JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to discover nature this summer — and one fun and exciting way is through frogging. Frogging season begins Tuesday, June 30, at sunset and ends Oct. 31.
Frogging can be done with either a fishing permit or a small game permit. Children under the age of 16 and Missouri residents 65 years of age or older are not required to have a permit. The Wildlife Code of Missouri allows those with a fishing permit to take frogs by hand, hand net, atlatl, gig, bow, trotline, throw line, limb line, bank line, jug line, snagging, snaring, grabbing or pole and line. With a small game hunting permit, frogs may be harvested using a .22-caliber or smaller rimfire rifle or pistol, pellet gun, atlatl, bow, crossbow, or by hand or hand net. The use of an artificial light is permitted when frogging.
Missouri has two frog species that are legal game — bullfrog and green frog. Bullfrogs are larger and therefore more sought-after. The taste and texture of frog meat is similar to that of fresh-water fish. For frog leg recipes, visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/node/15131.
The daily limit is eight frogs of both species combined. The possession limit allows you to have no more than 16 frogs at a time.
It’s important to know once a frog is speared or shot, it must be harvested. The Wildlife Code of Missouri prohibits the release of a speared frog as “wanton waste” because the animal is not likely to recover. Any frog taken into actual possession, unless immediately released unharmed after being caught, is included in the daily limit.
Almost any place with enough water to float a canoe is likely to harbor at least a few frogs. Frogs can be found in farm ponds and huge reservoirs, creeks, drainage ditches and rivers, sloughs, marshes and swamps statewide. For more information on frog hunting and suggested conservation areas to go frogging visit MDC’s website at mdc.mo.gov/node/28859.
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish, so grab a gig and visit a pond or simply grab a frog and head to the frying pan before the “frog days” of summer are over.
For more information about bullfrog and green frog regulations, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/10834.