Ask the Ombudsman
Q: Is it legal to use Asian carp for bait?
A: Bighead and silver carp, both Asian carp, may not be used as live bait but may be used as dead or cut bait. Most native, nongame fish can be used as live bait but Asian carp are undesirable, aggressively spreading, nonnative species. Live bait can become established in the water where it is used. To avoid the spread of harmful species, no live bait of any kind should be dumped into Missouri’s waters. Put unused bait in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.
Q: Can you identify the metallic-green and bronze colored beetles that are eating the foliage on my grape vines? They are about one-half inch long.
A: Your pest may be the Japanese beetle, which is an exotic invasive insect that has become more plentiful and widespread in Missouri in recent years. The insect can damage many different plant species, including corn, soybeans, garden crops, fruit trees and many ornamentals. Feeding adult beetles reduce foliage to a lace-like appearance, as they avoid eating veins of the leaves. Adult female beetles lay eggs in July that hatch into white larvae or grubs that will overwinter in the soil. The grubs can damage turf grasses by feeding on the roots. They emerge from the soil as adult feeding beetles, usually in early- to mid-June. For more information see: www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/pub_phjbeetle04.pdf.
Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at 573-522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ombudsman@mdc.mo.gov.
The life of an urban conservation agent.
As a conservation agent assigned to an urban county, I’m often asked what conservation agents do in the cities because traditional hunting and fishing activity is usually associated with rural counties. However, there are numerous opportunities for hunting and fishing within an urban area. Due to a successful urban stocking program, lots of communities have lakes or rivers that have high fishing pressure. Deer populations in some urban areas have prompted many cities to modify their ordinances to allow archery hunting within city limits in an effort to control deer numbers. In addition, there are numerous conservation areas and public land in or around urban areas. Conservation agents spend a significant amount of time performing law enforcement duties on public land to curtail vandalism, littering, drug use or trafficking, indiscriminate target shooting and vehicles operating off the roadway.
A conservation agent’s duties also include a variety of school programs, hunter education programs, and hunting and fishing clinics. We attend public meetings on topics from catfish regulations to new waterfowl zone boundaries, and have consistent contact with the media. Conservation agents are the local representatives for the Department, and every agent strives to provide enforcement and programs appropriate to his or her county.
Doug Yeager is the conservation agent for Platte County. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office listed on Page 3.
To view fishing and hunting seasons, visit www.missouriconservation.org/seasons/
For complete information about seasons, limits, methods and restrictions, consult the Wildlife Code and the current summaries of “Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations” and “Missouri Fishing Regulations,” the “Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information,” the “Waterfowl Hunting Digest” and the “Migratory Bird Hunting Digest.” This information is on our Web site at www.MissouriConservation.org/regs/ and at permit vendors.
The Conservation Department’s computerized point-of-sale system allows you to purchase or replace your permits through local vendors or by phone. The toll-free number is 800/392-4115. Allow 10 days for delivery of telephone purchases. To purchase permits online go to https://www2.mo.wildlifelicense.com/start.php.