The Missouri Department of Conservation is asking that anglers help control the population of crappie at area lakes.
In several local lakes, including Smithville Lake and the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area lakes of southeastern Jackson County, the crappie spawn is underway, making it easier to catch them near the shore.
Crappie reproduce in large numbers such that smaller lakes can become overpopulated. In order to control the crappie population, and enable anglers to catch larger fish in future seasons, the Department of Conservation is currently allowing anglers to harvest up to 30 fish per day at several local lakes. Some lake-specific creel and length limits are posted at each lake.
The Department of Conservation provides maps showing various fishing lakes at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZxU. The Department also provides more detailed fishing information at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZJZ where you can find the following:
• The ability to purchase permits online
• Help finding nearby lakes, rivers, and streams for fishing
• Information indicating which bodies of water have boat ramps, parking lots, and restrooms
• An updated “fish attractor” guide for several bodies of water
• A list of statewide fishing seasons and regulations
• Annual predictions regarding fishing in certain bodies of water
• A guide to help you identify the fish you catch
The Department of Conservation urges anglers to practice all safety measures which are recommended by health officials as precautions against the COVID-19 virus. This includes maintaining physical distancing at fishing sites, in parking lots, and on hiking trails.
– Examiner staff
Poplar Bluff angler breaks
own record, sets world
record for spotted sucker
Tyler Goodale of Poplar Bluff, Mo., caught a 5-pound, 4-ounce spotted sucker fish that not only breaks the previous state record – a 3-pound, 10-ounce fish caught in 2014 also by Goodale – but also qualifies for the world record.
“Goodale’s latest catch beats the existing world record by nearly 2 pounds,” said MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson in a news release. “The previous world record was a 3-pound, 5-ounce sucker caught back in 2008 in Tennessee. Missouri has had a number of world-record fish over the years. Currently, the state holds at least five world records.”
Goodale was fishing at Duck Creek Conservation Area April 1 when he caught the fish using the pole-and-line method.
“I’ve fished for spotted sucker at Duck Creek before and have already broken a state and world record,” Goodale said. “But I didn’t submit that entry because I knew I could catch a bigger fish! This was the catch I was waiting for so I’ll submit this one for the world record.”
MDC staff verified the spotted sucker’s weight using a certified scale at MDC’s Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau. This is the fifth state-record fish of 2020.
Goodale is familiar with spotted sucker and has spent time researching them with MDC as a volunteer.
“I’ve put a lot of homework into this species and I’ve put in a lot of time,” he said. “They always spawn in April and always spawn in the west side of the pool. They’re a temperamental fish and not that easy to catch. You really need to know what to look for. You only have about a five- to 10-second window once you present them with bait.”
Goodale said his latest record will be used for science.
“I plan on getting a fiberglass replica, but the fish itself is currently in my freezer and will be used for research,” he said. “I’ve got a buddy in MDC’s Fisheries division and we’re going to take a look at the fish and try to age it.”
– Wes Johnson, Springfield News-Leader
Bow fisherman breaks
state gizzard shad record
A bow fisherman from Fredericktown broke the Missouri record for gizzard shad by shooting a 3-pound, 9-ounce fish in a private pond in Madison County.
The previous record was a 2-pound, 13-ounce fish shot in 2019 on Bull Creek.
“It was a surprise to get a state record that day because I wasn’t targeting shad at all,” Joseph Duncan. “We were actually doing some grass carp control that day, but I’m pretty excited about it. It was only a matter of time before one of us shot a shad. We saw some pretty big ones in there!”
The shad was weighed on a certified scale in Madison County. It’s the sixth state-record fish recorded for 2020.
“I’ve caught other record fish before, but this is the first time I’ve actually gotten one in the books,” Duncan said in an MDC news release. “It’s really bragging rights and not a fish you mount – especially after it’s been shot! But now I’ve got a game going with my friends to shoot the world record gizzard shad. I’m betting it’s in that pond.”
The gizzard shad travels in large, constantly moving schools near the water’s surface and frequently leaps clear of the water or skips along the surface on its side, earning it the common name "skipjack." The fish is often used as bait, especially for catfish.
– Wes Johnson, Springfield News-Leader
Applications being taken
for first state elk hunt
The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking applications for the state’s first elk-hunting season in modern history this fall.
MDC will issue five permits for hunting bull elk for the 2020 season this fall. Four general permits will be for the public and one permit will be reserved for qualifying area landowners.
To apply for an elk permit, applicants must be Missouri residents at least 11 years of age by the first day of the hunt. Those selected to receive a permit must have their hunter education certification or be exempt by age (born before Jan. 1, 1967) before they may purchase the permit.
Apply for the random elk permit drawing May 1-31 online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, through MDC's free MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor, or by calling 1-800-392-4115.
Applicants can check to see if they have been selected for an elk-hunting permit online starting July 1 at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits after logging into “Manage Your Account” and selecting “View My Special Hunt History.”
For more information on elk hunting in Missouri, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/elk.
– Examiner staff