Wildlife Code Changes 2000

Rule changes that appear in the 2000 Wildlife Code, which is available now, become effective March 1, 2000, and are highlighted in this summary. Hunters, anglers and trappers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with rule changes before venturing afield.

Fishing

Several fishing rule changes are being established in 2000.

  • In the Osage River from 75 yards below Bagnell Dam to U.S. Highway 54, snagging, snaring and grabbing fish is not allowed from March 15 through April 30. This regulation is to protect sub-legal-size paddlefish and catfish from snagging.
  • On Lake of the Ozarks and its tributaries, Table Rock Lake and its tributaries and Truman Lake and its tributaries, all paddlefish less than thirty-four (34) inches in body length, measured from the eye to the fork of the tail, must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught. Persons who have taken a daily limit of two paddlefish on Lake of the Ozarks and its tributaries, the Osage River below U.S. Highway 54 and Truman Lake and its tributaries, may no longer continue to snag, snare or grab.
  • Shovelnose sturgeon over thirty (30) inches in body length (measured from tip of snout to fork of tail) may not be possessed or transported while fishing by commercial methods or while possessing commercial fishing gear and shall be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.
  • There is now a length limit on walleye and sauger on all bodies of water except the Mississippi River. All walleye and sauger less than fifteen (15) inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught. On certain waters all walleye and sauger less than eighteen (18) inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught - these include Bull Shoals Lake and its tributaries, Current River and its tributaries, Eleven Point River and its tributaries, Long Branch Lake, Norfork Lake and it tributaries and Table Rock Lake.
  • Language in the Wildlife Code clarifies the ownership status of fish that remain in privately-owned impoundments that have been inundated by flood waters from waters of the state as defined in the Wildlife Code. Fish not present in the pond prior to flooding must be removed and released unharmed.
  • Smallmouth bass special management areas where there is a fifteen (15) inch minimum length limit on smallmouth bass now include the Big River from the Highway 21 bridge (near Washington State Park) to its