MDC 2019 Notable News

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Looking back on 2019, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers some highlights on its notable news for the past year. Use the included links for additional information and images.

For more on MDC activities over the past year, read the MDC Annual Review in the January Missouri Conservationist to learn more about the Department’s revenue and expenses, how MDC takes care of nature, how MDC connects people with nature, and much more. Read it online at



Renewing Missouri hunting, fishing, and trapping permits is now easier and more convenient through MDC’s new online Permit Auto-Renewal service, started in 2019. More at

The Missouri legislature and Governor Parson increased penalties for poaching Missouri game animals and other native wildlife species. More at

MDC increased prices for some nonresident hunting and fishing permits starting in 2020. More at

MDC increased minimum acreage requirements from five to 20 acres for resident landowners and members of their immediate households to receive free permits for deer and turkey hunting, starting in 2020. MDC will also now offer discounted deer and turkey hunting permits for nonresident landowners with 75 acres or more in a contiguous tract. MDC is also implementing a landowner registry starting in 2020 for resident landowners to obtain free landowner deer and turkey permits and for nonresident landowners to obtain discounted landowner permits. More at

MDC is raising prices of annual trout permits and daily trout tags starting in 2020 and beginning a pilot trout program at Maramec Spring Park where the daily limit will be raised from four to five trout. More at

MDC extended the fall fish gigging season by 15 days beginning in 2019. More at

New regulations starting in 2020 will help slow the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). The new regulations change the requirements for transporting deer carcasses into Missouri and throughout the state and add carcass-disposal requirements for meat processors and taxidermists. More at

MDC implemented regulation changes for crappie fishing at Smithville Lake and Wappapello Lake that allow anglers to keep a daily limit of 30 crappie, but no more than 15 crappie harvested can be greater than 9 inches. More at and

The minimum length limit for spotted bass on Stockton Lake changed from 15 to 12 inches. More at

New regulations became effective requiring the use of nontoxic shot for all hunting with shotguns on 16 more conservation areas in addition to its existing 21 areas where nontoxic shot is required for all hunting with shotguns. More at

MDC increased fees at its five staffed shooting ranges for the first time in nearly 20 years. More at

MDC set deer and turkey-hunting dates for 2020. More at



In April, MDC and the Missouri Conservation Commission welcomed Barry Orscheln of Columbia as the newest member of the Conservation Commission. More at

In August, the Conservation Commission and MDC welcomed Dr. Steven Harrison of Rolla and Mark McHenry of Kansas City to the Conservation Commission. More at

The Conservation Commission and MDC gave the 2019 Master Conservationist award to Grant Woods of Reed Spring. More at

MDC and Missourians welcomed 11 new conservation agents upon their graduation from MDC’s 2019 Conservation Agent Training Academy. More at

The Missouri Conservation Commission and MDC honored Pioneer Forest’s longtime forest manager Clint Trammel posthumously by inducting him into the Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame. More at

The 2019 Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament held in Branson in March drew more than 3,200 student archers in grades 4-12 from 170 schools across the state. Congratulations to all participants, including top overall archers Madison Genge and Donald Holupka, both from Hillsboro High School. More at The National Archery in the Schools Championship held in July in Nashville, Tenn., drew more than 2,500 top archers from the United States and Canada, including Ivy Walton from Carl Junction High School who was the top female archer in the High School Girls Division and Overall Girls Division. Peyton Willeford from Hillsboro Junior High placed second in the Middle School Boys Division. Sydney King from Trinity Lutheran School in Jefferson City took second place in the Elementary School Girls Division. More at MDC congratulates Ivy Walton and Jeremiah Jones of Carl Junction High School on their outstanding scores at the last NASP tournament of the year. More at Carthage High School Archery Coach Caleb Patrick was named the National Archery in the Schools Program’s 2019 Coach of the Year. More at

MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program and those who provide it were honored with the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity. More at

MDC’ Forestry Division gave its Outstanding Partner of the Year Award to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. More at 

Lawrence County Conservation Agent Andy Barnes was named the Pope and Young Club's Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. More at

