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Specific Fishing Regulations

Mississippi River

Mississippi River, including Pools 20-26

  • Black bass—12” minimum length limit
  • Channel catfish and blue catfish—The daily and possession limit is 20, combined total of these species..
  • Flathead catfish—The daily and possession limit is 10 fish.
  • Paddlefish—The open season is March 15 through May 15 and Sept. 15 through Dec. 15.
  • Walleye and sauger—No minimum length limit. The daily and possession limit is 8, combined total of both species. No seasonal restrictions on the hours for take and possession.
  • White bass, yellow bass, striped bass and their hybrids—No minimum length limit. The daily and possession limit is 30, combined total of these species.
  • Nongame fish—The daily and possession limit is 100, combined total of these species, except that bighead carp, common carp, goldfish, grass carp and silver carp may be taken and possessed in any number. Snagging, snaring and grabbing are allowed from March 15 through May 15 and from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15.
  • Nongame fish may be taken by bow and possessed at any hour of the day in all flowing portions, except in Sand Chute below the mouth of the Salt River in Pike County where they may only be taken by bow from sunrise to midnight.
  • Limit of 2 poles per licensed angler
  • Limit of 50 hooks on a trotline

Temporary overflow waters east of the Missouri Pacific Railroad between Cape Girardeau and Scott City

  • Nongame fish may be taken by bow and possessed at any hour of the day.

Temporary overflow waters east of the mainline and setback levees between Commerce and the Arkansas state line

  • Nongame fish may be taken by bow and possessed at any hour of the day.

Missouri River

  • Walleye and sauger—No seasonal restrictions on the hours for take and possession.
  • Nongame fish may be taken by bow and possessed at any hour of the day in all flowing portions.

Downstream from Carl R. Noren Access to Chamois Access

  • All shovelnose sturgeon must be returned to the water immediately after being caught.

Montauk 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. Montauk 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.

Montrose Lake

  • Black bass—18” minimum length limit; 2 fish daily limit
  • Crappie—15 fish daily limit

Niangua River

In Dallas and Laclede counties:

The use of porous-soled waders is prohibited.

From Bennett Spring Branch to Prosperine Access:

White Ribbon Trout Area - Daily limit 4

  • Rainbow Trout - no length limit
  • Brown Trout - minimum length of 15"
  • All lures allowed

Norfork 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)—Daily limit of 10 fish, combined total of these 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” minimum 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.

North Fork of the White River

In Ozark County:

The use of porous-soled waders is prohibited.

From the upper outlet of Rainbow Spring to Patrick Bridge:

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.

The unimpounded portion of river and its tributaries in Ozark County from Patrick Bridge to Norfork Lake:

Red Ribbon Trout Area—Length limit at least 15"; Daily limit 2.

O'Fallon Park 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.

Osage Fork of the Gasconade River

From Skyline Drive bridge near Orla in Laclede County to the Gasconade River:

  • Goggle-eye—8”minimum length limit.
  • Smallmouth bass—15” minimum length limit. The daily limit of 6 black bass may include only 1 smallmouth bass.

Osage River

Within 225 feet below Bagnell Dam:

  • No fishing is allowed, except live bait may be taken by dip net and throw net only.

From the no-fishing zone below Bagnell Dam to U.S. Highway 54:

  • Trotlines, throwlines, limb lines, snagging, snaring and grabbing are prohibited.

From U.S. Highway 54 to the Missouri River:

  • Nongame fish—Snagging, snaring and grabbing are allowed from March 15 through April 30 only.
  • No person shall continue to snag, snare or grab for any species after taking a daily limit of 2 paddlefish