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Fishing Seasons

This is not a legal document. Regulations are subject to revision during the current year. Refer to the wildlife code. For more information on seasons, click here.

 Bass Temperate

The white bass is silvery, spiny-rayed elongated fish with several dark horizontal streaks along the sides. Back is blue-gray with silvery reflections.

The striped bass has been successfully stocked into numerous reservoirs throughout the United States. A silvery, elongated fish with prominent dark, horizontal stripes along the sides.

The hybrid striped bass is silvery, spiny-rayed fish with several dark, horizontal streaks along the sides. Streaks often discontinuous. A sharp spine is present on the gill cover.

Nov. 15, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016 Daily limit: 15

Possession limit: 30

Size limit: You may keep up to four fish
longer than 18″ per day.

Note: Daily/possession limits are a combination
of white, yellow and striped bass and their hybrids.

 Learn More

 

 Black Bass

Largemouth bass are found in lowland lakes, artificial impoundments of all sizes, permanent pools of streams, and quiet backwaters of large rivers. Thrives in warm, moderately clear waters with little or no current.

Smallmouth bass are found predominantly in cool, clear Ozark streams and large reservoirs in the Ozarks. Found sparingly in the upper Mississippi River and its principal prairie tributaries that have clear water and permanent flow.

Spotted bass inhabits permanent-flowing waters that are warmer and slightly more turbid than those where the smallmouth bass occurs. Begin to recognize it by noting the form of its stripe and the length of its jaw.

 Non-Ozark Streams
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 6

Possession limit: 12

Size limit: minimum 12″

Note: Daily/possession limits are a combination
of largemouth, smallmouth & spotted bass.

 From Impoundments
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 6

Possession limit: 12

Size limit: none

Note: Daily/possession limits are a combination
of largemouth, smallmouth & spotted bass.

These regulations apply to impounded lakes,
streams & rivers. Check area regulations.

 Ozark Streams
May 23, 2015 – Feb. 29, 2016 Daily limit: 6

Possession limit: 12

Size limit: minimum 12″

 Learn More

 

 Catfish

The flathead catfish has smooth, scaleless skin and barbels (“whiskers”) around the mouth. This species has a broad, flattened head with small eyes on top, and the lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw.

Like all Missouri catfish, the channel catfish has smooth, scaleless skin and barbels (“whiskers”) around the mouth. The channel catfish, like the blue catfish, has a deeply forked tail, but can be distinguished by the dark spots on its sides and an anal fin with a rounded edge.

Blue catfish have smooth, scaleless skin and barbels (“whiskers”) around the mouth like all catfish. Their deeply forked tail is like the channel catfish, but can be distinguished by the straight-edged anal fin.

 Flathead
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 5

Possession limit: 10

Size limit: minimum none

 Channel
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 10

Possession limit: 20

Size limit: none

 Blue
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 5

Possession limit: 10

Size limit: none

 Learn More

 

 Crappie

The black crappie is a popular panfish. It is deep bodied and slab sided. The sides are silver with an irregular pattern of dark speckles. The upper jaw is long, reaching past the middle of the eye.

White crappie, a popular panfish, is deep bodied and strongly compressed laterally (slab-sided). The sides are silver with 5-10 often faint vertical bars. The upper jaw is long, reaching past the middle of eye.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 30

Possession limit: 60

Size limit: None

 Learn More

 

 Frog

The American bullfrog is Missouri’s largest frog. This common species is easy to hear on warm nights when the males call a deep, sonorous “jug-a-rum, jug-a-rum” that can be heard from half a mile away.

The green frog looks similar to a bullfrog but is smaller and has a ridge of skin along the sides of the back that is not found on bullfrogs. It is a game animal in Missouri.

June 30, 2015 – Oct. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 8 (combined total of both species)

Possession limit: 16

Size limit: None

 Learn More

 

 Goggle-eye & Warmouth

The goggle-eye is thicker-bodied than most other sunfish with large mouth and very large eyes. It has a spiny dorsal fin with 12 spines broadly connected to soft dorsal fin. The anal fin has 6 spines.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 15

Possession limit: 30

Size limit: None

 Learn More

 

 Muskellunge

The largest of the pikes, this species is also known as “muskie” or “musky.” They are long and slender, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. They differ from other members of the pike family in having both the gill cover and cheek scaled only on their upper halves, and in having a row of 6 to 9 pores along each side of lower jaw.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 1 muskellunge or 1 northern pike

Possession limit: 2

Size limit: 36″

 Learn More

 

 Mussels & Clams

Freshwater mussels and snails are members of the phylum Mollusca, invertebrate animals with a soft body that is enclosed wholly or in part in a mantel and a shell.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 5, combined total of all species, which
may be taken and possessed in any number. The limit
applies to live or dead animals.Possession limit: 10
 Learn More

 

 Northern Pike

Like other pikes, this fish has a duckbill-shaped snout, large mouth with many sharp teeth and a single dorsal fin, which is similar in shape and size to the anal fin, and both are positioned far back, near the forked tail fin.

