fish growth by measuring scale growth rings (1951).
Buying Fishing Licenses, Rods and Reels Puts Fish in the Water
If you’ve ever purchased hunting or fishing licenses, fishing lures, rods and reels, or fueled up your boat, you’re part of one of the most successful efforts to conserve sport fish in America.
Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program, MDC receives federal excise taxes paid by sportsmen and anglers in the state on fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, electric outboard motors and sonar equipment. These funds are returned to MDC to conserve, manage and enhance fisheries, develop motorboat accesses, and to help fund angler and aquatic-resource education. Since 1952, Missouri has received about $135 million from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
For more than 75 years, Missourians also have helped improve Missouri’s fishing by buying fishing licenses, which fund fisheries conservation work. And in the end, every Missourian is a partner in conservation, thanks to the conservation sales tax, which allocates 1 penny for conservation efforts from every $8 of taxable items purchased. This dedicated sales tax provides consistent funding for the long term efforts required for the conservation of fish, forests and wildlife.
Reeling in the Records
Download the complete list of Missouri state-record fish at mdc.mo.gov/node/6103.
MDC’s Master Angler Program recognizes notable catches that fall short of records. Download an entry form with qualifying lengths and weights at mdc.mo.gov/72.
It’s hard to beat the excitement of catching your first fish. Commemorate this milestone with MDC’s First Fish certificates. Fill in, print and frame the full-color certificate, available at mdc.mo.gov/node/10474.
Some of Missouri’s World Record Fish
- Black crappie - 5 lbs. John Horstman at a private pond on April 21, 2006
- Green sunfish - 2 lbs. 2 oz. Paul Dilley at Stockton Lake on June 18, 1971
- Shortnose gar - 8 lbs. 3 oz. George Pittman, Sr., at Lake Contrary on Oct. 12, 2010
- Yellow bullhead - 6 lbs. 6 oz. John Irvin at Old Drexel Lake on May 27, 2006
Notable State Records
- Blue catfish - 130 lbs. Greg Bernal by pole and line on the Missouri River on July 20, 2010 (a former world record)
- Flathead catfish - 99 lbs. Robert Davidson by bank pole on the Missouri River on July 23, 2010
- Paddlefish - 139 lbs. 4 oz. George Russell by snagging at Table Rock Lake on March 15, 2002
- Striped bass - 60 lbs. 9 oz. James Cunningham by pole and line at Bull Shoals Lake on June 18, 2011