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The Missouri Department of Conservation has extended the fish gigging season by 15 days beginning this season. The season opens Sunday and runs through Feb. 15, 2020.

The move to lengthen the season was based on feedback the department received through an online survey conducted last year and through an assessment that determined a longer season wouldn't harm nontarget species.

The Missouri Conservation Commission approved the change during its Aug. 23 meeting.

Gigging is a type of spearing fish where participants use a long fork-like spear, or gig, rather than a hook and line. It is primarily a nighttime activity and is most effective in shallow, clear water. Some of the most popular places to gig are in the Ozarks, including the Current, Eleven Point, Meramec, Gasconade, and James rivers.

Giggers usually stand at the bow of a flat-bottomed boat outfitted with a bright light and a rail to lean upon. They hold their fork-tipped spears over the surface of the water. Once they spot a fish, they gig it with their spears.

The Wildlife Code of Missouri mandates that fish described as "other fish" are the only species that may be taken when gigging. The most common targets are the northern hogsucker and species of redhorse commonly referred to as "yellow suckers."

The daily limit is 20 fish. No more than five hogsuckers can be included in the daily limit on the Current River from Cedar Grove to the Arkansas state line.

Sports on 09/10/2019

Print Headline: Missouri extends gigging season

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