Missouri has a long, proud tradition of fishing, and its abundant lakes and streams have produced exceptional fish. The Department of Conservation has developed a State Record Fish Program to acknowledge and honor anglers who have caught the largest recorded fish from a list of recognized species found in Missouri waters.
To qualify, the applicant’s fish must:
be captured by legal methods from Missouri waters,
be a species included on the Missouri State Record Fish list.
meet or exceed the current record.
New open records must meet or exceed the Master Angler minimum weight for that species to be considered.
Anglers may be recognized in two different categories: “pole and line” or “alternative methods” (this includes trotlines, throwlines, limblines, banklines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery or atlatl).
Fish must be weighed on a certified scale in the presence of an employee of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The entry must be examined and identified by a Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist or Conservation Agent familiar with the genus. If these persons cannot identify the species with certainty, they must seek the assistance of a designated fish identification expert. Call (573) 522-4115 ext. 3501 for assistance in finding and contacting the nearest identification expert.
Genetic testing will be performed by the Missouri Department of Conservation when necessary for positive identification at no cost to the applicant. Potential record fish may be frozen, but should not be mounted or consumed prior to receipt of a letter confirming the record.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.