Jun. 9—The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance recently announced the launch off the state's Smallmouth Slam.
Like the state's Blue Ribbon Trout Slam, announced a couple of years ago, this challenge also is divided into three levels.
—Bronze: Catch a smallmouth bass from six of the state's 12 Special Management Areas for smallmouth and receive a certificate and bronze pin.
—Silver: Catch a smallmouth bass from any of nine of Missouri's 12 Special Management Areas and receive a certificate and silver pin.
—Gold: Catch a smallmouth bass from all 12 Special Management Areas in the state and received a certificate, gold pin and medallion.
"Missouri's Special Management Areas provide excellent smallmouth bass habitat," MDC fisheries programs specialist Andrew Branson said in a statement. "These areas have regulations to help smallmouth bass populations increase and to allow more fish to grow to a quality size."
Smallmouth bass of any size caught after March 1 qualify for the Smallmouth Slam, but any smallmouth bass under 15 inches must be released.
Anglers can complete a Smallmouth Slam entry form each time they catch a smallmouth bass in one of the designated management areas. They may also submit a picture of their fish if they wish, but it is not required.
Missouri's 12 Special Management Areas are found throughout the souther half of the state. They are:
—Big Piney River, from Slabtown Access to the Gasconade River.
—Big River, from the Council Bluff Lake Dam to the Meramec River.
—Eleven Point River, from Thomasville Access to the Arkansas line.
—Elk River, its entire length in Southwest Missouri.
—Gasconade River, from Route Y bridge in Pulaski County to Route D bridge in Phelps County.
—Jacks Fork River, from Highway 17 bridge to its mouth at Two Rivers, along the Current River.
—James River, from Hooten Town bridge to Highway413/Highway 265 bridge at Galena.
—Joachim Creek, from Route V bridge to Route A bridge in Jefferson County.
—Meramec River, from Highway 8 bridge to the railroad crossing at Bird's Nest Access.
—Mineral Fork, from Route F bridge in Washington County to the Big River.
—Osage Fork of the Gasconade River, from Skyline Drive bridge near Orla in Laclede County to the Gasconade River.
—Tenmile Creek, from Route B bridge in Carter County to Cane Creek.
To learn more about Missouri's smallmouth bass Special Management Areas, go to short.mdc.mo.gov/4i3.
To learn more about the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance, visit www.missourismallmouthalliance.org.