2001 Wildlife Code Changes

By | February 2, 2001
From Missouri Conservationist: Feb 2001

The purpose of the annual review is to determine whether the existing regulations continue to fulfill the mission of conserving the state‘s forest, fish and wildlife resources without unnecessarily regimenting or inconveniencing the public. When specific needs are identified, rule changes are recommended to the Missouri Conservation Commission for approval.

Rule changes that appear in the 2001 Wildlife Code, which is now available, become effective March 1, 2001 and are highlighted in this summary. Hunters, anglers and trappers are responsible for understanding the regulations before venturing afield.


  • White River Border Lakes Permit - In partnership with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, the Missouri Department of Conservation established a permit to allow Arkansas and Missouri residents to fish all impounded portions of Bull Shoals, Table Rock and Norfork lakes without having to purchase a non-resident fishing permit from either state. Anglers still must possess a resident fishing license from their respective states or proof of exemption. The White River Border Lakes Permit does not cover trout fishing privileges. The permit will cost $10.
  • Jug Lines must be personally attended at all times. - This regulation change will reduce the waste of hooked fish that die on lost jugs and reduce the number of stolen or lost jugs.
  • Winter Fishing at the Trout Parks - The area winter fishing tag has been eliminated. The purchase of a Trout Permit ($7) in addition to the prescribed fishing permit will now allow anglers to fish at Roaring River, Bennett Spring, Montauk and Maramec Spring trout parks from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from the second Friday in November through the second Friday in February. During this winter catch-and-release season, only flies may be used. All fish must be released immediately, and no fish may be possessed.
  • Expanded Hours for Taking Fish by Longbow on Impounded Waters - Fish other than those listed as endangered or defined as game fish may now be taken by longbow from impounded waters during all hours throughout the year, with the following exceptions. From February 1 through March 31, these nongame fish may be taken by this method only between sunrise and midnight. On streams, nongame fish may still be taken by longbow between sunrise and midnight throughout the year.
  • Fishing Methods on the Osage River Below Bagnell Dam - Snagging, snaring and grabbing (as well as trotlines, throwlines and limb lines) are now prohibited throughout the year on the Osage River below Bagnell Dam to U.S. Highway 54. This regulation will protect small paddlefish and catfish from snagging and associated high hooking mortality. Fishing by pole and line is now allowed in this entire area throughout the year.
  • Rock Bass (goggle-eye) on the Eleven Point River and Osage Fork of the Gasconade River - All rock bass smaller than eight (8) inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught from the Eleven Point River from Thomasville Access to the Arkansas line and from the Osage Fork of the Gasconade River from Skyline Drive bridge (near Orla in Laclede County) to its confluence with the Gasconade River. These regulations will help improve and maintain the quality of goggle-eye fishing in these streams.
  • Black Bass on Montrose Lake - The minimum length limit on black bass has been increased to 18 inches. The daily limit has been reduced to two (2) bass.
  • Little Piney Creek Trout Areas - A new wild trout management area has been established on about 10 miles of Little Piney Creek from the Phelps County Line in Sections 9 and 16 of T35N, R8W, including Piney Spring Branch and Lane Spring Branch, to Milldam Hollow Access. In this area, the daily limit is one (1) trout. All trout less than 18 inches in total length caught in these waters must be returned to the water unharmed immediately. Only flies and artificial lures may be used, and soft plastic baits and natural and scented baits are specifically prohibited. In these same waters, fish may not be taken by gig, crossbow or longbow. Fish taken by gig, crossbow or longbow may not be possessed on these waters or the banks thereof. A new trout management area will be established on about four miles of Little Piney Creek from Milldam Hollow Access to County Road 7360. Keeper-size trout will be stocked in this area from March through October.
  • Fishing Regulations Have Changed - on a number of small public lakes managed by the Department of Conservation. Always check the bulletin boards and signs in the parking lots of areas you are fishing to make sure you know the current regulations.

New Regulations for the Mississippi River

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have negotiated expanded reciprocal fishing privileges on their shared portion of the Mississippi River. In addition to being able to fish in the flowing portion of the Mississippi in either state, properly licensed or exempted anglers from Missouri may now fish either state‘s adjacent backwaters and shared oxbow lakes, and they may now fish from the bank or attach to the bank of either state.

