Saturday, April 30, 2011

Get Out and Play! May 14 at Washington State Park

A picnic shelter at Babler State Park which wa...Image via WikipediaJEFFERSON CITY, MO., APRIL 21, 2011 -- Take the opportunity May 14 to "Get Out and Play!" at Washington State Park near De Soto. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, this free event is open to visitors of all ages, and will include family-friendly games, activities and crafts.

During this second annual event, special booths will be set up around the Thunderbird Lodge and in the Big River day-use area from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Each booth will feature an activity or subject for visitors to explore and learn more about, including nature crafts, guided petroglyph tours, kite flying, native plants, bird watching, games and much more. Visitors are also encouraged to hike the park's trails, explore the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the park, and even wade in the Big River.

Washington State Park is located on State Highway 104 off Highway 21 between De Soto and Potosi. The park offers many amenities, including a campground with basic and electric sites; a showerhouse with laundry facilities; campground programs; a modern pool; cabins with full kitchens; canoe and raft rentals; a camp store and gift shop; 10 miles of hiking trails; and several picnic sites throughout the park.

Missouri state parks and historic sites provide many ways to reconnect with nature and explore the outdoors. For more information, contact Washington State Park at 636-586-2995 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device or the Deaf). For information on state parks and historic sites, go to mostateparks.com.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Missouri Elk Arrival Delayed

WINONA - Arrival of elk at Peck Ranch has been delayed because all necessary health protocol testing is not complete, according to Ron Dent, elk restoration program coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Dent said MDC will select a new arrival date for the elk once health protocol testing is complete. Testing was inconclusive on one animal. Additional testing will be conducted on that one animal and results could be available as early as next week. Final testing is being completed and verified to ensure elk held in Kentucky meet the highest standard of health prior to arriving at their holding pen on Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Conservation continue to implement the strongest health testing protocols in the nation. Missouri’s elk restoration is moving forward and the Conservation Department will continue to keep citizens informed on this conservation initiative.

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MDC Fishing Report 4/29/2011

Attention Fishing Report Subscribers:

In most streams south of the Missouri River, black bass season will open May 28, 2011, until that date all black bass in those streams must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.  For details see Chapter 6 of the Wildlife Code.

PLEASE CHECK REGULATIONS CAREFULLY: Special regulations may apply to designated portions of water bodies; some baits and lures may not be legal for all portions.



CENTRAL REGION (573) 882-8388

    LAKES

Binder: 52 degrees, normal, dingy; largemouth bass good on plastic baits and spinnerbaits; crappie good on minnows and jigs; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers and liver; all other species slow.




 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Blind Pony Lake: 57 degrees, high, dingy; fishing pressure is very low this year; channel catfish and sunfish fair on nightcrawlers; all other species slow; anglers need to be reminded that the lake is closed to private boats and bait held or transported in containers with water is prohibited. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Bagnell Tailwater): 55 degrees, normal, muddy; crappie fair on minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed; white bass fair on light colored soft plastics; catfish slow, try worms, chicken liver and cut shad; paddlefish slow snagging.

 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Glaize): 59 degrees, muddy; crappie good using crappie jigs and minnows; black bass fair on dark colored soft plastic worms and buzzbaits; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics; catfish slow on worms, chicken livers and cut baits.
 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Gravois): 59 degrees, muddy; crappie fair; black bass fair; white bass slow; catfish slow.





 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Niangua): 59 degrees, muddy; crappie good; white bass slow; black bass fair; catfish fair.


 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Osage): 59 degrees, muddy; crappie good; white bass slow; black bass fair; catfish fair.


 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Little Dixie: 56 degrees, high, muddy; crappie good on minnows and jig; largemouth bass good on plastic worms; all other species slow. Area closed to all activity between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

    RIVERS

Lamine: high, muddy; crappie good on minnows around the A Hwy. (old 50 Access); all other species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Missouri (Middle): high, muddy; channel catfish good on worms and gizzard shad; flathead catfish slow; blue catfish fair on cut bait. All other species slow.
 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Osage (lower, at Tuscumbia): 55 degrees, normal, muddy; crappie fair on minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed; white bass fair on light colored soft plastics; catfish slow, try worms, chicken liver and cut shad; paddlefish slow snagging.