MDC Community Forester Ann Koenig received the International Society of Arboriculture’s True Professional of Arboriculture award for 2019. More at



MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center near Branson held a unique first birthday party in September for its resident two-headed western ratsnake on display. More at

2019 marked 75 years of modern deer hunting in Missouri. More at

Brenden Marsh of Oak Grove shot a white-tailed doe with antlers in Lafayette County. More at

MDC worked with the U.S. Forest Service, regional bird conservation group Joint Ventures, Missouri River Bird Observatory, and other land-management agencies and organizations to develop the Missouri Bird Conservation Plan to help reverse dwindling bird populations by focusing statewide conservation efforts across agencies and organizations toward shared goals. More at

MDC will offer a limited elk-hunting season – possibly as soon as 2020. More at



Last year marked the 50th anniversary of MDC’s Urban Fishing Program in the St. Louis area. More at

MDC began offering grants to assist high school fishing clubs. More at

Paul Crews of Neosho became the first record-breaking angler in Missouri in 2019 when he hooked a brown trout on Lake Taneycomo using a rod and reel. More at

Brian Rehmeier of Augusta became a record-breaking angler in Missouri when he snagged a record gizzard shad on Bigelow Creek in St. Charles County. More at

Isaac Bohm of Huntsville caught the first state-record yellow perch taken by alternative methods at a private pond in Randolph County. More at

Joshua Lee of Bernie shot a record-breaking black buffalo while bowfishing at Duck Creek Conservation Area. More at

Josh Cole of Reeds Spring became a state record holder after catching a record sunfish at Table Rock Lake. More at

Cesar Rodriguez of Carthage became a state record-holder for hybrid striped bass. More at

Cody Sparkman of Perryville got the state record for black bullhead catfish. More at

Mitchell Dering of Wappapello became a new state-record-holder for spotted gar. More at

Bill Babler of Blue Eye became a new state-record holder for brown trout after catching a monster at Lake Taneycomo. More at

Jacob Morgan of Rogersville got a state-record title after shooting a gizzard shad on the Bull Creek arm of Lake Taneycomo. More at

Bryant Rackers of Bonnots Mill became a record record-holder for catching four state-record fish. More at



MDC celebrated Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday throughout 2019 with festivities and Smokey appearances at fairs and other events.

MDC awarded nearly $439,000 to numerous Missouri communities through its Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance grant program. More at

MDC’s Fuels for Schools program funded new heating systems at two Texas County schools. More at



MDC opened the new Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin in September with the support of the Wildcat Glades Friends Group and the City of Joplin. More at

MDC and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation gave special awards to several partner organizations and others, including the Edward K. Love Conservation Foundation,

AmeriCorps St. Louis, Timmons Group, Missouri’s chambers of commerce, and former MDC Commissioner Howard Wood. More at

MDC and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety partnered in 2019 to pilot a new grant opportunity for volunteer fire departments to cover workers compensation and liability coverage for active fire-department members. More at

MDC and community partners gave nearly 400 free trees to residents of Jefferson City and Eldon impacted by tornado damage last spring. More at

MDC opened a new target-shooting range at the Perry Memorial Conservation Area in Johnson County. More at



Spring and summer flooding throughout much of the state damaged and temporarily closed some conservation areas and accesses. MDC flood-recovery work continues. MDC also worked with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on asking Missourians to help identify and recover orphaned storage containers dislodged by flooding. More at

Missouri’s Operation Game Thief offered a $20,000 reward in late 2019 for information leading to the conviction of any poachers who have killed six Missouri elk over the past several years. The most recent case was a female adult elk shot and left it for dead in November. More at

Missouri took another step forward in the fight to eliminate invasive feral hogs when the U.S. Forest Service prohibited the hunting of feral hogs in the Mark Twain National Forest. More at

An angler caught the first confirmed invasive northern snakehead in Missouri in April from a ditch in Dunklin County. More at

MDC reported new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri. The results came from tissue samples collected from white-tailed deer and submitted for disease testing during the 2019 deer season. More at



Learn more about MDC news over the past year and into the new year from the MDC Online Newsroom at