Protect Missouri Fishing

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Man flyfishing in river
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Protect Missouri Fishing
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MDC fisheries biologists use science-based research and management to keep Missouri's fish populations strong. Browse this section to learn about:

  • Fish management in Missouri
  • Invasive species that are causing problems in Missouri's lakes, rivers, and streams
  • Simple things you can do to help protect our fisheries
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Stop the invasion!

Invasive species play a major role in the extinction and decline of freshwater fish populations. Please take action to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic species. 

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Fish Management
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Rainbow Trout Fishing
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MDC's management practices are determined through science-based research, public input, and feedback from Missouri anglers. Browse this section for information on how MDC manages specific game fish and endangered fish species. 

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Dead fish at Diana Bend Conservation Area are due to lack of oxygen in water
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MDC partners with the Missouri DNR to investigate fish kills in our streams, rivers, and lakes and ensure that water quality is restored.

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Beginning in 2012, MDC has been conducting a long-term project to get more information on both paddlefish sport-fishing statewide and commercial harvest from the Mississippi River. Please share your opinions.

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Invasive Aquatic Species
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Several invasive species have begun to plague Missouri waters. Find out what you can do to keep them from spreading. 

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didymo
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Didymo, or "rock snot," is an invasive alga that is gaining footholds in streams worldwide, including some of the most revered trout waters on Earth. 

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Photo of a devil crayfish.
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Invasive crayfish displace crayfish species naturally found in bodies of water (“native” species), introduce disease, hurt fishing and harm aquatic ecosystems. Preventing introductions of invasive species to new locations is our best hope of controlling them.

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Zebra Mussel
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Zebra mussels attach to any hard surface, and each other, and can block water intakes, harm boats and docks, and make wading in water without foot protection dangerous. They also filter nutrients from water and diminish fisheries and native aquatic life.

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Photo of hydrilla infestation
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Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is a federally listed noxious weed that can harm our aquatic resources. At least 29 states including Missouri are dealing with introduced populations of hydrilla. 

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Silver Carp
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Invasive (silver and bighead) carp were imported into the United States to clean algae from tanks in commercial fish farms and sewage treatment plants. Due to releases or escapes caused by flooding, they’ve spread into our lakes and rivers.

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Northern snakehead side view illustration with black background
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Snakeheads are native to Asia and Africa. When introduced to North American waters, they damage the ecological balance. They compete with native species for food and habitat.