 (Report made on 4/28/2011)



KANSAS CITY REGION (816) 655-6254

    LAKES

James A. Reed Area: 56 degrees, high, clear; crappie good; largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill and redear sunfish fair; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Montrose: 56 degrees, muddy; catfish fair; all other species slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Schell-Osage (Atkinson Lake): 64 degrees, dingy; crappie and catfish good; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Schell-Osage (Schell Lake): 62 degrees, high, dingy; crappie and catfish good; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Truman: 58 degrees, high, dingy; crappie fair using minnows and jigs in 2' to 8' depths, slow trolling or spider rigging is best; black bass fair using spinnerbaits; catfish fair using cut bait or perch. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Truman Tailwaters: 58 degrees, low, dingy; releasing 7,800 cfs; catfish, white bass and hybrid bass good; crappie fair; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

    RIVERS

Missouri River: high, muddy; channel catfish good on cut bait in low current areas; all other species slow.
 (Report made on 4/28/2011)



NORTHEAST REGION (660) 785-2420

    LAKES

Hunnewell: 58 degrees, normal, dingy; largemouth bass good on flukes; channel catfish good on chicken livers; bluegill good on crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Long Branch: 56 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Mark Twain: 58 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie good on jigs and minnows; channel catfish good on nightcrawlers and cut bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Sever: 59 degrees, normal, dingy; muskie good on traditional muskie bait; crappie good on minnows and jigs; largemouth bass good on Rattle Traps off the points; bluegill fair on small jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Thomas Hill: 61 degrees, high, muddy; small channel catfish good on worms and cut shad; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

    RIVERS

Mississippi (above St. Louis): 48 degrees, high, muddy; river is several feet above flood stage; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Salt (below Mark Twain): 62 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)



NORTHWEST REGION (816) 271-3100

    LAKES

Bilby Ranch Lake: 53 degrees, low, clear; black bass good; walleye slow on crankbaits, channel catfish good; all other species slow. Area ponds producing good catches of black bass. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Mozingo: 59 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass good, crappie good, channel catfish good; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Paho: 60 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Pony Express: 54 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie good on jigs in the silt basins; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Smithville: 51 degrees, rising, dingy; crappie are slow in shallow water near brush or trees on minnows and a variety of jigs; crappie are fair in deeper water near brush piles on jigs and minnows; black bass fair in shallow water on a wide variety of lures including spinnerbaits, stickbaits and jigs; channel catfish are slow on nightcrawlers and shad sides; white bass fair in the creek arms of lake on jigs and Road Runners; walleye are slow, mostly caught in evening off dam with shallow diving stickbaits; all snagged or foul hooked fish must be returned to the water immediately. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

    RIVERS

Grand: 49 degrees, falling, dingy; channel catfish and blue catfish fair; flathead catfish slow; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Missouri (below Iowa line): 52 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)



OZARK REGION (417) 255-9561

    LAKES

Bull Shoals (East): 59 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Norfork: 59 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

    RIVERS

Big Piney (lower, Pulaski Co.): 60 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Big Piney (Upper): 58 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Bryant Creek: 58 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Current: 62 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Eleven Point: 60 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Gasconade (middle, Pulaski Co.): 60 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Gasconade (upper): 58 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Jack's Fork: 61 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

North Fork: 59 degrees, high, muddy; white bass fair on stickbaits and soft plastics; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)



SOUTHEAST REGION (573) 290-5858

    LAKES

Clearwater Lake: 64 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow due to high water. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Council Bluff: 60 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Cypress Lake: high, dingy; area is closed to all public use until further notice due to flooding conditions. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Duck Creek: high, clear; all species slow due to high water. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Lake Girardeau: normal, clear; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Perry County Lake: 66 degrees, normal, muddy; catfish fair on worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Robert DeLaney Lake: 64 degrees, high, clear; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Wappapello: high, muddy; all species are slow.  The lake is at flood stage and most accesses are closed due to flooding. Recorded lake level and other information can be received by calling the Wappapello Lake Recreation Hotline at 573-222-8139. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

    RIVERS

Black River (near Annapolis): high, dingy;  all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Castor River (above Zalma): high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Lower Black River (Clearwater Dam): high, muddy; channel catfish and black bass good on worms in backwater areas; crappie good on minnows and jigs; all other species slow.  Water levels are extremely high and fishing with a boat is very dangerous at this time.  Bank fishing in backwater areas is considered safe. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Mississippi (below Charleston): high, muddy; all species slow due to high water. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Mississippi River (Cape Girardeau): rising, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

St. Francis (above Wappapello): high, muddy; crappie good on minnows and jigs in backwater areas; black bass and channel catfish good on worms in backwater areas; all other species slow.  Water levels are extremely high and fishing with a boat is dangerous at this time.  Bank fishing in backwater areas is safe. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

St. Francis (below Wappapello): high, dingy; water levels are extremely high; all species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)



SOUTHWEST REGION (417) 895-6881

    LAKES

Bull Shoals (West): 63 degrees, high, dingy; dam/Swan Creek area: all species slow; Beaver Creek: all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Lake Taneycomo: 52 degrees, high, dingy; a flow advisory is in effect; water levels are very high and flooding; all species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Pomme de Terre: 61 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow due to high lake levels. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Stockton: 60 degrees, high, dingy; crappie good on Crappie Candy, minnows, tube baits, and Cast Master in 15' of water; black bass good on spinners moving up into the bank; walleye slow, best on minnows and tube baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Table Rock (James River arm): 65 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow due to flooding conditions. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

Table Rock (main lake): 66 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow; little fishing opportunities due to flooding. (Report made on 4/27/2011)

    RIVERS

Big Niangua: 50 degrees, high, dingy; black bass slow, catch and release only until May 28, best on soft plastics; goggle-eye slow, best on soft plastics and jigs; trout slow, best on natural baits and Power Baits below Bennett Spring; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2011)

James River (lower): 61 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow due to extremely high water levels. (Report made on 4/27/2011)



ST. LOUIS REGION (636) 300-1953

    LAKES

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lake 33: 58 degrees, high, dingy; bluegill fair on worms; black bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits; catfish slow on stinkbaits and chicken liver; limit 4; crappie good on jigs and minnows; please remove litter. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23: 60 degrees, high, dingy; channel catfish slow on stinkbaits and chicken liver; limit 4; stocking will begin in early May; bluegill fair on worms; black bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits; limit 4; please remove litter.


 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

    RIVERS

Big River: 58 degrees, rising, muddy; channel catfish good in backwater and slough on liver, prepared baits and worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Bourbeuse (middle, lower, Franklin Co.): 64 degrees, high, dingy; channel catfish fair on worms and cut bait; all other species slow on natural baits. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Meramec (above Sullivan, Crawford Co.): 60 degrees, high, muddy; no report due to flood conditions. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Meramec (below Eureka): 60 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Missouri (below New Haven): 60 degrees, rising, muddy;  all species slow. (Report made on 4/28/2011)



TROUT PARKS

Bennett Spring State Park: 54 degrees, high, muddy; the spring level is about 14 inches high and flowing very fast; Zone 1 and 2 best lures: red and green Cracklebacks, white floss mini jig, gingersnap colored with gold head, pink and white colored and black and yellow colored marabou jigs, white colored with red ring Rooster Tail,  tri-colored  and pink and peach colored glo balls; Zone 3 best lures: yellow, white and cheese Power Baits, Trout Nip, and minnows.  April fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. We are planning to cut weeds May 3 and 4.  We will begin around 8 a.m. and be finished around 3 p.m.  Our annual kids fishing day is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. Activities will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. Lunch is provided for the kids.  Fishing hours for May are 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Maramec Spring Park: 57 degrees, falling, fishing is slow; the water is muddy/stained with very good flow due to the recent rains and large spring flows. The park is open and fishing is open. Fishing hours for the month of April are 7:00 a.m to 7:30 p.m.  Fishing hours for the month of May are 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Kid's Free Fishing Day will be held Saturday, May 14th, 2011. (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Montauk State Park: 56 degrees, There has been a series of floods the past few days. The river level is high but slowly dropping. The water is muddy. It is slowly clearing up but will stay dingy for many days. The river is fishable. Fishing is good on bright colored, and scented baits with the best fishing on the spring branch in the morning and evening hours.  The park campgrounds have reopened Thursday, April 28.  April fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  May 1st fishing hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.  Kid's Free Fishing Day is Saturday, May 7th.


