Wildlife Code Changes
Every year, the Conservation Department’s regulations committee reads hundreds of letters and e-mail messages from Missouri’s hunters, trappers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts who have suggestions or complaints about wildlife management or regulations. Each year, the committee members also look at hunting and fishing surveys and opinion polls from Missourians across the state. We then seek the expert opinion of the Department’s research biologists and managers to learn how Missouri’s natural resources are faring under current regulations.
Out of this process comes recommendations to the director and the conservation commission on changes to next year’s Wildlife Code of Missouri. These regulations are established to manage Missouri’s valuable plant and animal communities, to provide equal opportunity to share and enjoy these resources, and to promote public safety.
Following is a summary of regulation changes that go into effect March 1, 2006, unless otherwise noted. Because regulations on Department lands are set to protect wildlife and to provide access to the public, they may change throughout the year, especially after the fall deer, turkey and waterfowl regulations are established. It’s always a good idea to get a current list of regulations before traveling to hunt or fish on a Department area, especially during the fall deer and turkey seasons.
Fishing, hunting and trapping opportunities expand in 2006.
- On the Salt River, longbow fishing will now be allowed from the no-boating zone (1,100 feet below the Reregulation Dam) to Route A, which was formerly open to pole-and-line fishing only. This change allows bowfishers greater opportunity to take nongame fish, especially exotic Asian carp that often congregate in this area.
- For many years, fisheries staff have been working with neighboring states to establish reciprocal fishing agreements in waters that share boundaries with Missouri. Anglers possessing either Missouri or Iowa fishing permits now can fish throughout the shared waters of the Des Moines River that form a boundary between the two states. However, if anglers want to fish from or attach equipment to land, they must have a permit from the state that land is in.
- As part of the Department’s statewide catfish management plan, the daily limit on blue catfish has been reduced to five to allow more of this long-lived species to reach large sizes as they once did in Missouri. Increased encounters with large catfish for anglers is one of the goals.
- About two-thirds of the fishing at Wappapello Lake is for crappie, and anglers petitioned the Department to improve