MDC seeks input on smallmouth, rock bass proposals

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – Smallmouth and rock bass are very popular with anglers in Missouri's clear, cool, Ozark streams. However, research by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that both species grow slowly and many do not reach a quality size before dying from natural causes or being caught by anglers.

As a result of research and angler feedback, MDC is proposing changes to fishing regulations for these two popular game fish that will ensure the quality of smallmouth and rock bass populations and simplify regulations for smallmouth in MDC Special Management Areas.

In the Kansas City metro area, MDC will hold an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs. Attendees at the open house will have a chance to talk with MDC staff about smallmouth bass and rock bass, and provide comment on potential regulation changes.

For rock bass (also called goggle eye), MDC research shows a majority of anglers favor a single, statewide minimum length limit (currently there is none outside of special management areas). MDC is proposing setting this minimum length limit at seven inches. Anglers in south-central Missouri should note the rock bass minimum length limit will remain eight inches at MDC's Rock Bass Management areas on the Big Piney and Eleven Point rivers.

For smallmouth bass, the proposed changes would maintain the current statewide length limit of 12 inches with a daily limit of six fish. However, all of Missouri's Special Smallmouth Management areas would be changed to a 15-inch minimum length limit with a daily limit of one smallmouth bass. Proposed regulations would also create a new Special Management Area on the Current River and expand the Special Management Areas on the Big Piney, Big River, Jacks Fork and Meramec Rivers.

MDC is holding eight open houses for public information and comment at various locations around the state. For more information about the proposed changes and open houses, visit MDC is also accepting public comments online at that web link or through U.S. mail to: Missouri Department of Conservation, Attn: Policy Coordination, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102.