Anglers must still abide by the regulations of the state in which they are fishing regardless of where they are licensed. They must also abide by the most restrictive of the two states‘ regulations when fishing the other state‘s waters. To make it easier for anglers to know and follow the regulations on the Mississippi River, the Missouri Department of Conservation and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have made a number of regulation changes that will bring uniformity to most of the sport fishing regulations. Missouri‘s new regulations on the Mississippi River are:

Black Bass: - A 12-inch minimum length limit on black bass on the entire Mississippi River, including Pools 20-26.

Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish: - The daily and possession limit on the Mississippi River is 20 in the aggregate.

Flathead Catfish: - The daily and possession limit on the Mississippi River is 10 fish.

Paddlefish: - The open season on the Mississippi River is March 15 through May 15, and September 15 through December 15.

White Bass, Yellow Bass, Striped Bass and Their Hybrids: - No minimum length limit on the Mississippi River. The daily and possession limit is 30 in the aggregate.

Other Fish (nongame fish): - The daily and possession limit on the Mississippi River is 100 in the aggregate. Snagging, snaring and grabbing are allowed from March 15 through May 15, and September 15 through December 15.

Not more than two unlabeled poles - and not more than fifty (50) hooks in the aggregate may be used by any person at one time on the Mississippi River.

In fact, grandad's walking stick, the one that magically sprouted into a tree, was probably cut from a willow branch.


  • Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season - The Department has established an annual two-day, Youth Spring Turkey Season for Missouri residents age 15 years or younger who possess a Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting permit or prescribed turkey hunting permit. The Spring Youth Turkey Hunting Season will begin on the Saturday nine (9) days before the Monday opening of the spring season. Those participating in the Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season may take one (1) male turkey or turkey with a visible beard during the Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season. A turkey harvested during the spring youth season will count toward that individual‘s spring season bag limit. Individuals hunting during the Youth Spring Turkey Hunting Season may not harvest a second turkey during the first week of the spring season. Turkeys may only be taken by shotgun with shot no larger than No. 4 or longbow, without the use of dogs, bait, recorded calls or live decoys. All other statewide regulations apply.
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Deer and Turkey Hunting Permits - These new permits allow nonresidents who own at least 75 acres in one Missouri deer management unit to pursue, take, possess and transport an antlered deer from their land statewide during the firearms deer hunting season. Permit costs are as follows:
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Deer Hunting Permit - $75
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit - $75
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms First Bonus Deer Hunting Permit - $40
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Second Bonus Deer Hunting Permit - $25
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Turkey Hunting Permit (Spring) - $75
  • Nonresident Landowner Firearms Turkey Hunting Permit (Fall) - $50
  • Nonresident Landowner Archer‘s Hunting Permit - $75
  • These permits may be obtained through the Department‘s Jefferson City Office. Send requests to: Missouri Department of Conservation, Fiscal Services Section, P.O. Box 3337, Jefferson City, MO, 65102
  • Otter and Muskrat Trapping Zones - The Department established an otter trapping season to reduce damage to fish populations caused by otters in areas of high otter density and to maintain populations in areas with lower densities. Consult the Missouri Wildlife Code for Otter Management Zone boundaries.
  • A season limit of five otters and muskrats may be taken from November 20 through January 20 otter management zones A, C and D as specified in the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
  • The season limit is 20 otters in Otter Management Zone B, and the season runs November 20 through January 20.
  • Any number of otters may be taken from November 20 through February 20 in Otter Management Zone E.
  • Any number of muskrats may be taken in any numbers during otter season in zones B and C.
  • Migratory Bird Permit - An amendment to the Missouri Wildlife Code changes effective dates for the Migratory Bird Hunting Permit to run from July 1 through June 30. For the 2001-2002 seasons, Migratory Bird hunting Permits will go on sale July 1.
  • Season Dates - The Department clarified season dates on bullfrogs, green frogs, quail, ruffed grouse, rabbits, squirrels, crows, pheasants and furbearers.


Wild Ginseng Harvest - New regulations specify parameters for the legal harvest of wild ginseng (Panax quinquefolium).

  • Wild ginseng plants or roots harvested must possess three (3) or more true leaves (prongs) or flowering/fruiting stalks.
  • The entire stalk, minus the mature fruits, shall be kept with the plants until they are taken to the harvester‘s home or place of business.
  • When harvesting wild ginseng, harvesters shall plant all seeds from harvested plants within 100 feet of the parent plants.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Bryan Hendricks
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer