Free fishing permit waiver ends Wednesday

Following state and federal guidance, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is extending the temporary closures of its facilities and cancellations of its public events and programs through April 30. According to a press release, MDC will reassess the situation at that time.

To help protect people amid increasing COVID-19 concerns, MDC temporarily closed its regional offices, department headquarters in Jefferson City, staffed shooting ranges, nature centers, visitor centers, and educational centers around the state to the public in March. MDC also temporarily canceled its public events and programs, including hunter education classes, nature center programs and events, shooting range programs and events, and landowner workshops.

While MDC offices are closed to general visitation, offices will still be staffed. Visitors with official business will need to notify the office to gain access. Find MDC office contact information at mdc.mo.gov/regional-contacts?county=All.

Conservation areas, nature center trails, and boat accesses remain open to the public. Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons continue as scheduled. MDC managed hunts and mentored spring turkey hunts continue as planned.

For more information on MDC, to contact MDC offices, to buy permits, and more, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov.

Fishing permits and daily trout tags

Missouri residents and nonresidents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended may fish without needing a permit or daily trout tag through April 15. Seasons, methods, and limits still apply and will be enforced.

The James Foundation has closed Maramec Spring Park in St. James to the public for trout fishing and all other activities until further notice. Missouri’s three other public trout parks remain open for day use and fishing: Bennett Spring State Park in Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking and Roaring River State Park near Cassville.

Anglers will need to have a fishing permit, unless exempt, after April 15. Trout anglers will also need required fishing permits after April 15 but will not need a daily trout tag at the three open trout parks until further notice. Trout anglers fishing other areas around the state, including lakes and streams not at a trout park, will need both a fishing permit and trout permit after April 15.

MDC has suspended daily trout stocking at all trout parks along with most other fish stocking in waters around the state until further notice.

MDC has also canceled the kids’ fishing day events at the trout parks, including May 2 at Montauk State Park and Bennett Spring State Park, and May 16 at Roaring River State Park and Maramec Spring Park.

Spring turkey season continues

Spring turkey season in Missouri remains open and as scheduled statewide. For more on spring turkey hunting in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-forecasts-challenging-spring-turkey-hunting-season-0.