Conservation Commission gives initial approval on MDC changes to smallmouth and rock bass regulations

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – At its Aug. 26 meeting in Columbia, the Missouri Conservation Commission gave initial approval of proposed regulation changes by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) related to smallmouth bass and rock bass, also called goggle-eye.  

The proposed regulation changes create a standard 15-inch minimum length limit for smallmouth bass and a daily limit of one for all Smallmouth Bass Special Management areas. They also expand these areas on the Big Piney, Jacks Fork, Big, and Meramec rivers.

The existing minimum length limit for smallmouth bass of 12 inches and daily limit of six fish remain for Missouri streams other than those of Smallmouth Bass Special Management areas.

The proposed regulation changes also set a statewide length limit of seven inches for rock bass (also called goggle-eye, warmouth, Ozark bass, and shadow bass) and remove the Osage Fork of the Gasconade River from the Rock Bass Special Management areas.

The proposed regulation changes are based on extensive scientific research related to bass populations and harvest and consideration of public input received during nine public meetings held by the Department.

The next step in the process for these proposed regulation changes is a 30-day public comment period beginning in October after publication in the Missouri Register. Anyone may file a statement in support of or in opposition to these proposed regulation changes during this time with the Regulations Committee Chairman, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or through the Department’s website at

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