For up-to-date stream conditions check  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440 (Report made on 4/28/2011)

Roaring River State Park: 57 degrees, the stream is very off color; flow is very high at this time; the river is fishable and the park is open despite the recent flooding; use heavier line and scented baits in zones allowed.  (Report made on 4/28/2011)

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Getting Ready for the Elk!

Elk will arrive soon.  Here is a video about this exciting event.


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Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center Events

There are two events coming up at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center you won’t want to miss!

Wings Over Water Tuesday, May 3, 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Come see Missouri's birds of prey in flight at the Wings Over Water watershed education program presented by the World Bird Sanctuary and Missouri American Water.  You'll see Missouri's eagles, owls and hawks up close and watch them fly over your head!  These magnificent birds illustrate the importance of protecting our state's birds, their habitat and Missouri's water resources.
Please call for reservations: 314-301-1500.

Civil War Speaks to Powder Valley’s Name
Friday, May 13, 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered why the nature center is called Powder Valley? It’s not in a valley and where is the powder? The name comes from its use during the Civil War. The nature center opened its doors in October, 1991 with a much more peaceful atmosphere. The quiet study of nature is the purpose of the area today and we’re celebrating 20 years of history! Learn more athttp://mdc.mo.gov/node/12906 Please call for reservations for Friday evening, no reservations required for the Saturday event.

We hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Southeast Missouri black bear trapping to begin in May

Written By: Candice Davis, MDC

The American black bear, one of the largest an...Image via WikipediaStudy will provide further information, such as movement patterns, population densities, habitat preferences, male-to-female ratios and overall numbers of Missouri bears.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Bear sighting reports are more important than ever to Missouri Conservation Department (MDC) biologists and agents in southeast Missouri. MDC embarked on a cooperative black-bear research effort with the University of Missouri-Columbia and Mississippi State University last year in Missouri’s southwest region. The study, funded through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration program with help from Safari Club International, will bring bear trapping to the southeastern portion of the state this May.

Though black bears were found across Missouri when the first settlers arrived, unregulated hunting and habitat destruction drastically decreased their numbers. By the 1950s, black bears were considered to be extirpated from Missouri.

Arkansas completed a successful bear restoration program in the 1960s and it’s thought that many of the bears we have in Missouri are the outgrowth of that program.

Recent data indicates some bears in southwest Missouri are genetically unique and likely the result of a Missouri bear population that was never completely extirpated, according to MDC biologists.

In past years, MDC biologists conducted some bear monitoring, but the bulk of data obtained from these efforts merely showed spots where bears could be found and revealed little information about their habits and annual life cycles in Missouri. This study will provide further information, such as movement patterns, population densities, habitat preferences, male-to-female ratios and overall numbers of Missouri bears.
Conservation employees met in Ellington recently for training that will prepare them to collect the needed data. According to the training facilitator and wildlife biologist, Scott McWilliams, biologists will use hair snares and barrel traps to trap the bears.

Bears that are trapped will be tranquilized while biologists take 40 measurements and samples, which will include DNA, weight, length and other data. The bears will be radio collared with GPS monitors that will give biologists a means to track their movements.

“We will use pastries to lure bears into traps, which we will monitor daily,” McWilliams said. “We will arrive quickly after a bear enters the trap. Once our measurements are complete, we’ll monitor each bear from a distance to ensure it exits safely.”

McWilliams said the MDC is working with private landowners throughout the study to avoid trapping on public land, which will eliminate conflicts with public land use during the bear trapping process. Landowners within the southeast and Ozark regions who have witnessed bears on their property are encouraged to contact the MDC for possible participation in the study. McWilliams said landowners in the southwest region who participated gained valuable information about resident and transient bears on their properties.
To report a bear sighting or for more information about the bear study, contact your local conservation agent or the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at 573/290-5730.


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Governor emphasizes value of trees with Arbor Day proclamation

JEFFERSON CITY Mo – Gov. Jay Nixon emphasized the value of Missouri’s trees and forests during a recent ceremony at the State Capitol, proclaiming April 1 as Arbor Day in Missouri and reminding people of National Arbor Day on April 29.

