Four trout tags this summer: $12.

Sundry supplies (sunscreen, ice, etc.) and assorted fishing equipment: $25.

Gas to Roaring River and back if we take the truck: $30.

Fast food lunch for the four of us in Cassville: $30.

Leftover out of the $100 with which I started the fishing trip: $3.

Still, a day of fishing, hiking and horseplay with my kids at one of the best state parks in the Midwest:


Next year, the cost of a daily trout tag to fish at Roaring River, Bennett Spring and Montauk state parks will go from $3 to $4 for adults and from $2 to $3 for those ages 15 and younger.

And the cost of an annual trout permit in Missouri will go from $7 to $10 for anglers ages 16 and older, and from $3.50 to $5 for anglers ages 15 and younger.

These are just some of the changes to hunting and fishing costs and regulations in Missouri approved Aug. 23 by the Missouri Conservation Commission.

Earlier this summer, Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, stopped in Joplin, and during our conversation she noted that MDC has not raised permit prices in about two decades. Yet, according to MDC, in 2003 the cost to raise a trout in the state’s hatcheries and then stock them in streams was about $1 per fish; by 2017, it was twice that just for the food and labor. That does not include maintaining hatchery infrastructure. Parker also said the state has spent more than $11 million in recent years repairing and improving its hatcheries. Last fall, it broke ground on a $1.9 million renovation at Roaring River that involves a number of improvements.

No one wants to see prices go up, but if you want to play, you got to pay.

The effective date for these changes, by the way, will be Feb. 29, 2020. (Opening Day is March 1, a Sunday, so it will be busy.)

Here is a look at some of what else will be changing as a result of that Aug. 23 meeting:

Fish gigging

The season will be extended by 15 days beginning with this one, which will now run Sept. 15 to Feb. 15, 2020.

Gigging is popular on many Ozark rivers. According to the state wildlife code, only fish described as “other fish” may be gigged (speared). Common fish for gigging are the northern hogsucker and a species of redhorse known as “yellow suckers.”

Deer carcasses

Beginning next year, deer hunters will need to follow a series of new rules when handling, transporting and disposing of deer and elk carcasses. They will also be restricted from transporting whole carcasses into the state, but heads with capes will be allowed if they are taken to a licensed taxidermist.

The new rules are part of the state’s ongoing campaign to restrict the spread of chronic wasting disease, which is likely to continue advancing in Southwest Missouri as a result of the hundreds of CWD cases in northern Arkansas. (There have been 76 cases in Carroll County so far.)

“Most states with CWD have similar restrictions on carcass movement and disposal,” MDC Resource Science Division chief and deer biologist Jason Sumners said in a statement. “CWD remains a rare disease in our state, and we want to keep it that way.”

Landowner permits

Next year, the minimum acreage requirement will go from 5 to 20 acres for resident landowners and members of their immediate households to receive free permits for deer and turkey hunting. Resident landowners with 5 or more acres and members of their immediate households will still be allowed to hunt small game, fish and trap on their properties without the need of a permit.

Also starting in 2020, MDC will offer discounted deer and turkey hunting permits for nonresident landowners with 75 acres or more in a contiguous tract. According to MDC, many nonresident landowners provide wildlife habitat and work on their properties and those efforts help improve all wildlife resources. The discounted permits for nonresident landowners will be:

• Spring turkey season: $165.

• Fall turkey season: $96.

• Archery: $195.

• Firearm deer: $265.

Nonresident permits

The prices for some nonresident hunting and fishing permits starting in 2020 also will go up effective Feb. 29, 2020.

• Daily fishing (one day), $7 to $8.

• Daily fishing (three days), $21 to $24.

• Annual fishing permit, $42 to $49.

• Furbearer hunting/trapping permit, $130 to $192.

• Annual small game hunting permit, $80 to $94.

• Daily small game (one day), $11 to $14.

• Daily small game (three days), $33 to $42.

• Spring turkey hunting, $190 to $224.

• Fall turkey hunting, $110 to $130.

• Firearm deer hunting, $225 to $265.

• Archery hunting, $225 to $265.

• Managed deer hunting, $225 to $265.

For a complete list of rules governing hunting and fishing, and other changes, go to

Andy Ostmeyer is the managing editor for The Joplin Globe. Contact him at

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