Conservation Commission Approves Regulation Changes

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At its June 3 meeting, the Missouri Conservation Commission approved more than two dozen regulation changes to go into effect March 1, 2005.

The changes will affect hunting, fishing and nontraditional recreation. Some, such as fishing creel and length limits, apply only to particular conservation areas. Others apply statewide. Most of the changes will be included in 2005 hunting and fishing regulation guide booklets that are available wherever hunting and fishing permits are sold. Highlights include:

• Prohibiting the harvest of wild fruit-bearing ginseng plants with fewer than three leaves. The entire stalk, minus the mature fruits, must be kept with the plants until they are taken to the harvester's home or business. All seeds must be planted within 100 feet of the parent plants, starting in 2005.

• Extending the season closing date for commercial harvest of shovelnose sturgeon from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2005.

• Prohibiting the take of shovelnose sturgeon on the Missouri River from the Carl R. Noren Access down river to the Chamois Access, starting in 2005.

• Reducing the daily limit of trout from five to four statewide, starting in 2005.

• Allowing the possession and sale of groundhog pelts throughout the year, starting in 2005.

• Allowing nonresidents with valid permits from other states to exhibit legally possessed wildlife at special events, not to exceed seven days, starting in 2005. Exhibitors must notify a Conservation Department agent in advance and may not sell or give away exhibited wildlife. Exhibitors must comply with all other Wildlife Code provisions, including confinement standards.

• Establishing open hours for unstaffed shooting ranges on conservation areas as one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, starting in 2005.

• Allowing fall firearms turkey hunting on Weldon Spring Conservation Area (CA) under statewide regulations, starting in 2005.

• Allowing fall archery turkey hunting on Weldon Spring CA only by holders of an Archer's Hunting Permit who have been selected to participate in the area's archery managed deer hunt and only prior to taking a deer, starting in 2005.

• Allowing spring turkey hunting on Caney Mountain CA only by holders of a Spring Turkey Hunting Permit who have been selected to participate in the area's managed hunt, starting in 2005.

• Allowing firearms squirrel hunting on Caney Mountain CA under statewide regulations, except from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, starting in 2005. •

Prohibiting waterfowl hunting after 1 p.m. at Lone Jack Lake CA, starting in 2005.

• Requiring hunters at Four Rivers CA to complete a Daily Waterfowl Hunting Tag, starting in 2005.

• Establishing fishing regulations within Stone Mill Spring Branch, starting in 2005.