The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced it does not recommend regulation changes to minimum length limits and daily limits for blue and flathead catfish caught in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
Officials said the decision follows research by MDC and results of public input with more than 400 public comments showing "strong support" for keeping regulations as they are.
MDC sought public input last summer on potential regulation changes for recreational fishing of these fish. One potential change would have established a minimum length limit of 18, 21 or 24 inches of blue and flathead catfish on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Currently there is no minimum length limit.
A second potential regulation change would have maintained the current recreational-fishing daily limit of five blue catfish per day on the Missouri River, but establish only one blue catfish of more than 30 inches in length may be kept as a part of that limit.
The public input followed several years of related research. MDC population assessment studies for blue and flathead catfish in the rivers found populations of both fishes were generally healthy and the fisheries sustainable under current management so regulation changes did not appear necessary to maintain the populations or prevent overfishing.