The Missouri Department of Conservation proposes to raise the prices of its annual trout permits and daily trout tags starting in 2020.
The increases are needed to better cover costs of running five trout hatcheries that raise and release more than 1.7 million trout each year for public fishing, according to the department.
The cost of an annual trout permit would go from $7 to $10 for anglers 16 and older and from $3.50 to $5 for anglers 15 and younger, if the increase is approved.
The cost of a daily trout tag would go from $3 to $4 for adults and from $2 to $3 for those 15 and younger.
A trout permit is required to possess trout, except in trout parks where a daily trout fishing tag is required during the catch-and-keep season. In addition, a trout permit is required for winter fishing in trout parks during the catch-and-release season and for fishing year-round in Lake Taneycomo upstream from the U.S. 65 bridge.
To fish for trout, anglers must also have a Missouri fishing permit or qualify for an exemption.
“The Conservation Department has not increased these permit prices in nearly two decades,” said Director Sara Parker Pauley. “The price increases will help the department meet the pressures of increased management costs at our hatcheries and help meet the increased demand for trout fishing around the state.”
The annual cost of fish food and staff labor to raise trout in 2003 was about $1 per fish. The annual cost in 2017 was nearly twice that amount.
As part of the rule-making process, the department asks for public comment on the changes during July and early August at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z49. To comment on proposed price increases for trout permits, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.430 Trout Permit.” For daily trout tags, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.250 Daily Hunting or Fishing Tags.”
Department commissioners will consider input received and make a decision at their Aug. 23 meeting. If approved, the anticipated effective date of the changes would be Feb. 29, 2020.