In Brief

By MDC | March 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: March 2023

Paddlefish Season Opens March 15

Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, and Table Rock Lake are snagging hotspots

Paddlefish — named for their large, paddle-shaped snouts — are an ancient species that can grow to 7 feet and weigh more than 100 pounds.

The paddlefish snagging season for these and most other waters in the state runs March 15 through April 30. The season for the Mississippi River is March 15 through May 15, with a fall season Sept. 15 through Dec. 15.

A fishing permit is required, unless exempt. The daily limit is two paddlefish, and the possession limit is four. No person shall continue to snag after taking a daily limit of two paddlefish on these waters.

Learn more about paddlefish, snagging regulations, minimum lengths, snagging reports, and more at

MDC Reports Final Deer Harvest

Missouri’s 2022–2023 deer hunting season ended Jan. 15 with a preliminary total deer harvest for the season of 299,721. Of the deer harvested, 140,736 were antlered bucks, 27,029 were button bucks, and 131,956 were does.

Top harvest counties for the overall deer season were Franklin with 6,471 deer harvested, Callaway with 5,438, and Jefferson with 4,966.

Hunters harvested 295,143 deer during the 2021–2022 deer hunting season with 143,815 being antlered bucks, 26,750 being button bucks, and 124,578 being does.

Trout Anglers

Missouri has a wealth of trout waters, including four trout parks and red-, white-, and blue-ribbon areas that support naturally reproducing trout. For more information on trout fishing in Missouri, visit MDC online at Get the Trout Fishing in Missouri booklet online at or free at many MDC locations (call ahead for availability).

2023 Fishing Prospects

MDC’s new Fishing Prospects report contains summaries of fish populations at many of our managed areas and predictions of “best bet” locations for catching certain fish species. Find it on the free MO Fishing app at or online at A print version is available free at many MDC locations (call ahead for availability) or online at

MoNASP State Tournament

Get ready for another exciting year of archery competition and fun at the 2023 Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) State Archery Tournament March 15–18 at the Branson Convention Center. Get more information and tournament details at

New Hunting, Fishing Booklets Available

Missouri hunters, trappers, anglers, and others can get free copies of MDC’s updated booklets on spring turkey hunting, hunting and trapping, and fishing, starting in early March. The handy booklets have information on related permits, seasons, species, regulations, limits, conservation areas, sunrise and sunset tables, and more.

The new booklets on 2023 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information, Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations, and Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations are available for free at many MDC locations and where permits are sold. Call ahead for availability. You can also view, download, or order them online at

Agent Advice
Statistics Elements

Corporal Brian Bartlett
Clay County
Conservation Agent


If springtime weather has you reaching for your fishing pole, walleye is a great game fish to pursue. Before you head to the water, be sure you know your fishing hole’s regulations. For example, on unimpounded waters from Feb. 20 through April 14, walleye can only be taken and possessed between a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset. Walleye less than 15 inches must be released unharmed back into the water immediately regardless of where you are fishing. Finally, anglers cannot clean walleye while on the water or bank.

For more information on walleye fishing, checkout A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations online at

We are Conservation

Spotlight on people and partners

Connie Hanner

Connie Hanner, a resident of a mobile home community in Cape Girardeau, was searching for ways to reduce the mowing area in her small yard and to improve drainage. She knew that native plant landscaping could help but struggled to find people with experience to guide her.

Connie Hanner

Pollinator’s paradise

Hanner turned to the Horticulture Department at Southeast Missouri State University, which put her in touch with Karel Edgar. Edgar visited Hanner at her home and developed a multi-phase plan to turn the yard into a pollinator’s paradise.

In her own words

“We jumped in with both feet,” Hanner said. “The first bed turned into the second bed, then water features were added, and so on. Now, I have a haven for the bees, birds, butterflies, and bugs.”

Neighbors have taken notice.

“People ask me about planting natives,” Hanner said. “They may not want to do their whole yard, just a container. But I say, ‘Do something. Every butterfly helps.’”

What is it?

Wood Frog

Wood frogs are medium-sized and can be pink tan, light brown, red brown, or dark brown. They are secretive and solitary, making them difficult to observe after their short breeding season, between early February and late March. During warm and moist weather conditions, wood frogs call during the day.  Spring peepers chorus and breed along with wood frogs, but peepers’ loud, high-pitched calls easily overpower the muted calls of the wood frogs. Oak-hickory forest, with sugar maple, is their preferred habitat.


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 - Laura Scheuler