Missouri’s minnows come in a rainbow of colors, yet it’s hard to get a good look at them. They swim away so fast! But catch a few fish in a minnow trap, and you can look at them as long as you like.
Find a shady, quiet pool in a stream where you’ve seen schools of minnows. Gather a few handfuls of pebbles and drop them into the trap. These will keep it from floating away. Crumble up a cracker and drop some crumbs into the trap.
Place the trap in the water with the spout pointing downstream. You’ll probably have to tilt it up so air inside can bubble out. You may need to stack rocks around the trap to hold it in place. Leave it alone for a few hours or even overnight. When you check it, be sure to lift it out of the water with the spout pointing down (so the water stays inside). Did you catch anything?
After you’ve gotten a good look at the minnows inside, be sure to release them. Hold the spout just above the water’s surface and unscrew the cap. The water will drain out, taking the minnows with it.
To use your minnow trap — even if you’re going to release the minnows right after you look at them — you need a Missouri fishing permit. You also have to label your trap with your name and address. your trap with your name and address.
Angie Daly Morfeld