The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. — A five-year experiment to determine whether to legalize noodling in Missouri could end three years early.
Citing renewed threats to breeding-age fish, state conservation officials are no longer issuing permits to fish for catfish by hand, a practice known as noodling. The suspension could be made permanent as soon as next month.
“They’re catching too many, so we can’t catch any,” said Howard Ramsey, of Paris, Mo., president of Noodlers Anonymous, in a reference to Missourians who prefer to keep their hands outside the water when fishing.
Noodlers use their bare hands to poke around underwater caves and crevices for fish with sharp teeth that can weigh up to 100 pounds. As often as not, they come up with a handful of snakes, beavers or snapping turtles by mistake.
The way Ramsey sees it, “If you don’t come up bloody, you ain’t hand fishing.”
State law allows those who fish using lines, jugs or rods and reels to catch and keep up to 20 catfish daily. Noodlers are asking the state to allow hand-fishers to keep only five fish each season — compared with the experimental limit of five each day.
An estimated 2,000 Missourians fish by hand, according to Ramsey, compared with nearly half a million who fish using traditional methods.
Steve Eder, fisheries division chief for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the experiment should end early because scientists have found higher-than-expected mortality rates among catfish in state waters. He also suggested that further limits could be imposed on all types of catfish harvests.
“We’re probably going to be more conservative in our harvest restrictions on catfish,” he said.
The Missouri Conservation Commission approved an experimental hand-fishing season for six weeks during summer 2005, limiting such fishing to specific parts of the Fabius, St. Francis and Mississippi rivers.
The Associated Press
- State News
Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters
Medical marijuana may be the state's newest gateway drug -- to voting.
Miners earn top seed in district American Legion tourney
The Joplin Miners are the No. 1 seed for this week’s Triple-A District 15 Tournament at Carl Junction.
Rep. Reiboldt withdraws from debate about farming amendment
Southwest Missouri Democrats on Wednesday will sponsor a program on the Right to Farm Amendment, but it unclear if there will be a debate on the measure.
Oklahoma lawmaker not upset by convict’s delayed death
State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, said his thoughts turned to Clayton Lockett’s murder victim when he learned Lockett had died of a heart attack shortly after his formal execution was halted because of problems with the lethal drug injection process.
Oklahoma governor orders review of failed execution
Gov. Mary Fallin ordered a thorough review Wednesday of the botched lethal drug execution of a convicted murderer that left him writhing and grunting. But the governor said executions will continue in Oklahoma, and the review by the state Department of Public Safety is to determine if medical and other protocols were followed in the failed execution of Clayton D. Lockett.
Party on? No local love in Princeton Review rankings
There's no love for Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University or Crowder College in the new rankings issued by the Princeton Review. Which, given many of the survey categories, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri
Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe winter weather that began early this morning, bringing hazardous travel and the possibility of power outages.
Publicist: Andy Williams dies
According to a publicist, Emmy-winning TV host and 'Moon River' crooner Andy Williams has died.
Lions climb into share of MIAA men's basketball lead
Without taking the floor, Missouri Southern has climbed into a first-place tie in the MIAA men’s basketball race.
2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake near Wellston in central Oklahoma.
No injuries or damage is reported.
- More State News Headlines
- Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters