Noodlers Decry Plan to End Hand-Fishing Experiment

1 decade 3 years 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 21 2007 Mar 21, 2007 Wednesday, March 21, 2007 7:21:36 PM CDT March 21, 2007 in News
Source: (Copyright 2007 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.)
COLUMBIA (AP) - State conservation officials say they are no longer issuing permits to fish for catfish by hand, a practice known as noodling. Noodlers use their bare hands to poke around under water 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. State law allows people who fish with 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 a day. An estimated 2,000  Missourians fish by hand, compared with nearly half a million who fish with traditional methods. ---- The Missouri Conservation Commission approved an experimental hand-fishing season for six weeks during summer 2005. It was limited to specific parts of the Fabius, St. Francis and Mississippi rivers. Noodling is legal in at least a dozen states, including neighboring Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Illinois. Elsewhere, the practice is a misdemeanor crime.

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