Proposed Crappie Regulation Change at Mozingo Lake

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Mozingo Lake Crappie Proposed Regulation Public Comment

Historically, Mozingo Lake received extremely high fishing pressure and harvest for crappie. After sampling data showed high harvest resulted in a low crappie population, crappie regulations were changed in 2017 from a 30-fish daily limit to a 15-fish daily limit. The 2017 regulation change was enacted in hopes harvest would decrease and more crappie would grow to more desirable size classes for anglers.

After three years of limiting daily harvest to 15-fish, fishing pressure for crappie declined and less desirable-sized crappie now dominate the fishery. Additionally, sampling data and angler feedback indicate crappie recruitment at Mozingo Lake was high the last three years and is resulting in higher numbers of slow-growing crappie in the lake.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is proposing to return to a daily limit of 30-fish, but restrict harvest of crappie over 9-inches to 15-fish per person, per day. This proposed regulation change would lower the crappie population in Mozingo Lake and reduce competition among fish resulting in better growth rates and better opportunity for anglers to harvest large crappie. This same regulation is in place at nearby Smithville Lake and resulted in a favorable crappie size structure change there by preventing overharvest of large fish (9-inches or greater) while also maintaining a sustainable crappie population.

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Mozingo Crappie chart
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"CPUE" Catch per unit effort. Decline in overall crappie numbers starting in 2016 (blue line), continuing in subsequent years, as well as the decline in percent of fish over 8 and 10 inches.
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