In Brief

By MDC | July 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: July 2022

Smallmouth Slam

MDC encourages anglers to test their skills in new fishing recognition program

MDC and the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance (MSA) invite anglers to pursue a “Smallmouth Slam” by fishing the state’s 12 special management areas for bass to receive related pins and medallions.

“Missouri’s special management areas provide excellent smallmouth bass habitat,” explained MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. “These areas have regulations to help smallmouth bass populations increase and to allow more fish to grow to a quality size.”

The Smallmouth Slam is divided into three levels:

  • Bronze: Catch a smallmouth bass from six of the 12 special management areas and receive a certificate and bronze pin.
  • Silver: Catch a smallmouth bass from nine of the 12 special management areas and receive a certificate and silver pin.
  • Gold: Catch a smallmouth bass from all 12 special management areas and receive a certificate, gold pin, and medallion.

All pins and medallions awarded to participants have been provided and underwritten by MSA.

“The Missouri Smallmouth Alliance is proud to partner with MDC on this exciting angler recognition program,” said MSA President Augustus Knickmeyer. “We expect many river anglers, both veterans and newcomers to the sport, to actively participate in the Smallmouth Slam.”

Smallmouth bass of any size caught after March 1, 2022, qualify for a Smallmouth Slam, but any smallmouth bass under 15 inches must be released.

Anglers can complete a Smallmouth Slam entry form each time they catch a smallmouth bass. They may also submit a picture of their fish if they wish, but it is not required.

Once participants accomplish one of the three Smallmouth Slam levels, MDC will verify their submissions and mail them their award. Additionally, anglers can have their successes listed on the MDC website.

For more information on the Smallmouth Slam, visit

The Smallmouth Slam honors anglers who catch a smallmouth bass in at least six of these 12 MDC special management areas:

  • Big Piney River (From Slabtown Access to the Gasconade River)
  • Big River (From the Council Bluff Lake Dam to the Meramec River)
  • Eleven Point River (From Thomasville Access to the Arkansas line)
  • Elk River (Entire length of Elk River in Missouri)
  • Gasconade River (From Highway Y bridge in Pulaski County to Highway D bridge in Phelps County)
  • Jacks Fork River (From Highway 17 bridge to the Current River)
  • James River (From Hooten Town bridge to Highway 413/Highway 265 bridge at Galena)
  • Joachim Creek (From Highway V bridge to Highway A bridge in Jefferson County)
  • Meramec River (From Highway 8 bridge to the railroad crossing at Bird’s Nest Access)
  • Mineral Fork (From Highway F bridge in Washington County to the Big River)
  • Osage Fork of the Gasconade River (From Skyline Drive bridge near Orla in Laclede County to the Gasconade River)
  • Tenmile Creek (From Highway B bridge in Carter County to Cane Creek)

To learn more about Missouri’s smallmouth bass special management areas, go to

To learn more about MSA, visit its website at

Discover Red, White, and Blue in Nature

With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, we encourage you to look for some red, white, and blue in nature through a holiday hike, birdwatching, backyard fun, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Here are some suggestions to get started finding red, white, and blue in nature:

  • Red royal catchfly flowers
  • Red male summer tanagers
  • White beard-tongues or foxgloves
  • White great egrets
  • Blue false indigos
  • Male indigo buntings

Want more information on these and other Missouri plants and animals, including where to find them? Use our handy and helpful MDC online Field Guide at

Need suggestions on things to do for outdoor adventures? Find things to do with MDC online at Offerings include cycling on trails, backyard nature fun, birdwatching, fishing, camping, floating, outdoor cooking, hiking, hunting, nature photography, wildlife watching, and more.

Need to find places to go for outdoor adventures? Visit MDC online at

Agent Advice
Statistics Elements

Ben Pursley
Franklin County
Conservation Agent


If big fish are what you’re after, then catching catfish on the Missouri River is for you. July is a great time to set trot lines on the “Big Muddy” for all three species of catfish. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish can all be caught this time of year in a variety of methods, including pole and line, bank line, throw line, jug line, and the popular trot line. If you’re targeting channel and blue cats, try cut bait. If it’s flatheads you seek, try live bluegill. Remember, label your lines with your name and address or conservation number and always wear your life jacket. For more information, visit A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations at

We Are Conservation
Woman in a graden
Right to Use

Lydia Minahan

Lydia Minahan described her childhood as nature-based, and the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center served a central role. “Anita B. Gorman became one of my ‘happy places’ in Kansas City because it’s this beautiful pocket of nature and learning in the middle of the city.” Minahan remembers exploring the grounds, attending summer camp, and learning survival skills there. She became a volunteer during her high school years.

“Hands in Dirt KC”

While pursuing her master’s degree, Minahan worked on an advocacy project to discover and highlight different nature experiences available to Kansas City families. The project eventually evolved into a Facebook page called “Hands in Dirt KC.” It highlights free or low-cost activities or adventures, such as visiting the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center and grounds, amongst others, that have great walking trails and even hiking access. Minahan is working on her doctorate, hoping to open her own nature-based early childhood facility in Kansas City.

In her own words

“I’m excited to share everything that I have learned with the community in Kansas City and give local kids more access to nature and conservation learning in the future.”

What Is It?

Black-Necked Stilt

The black-necked stilt brings a taste of the tropics to the Show-Me State. Not only are their long, salmon-pink legs reminiscent of the flamingos, but they are also second in length only to the flamingos. Black-necked stilts arrive in March and stay through October. They are easy to spot due to their stature and strikingly contrasted black and white plumage. Their call is a loud, brisk kek, kek, kek.




This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation Manager - Laura Scheuler