MDC INVITES THE PUBLIC TO COMMENTS ON POTENTIAL CHANGES TO CATFISH REGULATIONS IN MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI AND ST. FRENCH RIVERS | KMMO
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is seeking public input on potential regulatory changes for recreational and commercial catfish fishing in certain major rivers in the state.
People can learn about and comment on potential regulatory changes by visiting https://mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/public-commenting-opportunities/big-rivers-catfish-assessment.
The comment period will end on August 15, 2021.
The blue catfish and flathead catfish support important sport fisheries on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, as well as a commercial fishery on the Mississippi River and a small portion of the St. Francis River. Our studies have confirmed that current management approaches continue to support healthy and sustainable populations of blue catfish and flathead catfish in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and regulatory changes do not appear necessary to maintain these. populations or prevent overfishing. However, MDC is considering changes to management strategies and harvesting regulations to better meet the wishes of large river anglers and catfishers.
“These potential regulatory changes may help the MDC manage the catfish fishery on the great rivers of Missouri, but we need to understand the Missourian’s views on angling and catfish harvesting before we go. forward, ”said Joe McMullen, an MDC scientist involved in the management of catfish in the state. “After collecting public feedback, we can tailor our management strategies to meet the wishes of fishermen and implement harvest regulations that can improve sport and commercial fishing accordingly. Depending on public sentiment, we may also decide to keep our current management strategies and harvest regulations. “
Potential sport fishing regulations include:
Establish a minimum length limit of 18, 21, or 24 inches for blue catfish and flathead catfish on the Mississippi and / or Missouri rivers (currently there is no minimum length limit ).
Maintain the current daily limit of 5 blue catfish per day on the Missouri River, but establish that only one blue catfish over 30 inches in length can be kept under this limit.
Potential commercial fishing regulations include:
· Establish a minimum length limit of 18, 21 or 24 inches for blue catfish and flathead catfish on the Mississippi and St. Francis rivers (currently the minimum length limit is 15 inches).
PHOTO: The MDC is seeking public input on potential regulatory changes for recreational and commercial blue catfish and flathead catfish caught in the Missouri, Mississippi and St. Francis rivers. (Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation)