Fish Measuring and Identification

Learn to measure and identify the fish and other aquatic life you catch so you can abide by Missouri's seasons, daily limits, length limits, and other regulations. When in doubt a fish's identity or legal length, play it safe, and return the fish to the water unharmed immediately.

How to Measure a Fish

Measure fish from the snout to the tail

Total length is measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, with the fish laid flat on the ruler, with the mouth closed and the tail lobes pressed together.

Measure a Paddlefish

Measure paddlefish from eye to fork of tail

Paddlefish are measured from the eye to the fork of the tail.

Measure a Shovelnose Sturgeon

Measure sturgeon from snout to fork of tail

Sturgeon are measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail. Only shovelnose sturgeon are legal to keep.

Missouri Game Fish

Click on a fish's name to view detailed information about it.

Game Fish
Common Name Scientific Name Family
Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus Sunfish
Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus Catfish
Brown Trout Salmo trutta Trout
Chain Pickerel Esox niger Pike
Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus Catfish
Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris Catfish
Goggle-eye (Northern Rock Bass) Ambloplites rupestris Sunfish
Grass Pickerel Esox americanus Pike
Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides Sunfish
Muskellunge Esox masquinongy Pike
Northern Pike Esox lucius Pike
Paddlefish Polyodon spathula Paddlefish
Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Trout
Sauger Sander canadensis Perch
Shovelnose Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynch Sturgeon
Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu Sunfish
Spotted/Kentucky Bass Micropterus punctulatus Sunfish
Striped Bass and Hybrids Morone saxatilis Temperate Bass
Walleye Sander vitreus Perch
Warmouth Lepomis gulosus Sunfish
White Bass, Yellow Bass, and Hybrids Morone chrysops Temperate Bass
White Crappie Pomoxis annularis Sunfish