The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has announced that it does not recommend changes to regulations for the minimum length and daily limits for blue and flathead catfish caught in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
Officials said the decision comes after MDC research and results of public input with more than 400 public comments show “strong support” for keeping the regulations in place.
The movement sought public input last summer on potential changes to regulations for the recreational fishing of these fish. One possible change would have set a minimum length of 18, 21 or 24 inches for the blue, flat-headed catfish on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Currently there is no minimum length.
A second potential regulation change would have kept the current daily limit of recreational fishing of five blue catfish per day on the Missouri River, but one blue catfish of more than 30 inches in length could be kept as part of that limit.
The public input came after several years of related research. MDC Population Assessment studies of blue catfish and flathead catfish in rivers found that populations of both fish were generally healthy and fisheries are sustainable under current management, so regulatory changes do not appear to be necessary to maintain populations or prevent overfishing.