OUTDOORS: MDC proposes fishing regulations changes

BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

By BILL WEHRLEC-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

The Missouri Department of Conservation has proposed changes in fishing regulations for two north Missouri lakes – Mark Twain and Mozingo.

One of the changes will put a length limit on blue and flathead catfish taken from Mark Twain Lake in northeast Missouri. The second will allows anglers at Mozingo Lake in northwest Missouri to take home a larger limit of crappie, while imposing a size limit on some of the crappie kept.

Both changes are designed to improve the fish populations in each lake by increasing the number of bigger fish available to anglers.

At Mark Twain, anglers would be able to keep only blue and flathead catfish that are 26 inches or longer. There is a current daily limit of five blue cats and five flatheads with no length limit. The proposed regulation will not apply to channel catfish.

The proposed change at Mozingo, a very popular crappie fishery, will allow anglers to keep 30 crappie a day, but only 15 of these crappie could be over nine inches long. This would allow anglers to take home more fish, as the present daily limit is just 15 fish total. This same change was implemented in Smithville Lake in 2019 and has already boosted the number of larger crappie caught by anglers.

The MDC is urging new hunters needing hunter education certification in order to get the necessary permits to legally hunt to start early to get the necessary classwork (either on-line or in person) done in a timely fashion.

The certification course can be completed online by hunters age 16 and older for a paid fee to an online provider.

However, would-be hunters ages 11-15 years or those of any age seeking in-person instruction may take a free skills class in person after completing the knowledge portion of the class.

In-person classes are scheduled in the weeks ahead in northwest Missouri. For more information about completing hunter education certification, you may call the Chillicothe MDC office at 660-646-6122.

The early teal season is over now and many local hunters have indicated that it wasn’t very exciting most of the time.

However, the early Canada goose season opens today (Oct. 2) and will run through Oct. 10. Maybe area waterfowlers will have better luck finding big birds than they did with little ones.

Fall firearms turkey season opened yesterday (Oct. 1) and will run the entire month, giving Missouri hunters plenty of time to enjoy Missouri’s great outdoors and great fall weather while maybe bringing home a couple really tasty young turkeys for a super winter meal later on.

The season limit is two turkeys of either sex and you can take both on the same day.

It won’t be long until the “regular” duck season will open here in Missouri’s North Zone (Oct. 3)0, running through Dec. 28, preceded by a youth waterfowl season on Oct. 23-24.

Better get your blinds, decoys and other equipment in shape, and non-toxic shotshells bought; we’ll be duck hunting before very long. Goose season will follow, opening on Nov. 11.

With lots of hunting activity going on now and in the near future, get ready for some short nights and long days.

Good luck and be safe!

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday and LCL every Monday)