2010 Regulations Update

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Published on: Feb. 2, 2010

Last revision: Dec. 17, 2010


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White-Tailed Deer

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fisherman must report all species and the number of turtles harvested. Researchers in many states are concerned about the harvest of these long-lived species, and the information received from the new harvest forms should help protect these important aquatic reptiles.

Keeping Missouri’s deer herd free from chronic wasting disease continues to be a high priority. In the past, the Conservation Department monitored CWD in captive deer herds. Now the Missouri Department of Agriculture will be in charge of the herds, which are not part of Missouri’s wild deer population. The Conservation Department will continue to test for CWD in wild deer and work with the Department of Agriculture if CWD is detected.

Hunters who travel from another state and are transporting harvested deer, moose or elk with the spinal column or head attached must report the carcasses’ entry into Missouri to the Conservation Department within 24 hours of entering the state, and the carcass must be taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry. Meat processors and taxidermists must dispose of the spinal cord and other parts in a properly permitted landfill. Hunters do not need to contact the Department if they are bringing back cut and wrapped meat that has been boned out, quarters and other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; hides or capes from which all excess tissue has been removed; antlers; antlers attached to skull plates or skulls cleaned of all muscle and brain tissue; upper canine teeth; and finished taxidermy products.

Two changes have been made to the Wildlife Collector’s Permit, which allow researchers to take species from the wild to study. To help keep diseases from spreading, wildlife held in captivity away from the area they were taken are not to be returned to the wild unless approved ahead of time. Also, helpers who do not have their own permit must be under the direct, in-person supervision of the permit holder at all times.

Because commercially reared tiger salamander larvae—also called water dogs or mud puppies—are often infected with diseases that could harm native species, they may not be sold for live bait in Missouri. The diseases they carry have caused massive die-offs of amphibians in areas where they have been sold as bait

In the past, trout infected with parasitic copepods were not allowed to be stocked in any fish-rearing facility that discharges water to streams. However, starting this year in areas that are already infected with copepods, infected fish may be stocked in those areas only.

Aquaculturists requested the addition of Atlantic salmon to the Approved Aquatic Species list to permit this species to be reared in facilities that discharge to waters of the state. Because any salmon that escape from such facilities are unlikely to successfully reproduce in the wild, this request was approved. Atlantic salmon, however, must be certified as free of several diseases that could affect native aquatic species before they can be imported.

The Conservation Department has more than 1,000 conservation areas around the state. To allow for quality hunts, fishing and other outdoor experiences, area managers sometimes request changes on their areas. This year, some areas will have new length limits on bass, longer hours for dove hunting; some banned float tubes, and others changed rules on using decoys and blinds. To see all the regulations on a specific conservation area and to find out what is available to do, visit our online atlas. You can search by county, area name or region.

How regulations are set

Each year the Regulations Committee reviews the Wildlife Code of Missouri to ensure the state’s forests, fish and wildlife are protected. Here’s how the process works.

  1. Changes proposed by the public and staff are brought to the committee to review.
  2. The committee researches the effects of the proposed regulation changes. Information reviewed may include costs to taxpayers, effects on wildlife populations, user group surveys, public comments and feasibility studies.
  3. When research shows a change could improve management of a species or provide more opportunities for Missourians to enjoy the outdoors, a proposed regulation change is sent to the director.
  4. If the director approves the change, the proposal is submitted to the Conservation Commission, four citizens appointed by the governor.
  5. If passed by the Commission, the proposed changes are filed with the secretary of state and published in the Missouri Register. The link can be found at
  6. The filing begins the 30-day public comment period. If no comments are received, the final regulation is filed and becomes effective either 30 days after publication in the Missouri Code of State Regulations or on the date specified in the proposal.
  7. When comments are received, the proposal is reviewed. Based on the public’s comments, the Commission may decide to drop, modify or implement the regulation.

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