JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Conservation Commission gave initial approval at its Feb. 17 public meeting in Jefferson City to regulation changes proposed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) regarding increasing limits for crappie on Mozingo Lake in Nodaway County. MDC proposes increasing the catch-and-keep daily limit on Mozingo Lake for crappie from 15 to 30 fish while restricting the harvest of crappie over nine inches to 15 fish per person, per day.
Mozingo Lake is a 1,006-acre reservoir located in northwest Missouri. Historically, the lake has received extremely high fishing pressure and harvest for crappie. As a result of MDC fish sampling and research data showing low crappie numbers, the crappie regulation for the lake was changed in 2017 from a 30-fish daily limit to a 15-fish daily limit. The 2017 regulation amendment was designed to reduce crappie harvest and allow more fish to reach harvestable size, resulting in improved numbers of desirable-sized fish for anglers.
MDC’s current sampling data shows that crappie numbers have increased significantly while fishing pressure and angler harvest have declined over the past several years. This has resulted in a crappie population dominated by small fish.
MDC also conducted an online survey in September 2021 to gather public comment on the potential regulation change. Feedback was overwhelmingly favorable.
The MDC proposed amendment would remove the 15-fish daily limit and change the daily limit back to the statewide daily limit of 30 fish for Mozingo Lake while restricting the harvest of crappie over nine inches to 15 fish per person, per day.
According to MDC, this change will allow anglers to harvest more crappie, reduce the population to help lower competition for food, and improve crappie size structure.
The next step in the rulemaking process is for MDC to have a 30-day public comment period from April 2 through May 1. MDC invites online public comments during that time at https://mdc.mo.gov/about-regulations/wildlife-code-missouri/proposed-regulation-changes.
Comments received will be considered and final proposals will go to the Commission for further action at its May 20 meeting. If enacted, the changes will become effective Aug. 30.