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Blue Catfish: Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Aug 29, 2012

MDC Fisheries staff recently held open houses in Camdenton, Clinton and Warsaw to get angler and other public feedback on possible regulation changes for catching and keeping blue catfish at Truman Reservoir and Lake of the Ozarks.

Blue catfish frequently grow to 60 pounds and can exceed 100 pounds. MDC research shows both Truman Reservoir and Lake of the Ozarks contain adequate to excessive numbers of smaller blue catfish. However, heavy harvest of blue catfish 24 inches and larger is not allowing them to reach the larger sizes desired by many anglers.

In response to these facts and anglers concerns, MDC developed potential regulation changes to address the problem. The changes would affect blue catfish at the two lakes and their tributaries, including the no-boating zone below Truman Dam. Regulation changes under consideration include:

  • Increasing the daily limit from five to 10 blue catfish. This would allow anglers to take home more fish.
  • Adding a protected slot-length limit for medium-size blue catfish of 24 to 32 inches (5 to 13 pounds), 25 to 33 inches (6 to 15 pounds) or 26 to 34 inches (7 to 16 pounds). This would allow medium-size blue catfish to reach larger sizes.
  • Allowing the harvest of one or two blue catfish above the protected slot-length limit. This would enable anglers to harvest or catch and release larger fish.

One display at the open houses was a great example of a “picture being worth a thousand words." MDC Fisheries Management Biologists Mike Bayless and Greg Stoner are pictured with mounted blue catfish showing the sizes and numbers anglers could catch and keep under the proposed regulations.

Share your comments on the proposed regulation changes at


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Blue Catfish Display
Blue Catfish Display


Thank you very much for that splendid article

I think this would be a wonderfull regulation...There shoild be regs. not only there but other rivers stream lakes ect...i support it!

I am all for having a slot limit. It sickens me to hear stories of people spending weeks at a time at Truman lake(Talley Bend), having their whole family there 10-20, setting out 300+jugs and harvesting way over their limit. Then calling a family memeber to come down and take home what they have since the freezer is full and yet they keep on taking more. Then they are the same ones complaining that they are not catching any big fish any more. I know that resources are limited, but there needs to be an extra effort made by agents to patrol the waters and campgrounds. I know that a slot won't get rid of this problem, but hopefully it will help on increasing numbers for the future anglers.

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