As part of the ceremony, Norborne Elementary School fifth-grader Leah Pieper presented Gov. Nixon with a copy of her winning poster from the 2011 Missouri Arbor Day Poster Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Community Forestry Council and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri. Approximately 800 fifth-grade students from Missouri schools around the state created posters reflecting the theme “Trees are Terrific….and Energy Wise.”

Pieper will receive a $100 savings bond from Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and a framed certificate from the Missouri Community Forestry Council. MDC will plant a commemorative tree at her school. The Pieper family has also been invited to attend the “TREEmendous Forest Festival” on April 30 and May 1 at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis where Leah’s winning poster will be on display. 

“Through the poster contest, Leah and hundreds of other students have learned about the importance of trees to our environment and how they can make a difference,” said MDC Forestry Program Supervisor Justine Gartner. “The poster contest is a fun yet educational way to help students understand the value that trees have in our communities.”            

The Arbor Day ceremony included a presentation of several potted trees from the MDC to the governor by fourth-grade students from around the state. The students were Sydney Borisenko who goes to Southern Boone Elementary, Kaylee Little who goes to Licking Elementary School and Madison Henry who goes to Raymondville R-7 Elementary School.

In support of Arbor Day and in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) “Trees for Tomorrow” program, MDC again distributed nearly 102,000 tree seedlings from its George O. White Nursery to about 4,000 fourth-grade classes in March. MODOT provides financial support for the production and distribution of the trees. In addition to the seedlings, MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program provides educational curriculum that includes grade-appropriate information and activities to help students understand the importance of trees and conservation.

“No matter where we live -- in the country, suburbs or cities -- trees and forests are vital to our health, wealth and happiness,” said MDC State Forester Lisa Allen. “Covering more than one-third of the Show-Me state, our forests and woods protect our soil from erosion and filter our water. They provide oxygen we need to breathe and clean our air by trapping and storing pollution, including tons of carbon emissions from fossil fuels.”

Allen added that Missouri forests provide lumber and numerous other wood products used around our state and around the world. This industry supports more than 32,000 Missouri jobs and generates almost $6 billion in annual economic activity.

“Missouri forests also provide habitats for an incredible diversity of plants and animals that could not exist without them, along with a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities and breathtaking scenic beauty,” she said.

Missouri has been observing Arbor Day since 1886 when the General Assembly declared that the first Friday in April should be set aside for the appreciation and planting of trees. National Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April. Each state determines its Arbor Day based on its unique climate and weather patterns.

Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree. For tips on selecting and planting the right tree for your situation, visit www.MissouriConservation.org and search “tree planting.”

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Primitive fish a precious catch to save the species

