MDC extends closures and trout-tag waiver due to COVID-19
MDC facility closures and cancellations of public events are extended through April 30. Daily trout tag waiver is extended at trout parks until further notice. Free fishing permit waiver ends April 15.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Following state and federal guidance, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is extending the temporary closures of its facilities and cancellations of its public events and programs through April 30. MDC will reassess the situation at that time.
To help protect people amid increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, MDC temporarily closed its regional offices, Department headquarters in Jefferson City, staffed shooting ranges, nature centers, visitor centers, and educational centers around the state to the public in March. MDC also temporarily cancelled its public events and programs, including hunter education classes, nature center programs and events, shooting range programs and events, and landowner workshops.
While MDC offices are closed to general visitation, offices will still be staffed. Visitors with official business will need to notify the office to gain access. Find MDC office contact information at mdc.mo.gov/regional-contacts?county=All.
Conservation areas, nature center trails, and boat accesses remain open to the public. Hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons continue as scheduled. MDC managed hunts and mentored spring turkey hunts continue as planned.
Fishing permits and daily trout tags
Missouri residents and nonresidents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended may fish without needing a permit or daily trout tag through April 15. Seasons, methods, and limits still apply and will be enforced. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-temporarily-waive-fishing-permits-starting-friday.
The James Foundation has closed Maramec Spring Park in St. James to the public for trout fishing and all other activities until further notice. Missouri’s three other public trout parks remain open for day use and fishing: Bennett Spring State Park in Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, and Roaring River State Park near Cassville.
Anglers will need to have a fishing permit, unless exempt, after April 15. Trout anglers will also need required fishing permits after April 15 but will not need a daily trout tag at the three open trout parks until further notice. Trout anglers fishing other areas around the state, including lakes and streams not at a trout park, will need both a fishing permit and trout permit after April 15.
MDC has suspended daily trout stocking at all trout parks along with most other fish stocking in waters around the state until further notice.
MDC has also cancelled the kids’ fishing day events at the trout parks, including May 2 at Montauk State Park and Bennett Spring State Park, and May 16 at Roaring River State Park and Maramec Spring Park.
Spring turkey season continues
Spring turkey season in Missouri remains open and as scheduled statewide. For more on spring turkey hunting in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-forecasts-challenging-spring-turkey-hunting-season-0.
Reminders on social distancing in the outdoors
With the current public-health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), MDC reminds people to continue to heed recommendations for hand washing, physical distancing, and all other public-health measures during outdoor activities. MDC advises people to make outdoor activities as safe and enjoyable as possible by taking the following actions:
• If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.
• Travel in a small group of 10 people or fewer.
• If a conservation area looks crowded or an area parking lot is full, please do not stop and find another less-crowded location.
• Keep a proper physical distance of at least six feet while visiting areas and especially on trails.
• Avoid popular spots where people congregate, such as scenic overlooks, fishing docks, etc.
• Pack water, soap and/or hand sanitizer.
• Get more information on best practices for keeping you and your family safe from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention atgov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.