1998 Wildlife Code Changes

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Published on: Jan. 2, 1998

Last revision: Oct. 28, 2010

The rule changes that will appear in the 1998 Wildlife Code and become effective March 1, 1998 are highlighted in this summary. Hunters, anglers and trappers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with rule changes before venturing afield.


Several fishing rule changes are being established in 1998.

  • The first creates a seasonal no-fishing zone on the Osage River immediately below Bagnell Dam and a year-round no-fishing zone on the Osage River and Lake of the Ozarks immediately below Truman Dam. There is concern that anglers are over-harvesting large breeder catfish in these areas. Also, the daily limit on channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish in the Osage River and Lake of the Ozarks in the no-boating zone below Truman Dam is reduced to further restrict the harvest of large catfish in this area.
  • Another rule change prohibits the use of natural and soft plastic baits in the Current River Trout Special Management Area that extends from Montauk State Park to Cedar Grove. By limiting fishing to artificial lures, many more trout under the length-limit will survive after hooking and release. Also, the definition of trout lures has been changed, and they are authorized for use except where specifically prohibited.
    • A fly is a lure constructed on a single-point hook, of feathers, tinsel, chenille, yarn, fur, hair, silk, rayon or nylon thread or floss, with or without a spinner.
    • An artificial lure is a manufactured lure other than a fly or soft plastic bait (unscented).
    • A soft plastic bait (unscented) is synthetic eggs, synthetic worms, synthetic grubs and soft plastic lures.
    • Natural and scented baits are natural fish food such as bait fish, crayfish, frogs permitted as bait, grubs, insects, larvae, worms, salmon eggs, cheese, corn and other food substances not containing any ingredient to stupefy, injure or kill fish. Does not include flies or artificial lures. Includes dough bait, putty or paste-type bait, any substance designed to attract fish by taste or smell and any fly, lure or bait containing or used with such substances.
  • There are new length limits on black bass at Bull Shoals Lake and Norfork Lake and a reduced length limit on spotted bass at Lake of the Ozarks. All largemouth bass and smallmouth bass less than fifteen inches (15") and all spotted (Kentucky) bass less than twelve inches (12") in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught from Bull Shoals Lake, Lake of the Ozarks or Norfork Lake.
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