1997 Wildlife Code Changes
Every year, the Conservation Department's Regulations Committee reviews all of the rules in the Wildlife Code of Missouri to determine whether the existing regulation of the state's fish, forest and wildlife resources continues to maintain sustainable populations, with the least amount of user regimentation and inconvenience. When needs are identified, rule changes are recommended to the Conservation Commission for approval to implement.
The rule changes that appear in the 1997 Wildlife Code and become effective March 1, 1997 are highlighted in this summary. Many of the changes in 1997 are editorial-adopted merely to clarify the intent of the rule. Hunters and anglers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with rule changes before venturing afield.
Several trout fishing rule changes are being established in 1997:
- The first is a special regulation at Lake Taneycomo: From the closed zone 760 feet below Table Rock Dam to the mouth of Fall Creek, only flies and artificial lures (specifically excluding synthetic eggs and soft plastic lures) may be used, and rainbow trout 12 inches to 20 inches in total length must be released unharmed immediately after being caught. The rule that brown trout less than 20 inches must be released unharmed immediately after being caught from Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries remains in effect. This special trout fishing regulation is intended to increase the number of larger trout in Lake Taneycomo by increasing the time between stocking and removal by anglers.
- The other trout fishing rule change is a reduction-from three to one-in the daily limit of rainbow trout and brown trout in the aggregate that may be taken in the following stream segments: Blue Spring Creek in Crawford County from Blue Spring to its confluence with Meramec River; Eleven Point River in Oregon County from its confluence with Greer Spring Branch to Turner Mill; Spring Creek in Phelps County from Relfe Spring to its confluence with Big Piney River; Mill Creek in Phelps County from Yelton Spring to its confluence with Little Piney Creek including Wilkins Spring and spring branch; and North Fork of White River in Ozark County from the upper outlet of Rainbow Spring to Blair Bridge. The length limit restriction that all trout less than 18 inches in total length must be released unharmed immediately after being caught in these areas remains unchanged.
- A no-creel limit for walleye and sauger will be in effect on the waters of Wappapello Lake and its tributaries, including the St. Francis