Note To Our Readers
The morning air was crisp. Heavy fog limited visibility, and even small sounds were amplified by the morning’s calm. This setting, and others just as unique, are experienced by Missouri’s 1.1 million anglers each year. Throughout our state, young and old alike can find world-class fishing adventures close-to-home.
Missouri’s quality fishing opportunities are not by accident. Missourians have established a conservation system of governance that has a solid and successful 75-year track record. Partnering with citizens, the Department allocates staffing and financial investments to ensure aquatic habitats and fish species are well managed. The enhanced quality of life and economic benefits have been huge.
From oxbow sloughs to the nation’s mightiest rivers, and from farm ponds and large reservoirs to tributary streams, Missouri’s diverse waterways support an incredible array of fish species. The Department works to manage and enhance these resources by providing thousands of technical contacts annually for lake and stream management to private landowners and communities. Similar to terrestrial species, fish and other aquatic animals often require specific habitat and water conditions to thrive.
The Department continues research and management activities that help ensure the future of our aquatic habitats and fisheries. Invasive species and disease threats are two real-world challenges that require a focused, proactive management approach. In addition to working in natural systems, hatcheries also serve as research locations, continue to rear select fish species to stock public waters, and aid in resource education.
Angler access to fishing locations remains a priority. The Department has increased public fishing access to rivers, streams and public lakes through the Community Assistance Program (CAP). Through this program, we partner with cities, counties, state and federal agencies, and businesses to cooperatively develop and maintain quality fisheries and appropriate facilities for anglers and boaters. Today, the Department has agreements with 120 CAP partners spread across Missouri. These locations add to fishing opportunities provided by the more than 900 Conservation Areas held in public trust by the Department.
Conservation success stories across the state highlight the continued importance of active citizen involvement. Conservation requires citizen understanding, support and action that leads to solid habitat and resource management. As we enjoy the seasons of 2012, I encourage you to head outdoors and enjoy our state’s great fishing opportunities. I look forward to hearing stories and seeing photographs of the many memories that you will make.
Robert L. Ziehmer, director
Our Mission: To protect and manage the fish, forest and wildlife resources of the state; to serve the public and facilitate their participation in resource management activities; and to provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about fish, forest and wildlife resources.