Missouri Conservation Committee agreed in late 2004 to a trial season of handfishing in that state for summer 2005.
Some variety of handfishing is already legal in 11 states, though in Missouri it has long been punishable by a fine. Critics of handfishing argue that participants will inevitably target the most sexually mature fish and thus disproportionately deplete the number of fish capable of breeding.
According to the Associated Press, handfishing is also not for the faint of heart,
It can also be dangerous: Noodlers [another term for handfishing] hold their breath for long periods under water and sometimes come up with fistfuls of agitated snakes or snapping turtles instead of fish.
Missouri’s handfishing season will last from June 1 through July 15, 2005. Handfishers will buy a $7 permit and can catch five catfish daily, with fish under 22 inches long having to be thrown back. In addition, handfishing will only be legal along specific parts of the Fabius, St. Francis and Mississippi rivers.
Missouri approves fishing with bare hands. Scott Charlton, Associated Press, December 28, 2004.
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