experimental hand fishing season for catfish has been approved for 2005 as part of a five-year study to determine the effects of hand fishing on catfish populations, and whether such a season should be established in the long term.
To hand fish in Missouri, you must obtain a Hand Fishing Permit ($7) in addition to the prescribed fishing permit, unless exempt. You must also submit, within 10 days following the close of the season, a complete report on a form furnished by the Department. Failure to submit an accurate and complete annual report shall be sufficient cause for denial of a hand fishing permit the following year.
The hand fishing season will run from sunrise to sunset, June 1 though July 15.
The daily limit is five channel, blue or flathead catfish, in the aggregate. The minimum length limit is 22 inches for flathead and blue catfish. There is no minimum length limit for channel catfish.
Only waters that are also are open to commercial fishing for catfish, or closely tied to such waters, have been opened to hand fishing. These areas are:
Feet and bare hands may be used without the aid of hooks or other man-made devices. Catfish may be taken by hand fishing only from natural objects or natural cavities. Catfish may not be taken from any man-made object from bona fide construction such as bridges, docks, boat ramps and rock rip rap. No part of any object may be disturbed or altered to harvest a catfish by hand. Hand fishers may not possess fishing equipment, except a stringer, while on designated hand fishing waters or adjacent banks.
Fall Firearms Turkey Hunting. The fall firearms turkey hunting season will be October 1 through October 31 annually. The season limit of two turkeys of either sex remains unchanged for the fall season, but both turkeys may now be taken on the same day.
Fall Firearms Deer Hunting. The November portion of the 2005 firearms deer hunting season will open November 12. The closing date and dates for other deer season segments will be announced in early summer.
Tree Stands on Conservation Department Areas. Only portable tree stands are allowed and only from September 1 through January 31. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled with the owner’s name and address on a durable material. Use of screw-in steps and any material or method that would damage the tree is prohibited.
Hound Running Areas. A hound running area approved after March 1, 2005, must be at least 40 acres in size. Foxes and coyotes may be held in temporary confinement facilities on the hound running area or another location specified on the permit.
Groundhogs. Legally obtained groundhog pelts may be possessed and sold throughout the year.
Pheasants. Male pheasants may be taken from November 1 through January 15 north of Interstate 70, and also in that portion of St. Charles County lying south of Interstate 70.
Waterfowl Hunting. Effective in fall 2005, waterfowl hunting will be allowed during prescribed seasons on designated portions of Lone Jack Conservation Area until 1 p.m. daily.
Waterfowl hunting Units 1 and 2 at Four Rivers Conservation Area have been added to the list of areas managed by daily drawing, where waterfowl may be taken only by holders of a valid area Daily Waterfowl Hunting Tag and only in a designated area.
On Units 3 and 4 of Four Rivers Conservation Area, waterfowl hunters must pre-register and check out daily at designated hunter record boxes prior to and immediately after completing the hunt, but there is no daily drawing for hunting those units.
Only authorized persons are allowed within the waterfowl shooting areas during the waterfowl hunting season.
Target Shooting and Shooting Ranges on Conservation Department Areas. Shooting hours on unmanned ranges are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Transgenics. The release of transgenic fish or wildlife into the wild is prohibited without written authorization of the director. Transgenic fish or wildlife may be possessed and used only as authorized by the Wildlife Code (3 CSR 10-9.110). “Transgenic” is defined in the Wildlife Code as any organism, or progeny thereof, that contains DNA from a species that was not a parent of that organism.
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