Outdoor Life Online Editor

Seems logical, right? You pay for the right to hunt in the woods. You pay for the right to wet a line in a stream. Why shouldn’t you pay for the right to stick your hand into the crawl of a monster catfish?

Well, Missouri is having a tough time convincing its residents to buy a license for the upcoming noodling season. To date, only 19 permits have been issued and half were to one family.

The season, a first in the state, will run for six weeks from June 1 to July 15. On top of the short season, Missouri officials have limited the fishable waters to three rivers. Conservation officers say the reason for the new restrictions on the sport have to do with preserving the catfish population. The best time for noodling is when the fish are on the nest protecting eggs.