On Aug. 4, the Missouri Department of Conservation Regulations Committee voted to approve changes to the Smallmouth Bass and Rock Bass regulations. After looking at the biological and social data (nine public meetings) the following changes were approved:
Rock bass (goggle-eye) regulations
• Maintain Rock Bass Special Management Areas except the Osage Fork of the Gasconade River.
• Propose a Statewide Rock Bass minimum length limit of 7 inches.
Smallmouth bass regulations
• Maintain the existing minimum length limit of 12 inches and daily limit of six fish on streams (other than Smallmouth Bass Special Management Areas).
• Propose to consolidate all Stream Black Bass Special Management Area regulations for Smallmouth Bass to:
15-inch minimum length limit
One (1) fish per day creel limit
Areas to be known as Smallmouth Bass Special Management Areas
Proposed expanded special management areas
• Expand the boundaries of the Jacks Fork River, Big Piney River, Meramec River and Big River Special Management Areas.
The Regulations Committee will send the approved regulation changes to the Director. If approved by the Director, then the Conservation Commission will have the opportunity to vote at the Conservation Commission meeting on Aug. 26. If approved by the Conservation Commission, these regulation changes will go into effect on March 1, 2017.