Help Improve Paddlefishing


We Need More and Better Information

MDC biologists have been studying these prehistoric fish since at least the 1960s, but we still have much to learn. Angler surveys and other research and monitoring efforts have helped us assess reservoir populations, but these data have not provided the information needed to implement the best possible management strategies. We need more and better information on where fishing and harvest occur throughout the state, the number of people who fish for paddlefish and the number and sizes of paddlefish caught and harvested. This information can help us further improve our stocking program, these popular fisheries and our paddlefish management efforts.

Help Inform Our Long-Term Study

Beginning in 2012, MDC is conducting a long-term project to obtain additional information on both paddlefish sport fishing (snagging) statewide and commercial harvest from the Mississippi River. One part of the project focuses on sport fishing (snagging) and is currently in its early phases. Biologists have also started working with commercial fishers in a pilot effort to collect biological information on the Mississippi River. These projects will continue over the next several years.

One thing we are considering to get better harvest data is a paddlefish permit for sport (snag) anglers and implementing a Telecheck system (like we use for deer and turkey). This would require a change in Missouri’s Wildlife Code.

The first step in changing a regulation is evaluating the science-based needs for the change and obtaining initial feedback from the public. If a regulation is proposed, it is presented to the Department’s Regulations Committee for consideration, including a thorough review of available data and public input. Once a proposal for a regulation change is approved by the Regulations Committee and with the Director’s approval, the proposed regulation change is presented to the Conservation Commission for their consideration. If approved by the Conservation Commission, the regulation change is then filed with the Secretary of State’s Office for public comment. After full consideration of public comments, the regulation may then become a part of the Wildlife Code.

Your Opinion Counts

Thank you for providing your comments and suggestions about the proposed paddlefish regulation changes. Your comments have been recorded and are included in the Public Input Summary for the Proposed Paddlefish Regulation Change below. Overall, snaggers were supportive and made several suggestions. We are continuing to consider various options to obtain the needed information to better manage this important species. Public opinions are important to us as we move forward in the future of paddlefish management.

Thank you to all who commented.

Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

Download this 58-page summary of public comments on the proposed paddlefish regulation changes.

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