Jan. 2, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 1 muskellunge or 1 northern pike

Possession limit: 2

Size limit: none

 Learn More

 

 Paddlefish

The paddlefish is sharklike, with a greatly elongated paddlelike snout. The snout in small individuals is more 1/3 of the fish’s total length. Their mouth is large, lacks teeth (in adults) and is far back beneath the head. The eyes are small, just above the front edge of the mouth and directed down and forward instead of to the side.

March 15, 2016 – April 30, 2016 Daily limit: 2

Possession limit: 4

Size limit: 24″ min. in most areas; 34″ min.
on Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake,
Truman Lake and their tributaries.

 Learn More

 

 Pickerel

The chain pickerel has an elongated body, snout shaped like a duck’s bill, large mouth with many sharp teeth. Back and sides olive or yellowish brown with a chainlike pattern of dark lines. The dorsal, or back fin, is placed far back on the body.

The grass pickerel is similar to the chain pickerel but the snout is shorter than the chain pickerel’s, and the distance from tip of snout to center of eye is equal to or less than the distance from the center of the eye to the rear margin of the gill cover.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 6

Possession limit: 12

Size limit: None

 Learn More

 

 Shovelnose Sturgeon

The shovel nose sturgeon’s upper tail fin lobe has a long, slender filament, which may break off in adults. Fringed barbels are present, and the lip has 4 lobes. It is similar to pallid sturgeon with some exceptions.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 10

Possession limit: 20

Size limit: 30″ max

 Learn More

 

 Trout

The brown trout is a sleek, streamlined fish with soft-rayed fins and small scales. The body and dorsal fin are round with black spots. The body is small with red or orange spots surrounded by a lighter halo. The tail fin is usually not forked and usually without spots. Anal fin usually has 9 rays.

Rainbow trout have small scales and a small, fleshy adipose fin on the back behind the dorsal fin. Upper parts are dark olive, thickly speckled with black spots; the belly is silvery white. There is a pink or reddish stripe on the side. The tail fin is forked; the anal fin usually has 10 or 11 rays.

 Trout Parks
March 1, 2015 – Oct. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 4

Possession limit: 8

Size limit: minimum 15″ for brown,
no limit for rainbow

Note: the season is open in the following parks:
Maramec, Bennett Spring, Montauk, Roaring River

 Catch & Release
Nov. 13, 2015 – Feb. 8, 2016 You may not keep trout during this season.

Note: the season is open in the following parks:
Maramec, Bennet Spring, Montauk, Roaring River

 Trout Areas
Jan. 31, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 4

Possession limit: 8

Size limit: none of rainbow, 15″ on brown trout
in streams. Limits apply on all waters except
areas with special regulations.

 Learn More

 

 Turtle

The softshell species has small bumps or spines on the front of the upper shell and a small ridge on each side of the snout. Shell color varies with age and sex.

The snapping turtle is a large aquatic turtle with a big pointed head, long thick tail, and small plastron (lower shell). Upper shell may be tan, brown or nearly black but is often covered with mud or algae.

 Soft-shelled 
July 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 5

Possession limit: 10

Note: Alligator snapping turtles are an endangered
species and it is illegal to hunt them. Learn to
identify them.

 Common Snapping
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 5

Possession limit: 10

Note: Alligator snapping turtles are an endangered
species and it is illegal to hunt them. Learn to
identify them.

 Learn More

 

 Walleye & Sauger

Walleye is a slender, spiny-rayed fish with 2 separate dorsal fins. The mouth is large, with the upper jaw extending about to hind edge of eye.  The back and sides are yellowish or olive-brown with darker mottlings and blotches and a white belly.

The sauger can be distinguished from the walleye by: the distinct dark blotches on sides; the dark spots on the first dorsal fin; the first dorsal fin lacks dark blotch near the base of the last few dorsal spines; the scales are present on cheek. Sauger are usually smaller than walleye.

Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 4

Possession limit: 8

Size limit: min. 15″

 Learn More

 

 Nongame Fish

 

Check specific area regulations for more information.

 Bowfishing – Impounded Waters
April 1, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2015

Feb. 1, 2016 – March 31, 2016

Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
 Gig/Atlatl – Streams & Impounded Waters
Sep. 15, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
 Snagging/Grabbing – Streams & Impounded Waters
March 15, 2015 – May 15, 2015

Sep. 15, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2016

Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
 Snaring – Streams & Impounded Waters
March 15, 2015 – May 15, 2015

Sep. 15, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2016

Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Crossbow – Impounded Waters & Temporary Overflow
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Gig/Atlatl –  Temporary Overflow
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Snagging/Grabbing –  Temporary Overflow
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Line Methods
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 50, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.Possession limit: 100
 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Bowfishing –  Streams
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Underwater Spear – Impounded Waters and Temporary Overflow
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Bowfishing – Mississippi, Missouri, St. Francis
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
  Bowfishing – Temporary Overflow
Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015 Daily limit: 20

Possession limit: 40, except on the Mississippi
River which has a daily/possession limit of 100.

 Includes: Bowfin, Buffalo, Bullhead, Carp, Carpsucker & Quillback, Freshwater Drum, Gar, Suckers and Sunfish
 Learn More
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