Courtesy Norm Steelman, MDC agent, Audrain County
March brings the beginning of spring and a new season to enjoy to outdoors. Fish start to bite better as the waters warm, turkeys start to gobble, and trees start to bud. With the new season coming, please remember March 1st is the annual date for small game and fishing permits to expire. Permits can be obtained online at www.mdc.mo.gov, the Hunt MO smartphone application, or at any local permit vendor.
marked the traditional opening day of trout season at the trout parks in southern Missouri. If you are going to any of Missouri’s four trout parks, please remember to obtain your 2020 fishing permit prior to fishing. At the trout parks, a daily trout fishing permit is also required. If you decide to fish outside of a park, you will need to have a trout permit to keep and possess trout.
March 15 was the traditional opening for snagging season in Missouri. Many will head to the big rivers and lakes in search of landing a large spoonbill. There are a few things to remember when going snagging. First, remember to renew your fishing license. They expire on the last day of February each year. The limit is two fish per day with a possession limit of four. The fish must be at least 24 inches in most areas, except on Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake, and their tributaries, the length limit is 34. A gaff is commonly used for taking paddlefish. To measure a paddlefish, you measure from the eye to the fork of the tail. To abide by the length limit, fish must be returned immediately to the water unharmed. The use of a gaff can be the take of a fish, due to damage caused to the fish. Paddlefish eggs are regulated as well due to the caviar trade. Extracted paddlefish eggs may not be possessed while on waters of the state or adjacent banks and may not be transported. Paddlefish eggs may not be bought, sold, or offered for sale. The discarding of carcasses can be considered littering if done in an unsightly fashion.
For those of you looking forward to turkey season, it is not too far away. Youth season will be held on the weekend of April 4-5. Regular turkey season will open on April 20 and end on May 10.
Coyote hunting season during daylight hours closed on March 31. It reopens under turkey regulations on the opening day of turkey season.
Bobcat and Otters need to be tagged or registered by April 10. Please call your local Conservation Agent or office to schedule a time to tag or register your bobcats and otters.
Landowner permits has had several changes in the last year.
Leasee landowners are no longer eligible to obtain landowner permits. Individuals need to either be the landowner or be an immediate household member of the landowner to be eligible for landowner permits. An immediate household member is an individual living in the same residence as the landowner.
Also, to obtain permits, a landowner registry has been developed to link individuals to properties claimed. The registry can be found at https://mdc-web.s3licensing.com/Customer/Search?mode=5.
Landowner permits will no longer be given unless land has been registered to the name requesting the permit.
If you have any wildlife related questions or information, please call me, Norman Steelman Conservation Agent at 573-473-8000. Ii you have information regarding a violation of the Missouri Wildlife Code. You may remain anonymous.