A pallid sturgeon born in the muddy flows of the Missouri or Mississippi rivers and surviving more than a decade to reach reproductive maturity is among the rarest fishes in North America, an endangered species facing extinction.
Which is why a researcher  who nonchalantly handles dozens of big fish daily got excited when he saw the flat snout and staggered barbels on a pale, three-foot-long fish thrashing in the Missouri River.
“Ooh, big pallid,” shouted Thomas Huffmon, a resource science assistant for the Missouri Department of Conservation seeking hatchery brood fish to save a species.
Boat operator Darby Niswonger quickly shifted the motor to idle and prepared to help land the prehistoric fish.
“I’ll get the net,” said Niswonger, a resource staff scientist for MDC’s Missouri River Field Station.
A few minutes later, both researchers carefully lowered the pallid sturgeon into a large plastic tub filled with river water.
“Because it’s so big, it’s probably pretty old,” Niswonger said. “There’s a good chance it’s a wild fish.”
Wild in this case means a pallid sturgeon hatched from eggs laid on a sand or gravel bed, one that floated helplessly with the currents as larval fish and then as a small fry found some slack water to grow and avoid predators such as catfish. Pallid reproduction became rare after the 1950s when completion of dams on the upper Missouri River and construction of a navigation channel from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis, made the river less turbid and eliminated natural habitat.
Pallids evolved 150 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the river shores and they remained a common fish into the 1900s.
Today though, they’re scarce, and a multi-state, multi-agency Missouri River Recovery Program funded and led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aims to help pallid sturgeons and other fish and wildlife species affected by river modifications.
As part of that program, MDC fisheries crews this month are catching wild pallids from the river as brood fish for spawning at the Blind Pony Hatchery near Sweet Springs, Mo. If they’re lucky, they’ll catch at least one or maybe a few each day. Those fish carry genetic diversity that’s needed if hatchery-raised pallids are to help the species survive in their native rivers.
Pallid sturgeons are elongated fish with cartilage rather than bones, including a flat, pointed snout and tough plates resembling scales on their backs and sides. They feed along the river bottom and use a tube-like mouth to suck up fish, insects and vegetation. The similar but smaller shovelnose sturgeons, which rarely top five pounds, remain numerous. But the larger pallid sturgeons are endangered nationwide.
Pallids can live 50 years or more and weigh more than 60 pounds. But biologists in recent decades have found only older fish and few young. Now they worry that with low numbers of pallids remaining, the chances of males and females finding one another during the spring spawning season are remote, Niswonger said. Plus, pallid males and females don’t reach reproductive maturity until 7 to 13 years, and both only reproduce every couple of years.
So stocking hatchery-raised fish is one hope for helping pallids rebound.
MDC fisheries crews use trotlines baited with nightcrawlers to catch potential brood fish. Niswonger and Huffmon on Tuesday ran and then reset lines in the river near Missouri City, downstream of Kansas City. They caught several shovelnose sturgeon, catfish and drum. All were weighed and measured to be part of an overall fisheries data base for the river.
But they only caught the one pallid sturgeon and it received special attention.
The biologists weighed and measured the fish at 6.6 pounds and 38 inches. Then they measured and counted the rays in the fins. They measured the distance between barbels, the whisker-like appendages near the mouth.
Niswonger ran an electronic scanner over the pallid to see it if had an implanted microchip, which would indicate that it is a hatchery-reared fish. She found none.  So a microchip was inserted into the fish, which enables its reference number to be read with a scanner if the fish is caught again in coming years.  That enables researchers to track a fish’s growth and movement in the river. Fish taken to the hatchery are later returned to the river.
But the biologist also clipped a portion of fin for DNA testing at a laboratory. Even if the fish is a male or female ready to spawn, it will not be utilized until a DNA test ensures that it is different from the hatchery-reared pallids released since into the river. More than a million young pallids have been released into the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, with three stockings in the 1990s and annual stockings since 2001.
“We’re stocking a lot of brothers and sisters,” Niswonger said. “They get a head start without having to make it as fry in the wild.”
The crew also recorded the location where the river-born pallid was caught using satellite technology, and they lowered instruments into the water to measure temperature and flow velocity.
Just raising pallids in a hatchery and releasing them won’t make the population sustainable. Biologists want to know what underwater habitats the fish prefer during spawning. Research crews from MDC and other agencies also study the fish in other seasons, such as following some with radio telemetry, so habitat can be modified along the river to help them.
The fate of pallids is tied to solving mysteries beneath a churning river’s surface.
“We still don’t know for sure what the bottleneck is,” Niswonger said, “what’s keeping them from growing and maturing and spawning on their own.”
-Bill Graham-

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Hunters check 18,788 turkeys during first week of season

Image of a thunderstorm line (in dBZ) seen on ...Image via Wikipedia
Severe weather and widespread rain held down numbers.
JEFFERSON CITY–Rain and severe weather complicated hunting during the first week of Missouri’s 21-day spring turkey season, leading to a 10-percent drop in the first-week harvest.

Missouri hunters checked 18,788 turkeys April 18 through 24, a decrease of 2,233 compared to last year. Top counties during the first week of Missouri’s regular spring turkey season were Franklin with 427 birds checked, Bollinger with 332 and Callaway with 329.

Resource Scientist Jason Isabelle is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s lead turkey biologist. He predicted a slight decrease in this year’s turkey harvest, because turkey numbers are down slightly statewide. The 10.6-percent drop in first-week harvest is more than he expected, but Isabelle said it is not surprising.

“Weather is always the wild card in trying to predict turkey harvest,” said Isabelle. “Rain and wind make hunting more of a challenge, so you can count on the harvest going down during stormy weather. Having violent thunderstorms, tornadoes and intermittent rain during the first weekend of the season made the effect of weather especially important this year.”
Although he predicted a dip in the spring turkey harvest, Isabelle also predicted that hunters would have more mature gobblers to hunt this year. That also is coming true. First-week harvest figures show that mature gobblers accounted for 80 percent of the birds checked, up from 77.6 percent last year.
“We saw a slight improvement in the hatch two years ago,” said Isabelle. “That means we have more 2-year-old gobblers in the woods this year.”

