At its Dec. 16 meeting in Jefferson City, the Missouri Conservation Commission voiced final approval for regulation changes recommended by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) related to smallmouth bass and rock bass. The regulation changes become effective on March 30, 2017.
The regulation changes create a standard 15-inch minimum length limit for smallmouth bass and a daily limit of one for all Smallmouth Bass Special Management areas. They also expand these areas on the Big Piney, Jacks Fork, Big, and Meramec rivers.
The existing minimum length limit for smallmouth bass of 12 inches and daily limit of six fish remain for Missouri streams other than those of Smallmouth Bass Special Management areas.
The regulation changes also set a statewide length limit of seven inches for rock bass (also called goggle-eye, warmouth, Ozark bass, and shadow bass) and remove the Osage Fork of the Gasconade River from the Rock Bass Special Management areas.
The regulation changes are based on extensive scientific research related to bass populations and harvest with consideration of public input received, including from nine public meetings held by the Department.