Senate passes new law allowing hand fishing

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – With 15 days till the end of session important legislation is coming to the floor of the Missouri Senate.

“I tell you what,” said Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin). “I bet there are more noodlers than Nodlers in the state.”

“Yes,” said Sen. John Cauthorn (R-Mexico).

“And hopefully if my bill passes they will both be legal.”

Senate Bill 1153 was brought before the Senate April 28 to be perfected. Sponsored by Cauthorn, the bill clarifies the statutory restrictions regarding the pursuing, taking, killing or disposition of wildlife and shall not preclude a person from hand fishing for catfish or carp during the months of June or July.

Currently the state of Missouri does not allow individuals to fish with their hands (noodle). This bill would change that.

Sen. Joan Bray (D-St.Louis) had a few questions for Cauthorn.

“I noticed how short your bill was but that it has gotten a lot of support,” Bray said. “You have quite a lobbyist effort put together with fliers, compact discs and three color binders. I wonder, senator, why you did not just use all that money and buy fishing poles.”

“It defeats the purpose, senator,” Cauthorn said.

Sen. Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield) said he recalled in his youth being a noodler. He said he had questions about the bill, but Cauthorn had clarified them.

“I have seen the light senator,” Clemens said.

“I’m proud of you,” Cauthorn said.

“Yeah, I think it’s bouncing off your bald head,” Clemens said to Cauthorn.

Sen. Mary Groves Bland (D-Kansas City) questioned the sanity of noodlers.

“Is it possible that those who noodle are in the 20 percent added to Medicaid each year,” Bland said. “If you are referring to those deemed to have mental illness who the state must cover, this may be a Medicaid issue.”

The bill was passed and placed on the list to perfect.