Isabelle said this is good news for two reasons. First, two-year-old birds generally gobble more than any other age class, and that makes for more exciting hunting. Second, because mature gobblers are bearing more of the harvest this year, that means more 1-year-old gobblers are going to make it through the hunting season and live to be 2-year-olds next spring.

Isabelle noted that turkey season continues through May 8, giving hunters ample opportunity to make up for lost time. If the weather cooperates, particularly on weekends, this year’s harvest could still be close to last year’s number.

The Conservation Department recorded two firearms-related hunting incidents during the first week of turkey season. Both occurred April 23, the first Saturday of the season.

One incident involved a 16-year-old hunter who died of a self-inflicted gunshot. His shotgun discharged as he was gathering up his gear with the shotgun leaning against his body. The trigger apparently caught on something and discharged, striking him in the head.

In the other incident, a 22-year-old victim suffered minor injuries when an 18-year-old hunter mistook him for a turkey. The incident occurred near a property line. The victim–wearing full camouflage clothing–stood up to make the other hunter aware of his presence and the shooter fired at him. MDC officials said this incident illustrates the importance of announcing your presence to approaching hunters by calling out to them before moving.

The Conservation Department also recorded two nonfatal hunting incidents during the youth turkey season April 9 and 10. One of those involved one hunter mistaking another hunter for game. The other involved a hunter caught in the line of fire.

Details about Missouri’s spring turkey season are found in the “2011 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet, which is available from permit vendors statewide or at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/4066. Information about turkey hunting safety is available at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/4122.
-Jim Low-

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Missouri Tree Farm Day, May 21, will highlight untapped potential of state’s forests

A deciduous broadleaf (Beech) forest in Slovenia.Image via WikipediaCOLUMBIA, Mo. – On May 21, named National Walk in the Woods Day by the American Forest Foundation, people will be walking in the woods of Dave and Gunilla Murphy, hosts of the 2011 Missouri Tree Farm Day.

“The Murphys’ farm is a great example of the value of actively managing private forestland, whether the goal is profit, conservation, outdoor recreation or scenic enjoyment,” said Hank Stelzer, University of Missouri Extension state forester.

At the event, the Missouri Tree Farm Committee will honor Dave Murphy as its 2010 Tree Farmer of the Year for his practice and advocacy of good woodland stewardship.

After just a few years of woodland management, the Murphys significantly increased the value of their 376-acre farm in southern Clark County, boosting the productivity of its timber stands by about $100 per acre per year and increasing the amount and variety of wildlife, including deer and turkey.

Attendees will be able to go on mule-drawn wagon tours to see the Murphys’ forest management practices at work.

Dave Murphy said the key to their success was careful planning with the help
of professional foresters.

When Dave and Gunilla became sole owners of the Murphy family farm, they hired consulting foresters to inventory and map their woodland, then worked with the foresters and the Missouri Department of Conservation to develop a sound management plan. They fenced off the farm’s pastures to keep livestock from grazing on saplings and seedlings, and thinned overcrowded timber stands to promote robust growth and get rid of unwanted species.

Murphy says the long-term payoff is well worth the short-term costs for consulting, labor and herbicides.
There are millions of acres of woodland in Missouri with similar potential, he said. "The estimates of the positive benefits of bringing more of Missouri’s forest under management are staggering. Billions in revenue every year. Thousands of additional jobs statewide.”

Stelzer hopes the event will help other woodland owners realize more of that potential.
“Only about 5 percent of Missouri’s 14 million acres of privately owned woodland is under planned management,” Stelzer said.

In 21st-century Missouri, unmanaged woodlands are under threat from invasive tree and plant species; disease and pest problems; overgrazing by livestock from nearby pastures; “logging the best and leaving the rest” timber harvests; damaging wildfires; and problems with erosion and water quality, he said.

