Special Area Fishing Regulations

Know the regs for the waters you fish

Most public fishing areas have methods, seasons, limits or other fishing regulations that are different from the statewide rules. These special regulations are posted at the areas. It is your responsibility to know what regulations apply to the waters you are fishing. Please refer to area brochures, signs and bulletin boards before fishing these waters.

Special regulations on large reservoirs, rivers, streams and trout areas are summarized below. Special regulations also apply to the tributaries of some large reservoirs. These rules are listed under the name of the lake or stream. Statewide regulations apply unless otherwise indicated below.

Specific Fishing Regulations

Barren Fork Creek

In Shannon County

The use of porous-soled waders is prohibited.

In Shannon County from County Road A-D to Sinking Creek:

Blue Ribbon Trout Area—Length limit at least 18"; Daily limit 1.

  • Only flies and artificial lures may be used, and soft plastic baits and natural and scented baits are prohibited when fishing for any species.
  • Gigging, bowfishing and using an atlatl are prohibited, and fish taken by these methods may not be possessed on these waters or their banks.

Bennett Spring State Park

Is open and stocked daily from March 1 through Oct. 31. Anglers need a fishing permit, unless exempt, as well as a daily trout tag. The daily trout tag is $3 for adults and $2 for those 15 and younger.

The daily limit is 4, and you must stop fishing for any species after having 4 trout in possession. Area regulations, fishing methods, and zones vary. Ask for details when you purchase your tag.

Catch-and-release fishing is only available from the second Friday in November through the second Monday in February. Bennett Spring State Park is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday through Monday. A fishing permit, unless exempt, and a trout permit are required. Only flies may be used.

Big Piney River

From Highway 17 to the Gasconade River:

  • Goggle-eye—8" minimum length limit

From Slabtown Access to Ross Access:

  • Smallmouth bass—15" minimum length limit. The daily limit of 6 black bass may include only 1 smallmouth bass.

Big River

Mainstem and its tributaries, except as noted below:

  • Black bass—The daily and possession limit is 12 fish and may include no more than 6 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, combined total of both species.
  • Spotted bass—No minimum length limit.

From Leadwood Access to the Meramec River:

  • Smallmouth bass—15” minimum length limit. The daily and possession limit of 12 black bass, which may include no more than 6 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, combined total of both species, may include only 1 smallmouth bass.

Black River

Within the wing walls of Clearwater Dam:

  • No fishing is allowed.

Within 700 feet below the spillway walls of Clearwater Dam:

  • Trotlines, throwlines, limb lines, bowfishing, gigging and atlatls are prohibited.

Blue Springs Creek

  • Black bass—The daily and possession limit is 12 fish and may include no more than 6 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, combined total of both species.
  • Spotted bass—No minimum length limit.

In Crawford County

The use of porous-soled waders is prohibited.

In Crawford County from Blue Springs to the Meramec River:

Blue Ribbon Trout Area—Length limit at least 18"; Daily limit of 1.

  • Only flies and artificial lures may be used, and soft plastic baits and natural and scented baits are prohibited when fishing for any species.
  • Gigging, bowfishing and using an atlatl are prohibited, and fish taken by these methods may not be possessed on these waters or their banks.

Blue Springs Lake

  • Pole and line fishing only, except that shad may be taken by dip net or throw net.
  • Black bass—15” minimum length limit

Boathouse Lake

  • Trout permits are required if trout are kept.
  • Trout may be taken by pole and line using all types of lures and baits under statewide limits, except during the dates listed below.

Year-round: 

You must stop fishing for all species after having 4 trout in possession 

Nov. 1 - Jan. 31: 

  • Only 1 pole may be used.
  • Use of chum is prohibited.

Bourbeuse River

Mainstem and its tributaries:

  • Black bass—The daily and possession limit is 12 fish and may include no more than 6 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, combined total of both species.
  • Spotted bass—No minimum length limit

Bull Shoals Lake

Lakewide:

  • Black bass—15" minimum length limit on largemouth and smallmouth bass; 12" minimum length limit on spotted bass
  • Catfish (channel, blue and flathead)—10 fish daily limit, combined total of these three species
  • Crappie—10" minimum length limit; 15 fish daily limit

On the lake and its tributaries:

  • Walleye and sauger—18" minimum length limit
  • Striped bass--20" minumum length limit; only 3 striped bass may be included in the aggregate. There are no length limits for white bass, yellow bass, or their hybrids.

In the Swan Creek Arm above U.S. Highway 160:

  • From Feb. 20 through April 14, walleye and sauger may be taken and possessed only between 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

From Powersite Dam to Highway 76:

  • Trotlines, throwlines and limb lines are prohibited.
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