In addition to showcasing forest management practices, presenters will discuss selling timber and developing habitats for quail and turkey. Live demonstrations will show the use of a portable sawmill and provide an opportunity to learn about beekeeping and air-drying lumber.

A number of organizations will have informational booths, including the MU Center for Agroforestry, Missouri Consulting Foresters, the National Turkey Federation, the Missouri Walnut Council, beekeepers Dadant & Sons, and the Missouri Forest and Woodland Association.


The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts, followed by opening remarks. Two concurrent wagon tours begin at 10 a.m. and will be repeated at 2 p.m. The event concludes at 4 p.m.
Registration is $20 per person. Online registration and directions are available at http://www.moforest.org/education/treefarmconference.html.

Conference sponsors include the National Tree Farm System, Missouri Tree Farm Committee, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Forest Products Association and MU Forestry Extension.
For more information about National Walk in the Woods Day, see the American Forest Foundation website at http://www.affoundation.org/.


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MDC Weekly Fishing Report.4/22/2011

Attention Fishing Report Subscribers:

In most streams south of the Missouri River, black bass season will open May 28, 2011, until that date all black bass in those streams must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.  For details see Chapter 6 of the Wildlife Code.

PLEASE CHECK REGULATIONS CAREFULLY: Special regulations may apply to designated portions of water bodies; some baits and lures may not be legal for all portions.



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CENTRAL REGION (573) 882-8388

    LAKES

Binder: 54 degrees, normal, clear; largemouth bass good on plastic baits and spinnerbaits; crappie good on minnows and jigs; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers and liver; all other species slow.


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CENTRAL REGION (573) 882-8388

    LAKES

Binder: 54 degrees, normal, clear; largemouth bass good on plastic baits and spinnerbaits; crappie good on minnows and jigs; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers and liver; all other species slow.




 (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Blind Pony Lake: 57 degrees, normal, dingy; fishing pressure is very low this year; channel catfish and sunfish fair on nightcrawlers; all other species slow; anglers need to be reminded that the lake is closed to private boats and bait held or transported in containers with water is prohibited. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Bagnell Tailwater): 53 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie fair on minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed; white bass fair on light colored soft plastics; catfish slow, try worms, chicken liver and cut shad; paddlefish slow snagging.

 (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Glaize): 59 degrees, dingy; crappie good using crappie jigs and minnows; black bass fair on dark colored soft plastic worms and buzzbaits; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics; catfish slow on worms, chicken livers and cut baits.
 (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Gravois): 56 degrees, dingy; crappie fair; black bass fair; white bass slow; catfish slow.





 (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Niangua): 56 degrees, dingy; crappie fair on jigs; white bass fair using spinnerbaits; black bass fair on plastic worms; catfish fair using cut shad.


 (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lake of the Ozarks (Osage): 56 degrees, dingy; crappie fair on jigs; white bass fair using spinnerbaits; black bass fair on plastic worms; catfish fair using cut shad.



 (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Little Dixie: 56 degrees, normal, clear; crappie fair on minnows & jigs; all other species slow.  Area closed to all activity between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. (Report made on 4/21/2011)



   RIVERS

Lamine: high, muddy; crappie good on minnows around the A Hwy. (old 50 Access); all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Missouri (Middle): high, muddy; channel catfish good on worms and gizzard shad; flathead catfish slow; blue catfish good on cut bait.
 (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Osage (lower, at Tuscumbia): 53 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie fair on minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed; white bass fair on light colored soft plastics; catfish slow, try worms, chicken liver and cut shad; paddlefish slow snagging.

 (Report made on 4/20/2011)



KANSAS CITY REGION (816) 655-6254

    LAKES

James A. Reed Area: 57 degrees, high, clear; crappie good; largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill and redear sunfish fair; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Montrose: 59 degrees, dingy; crappie and black bass fair; all other species slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Schell-Osage (Atkinson Lake): 61 degrees, dingy; crappie and catfish fair; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Schell-Osage (Schell Lake): 61 degrees, high, dingy; crappie and catfish good; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Truman: 57 degrees, high, dingy; crappie have moved away from the banks due to cooler temperatures and are fair using minnows and jigs; catfish fair using cut shad; black bass fair using crankbaits and spinnerbaits; walleye fair. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Truman Tailwaters: 57 degrees, dingy; releasing 32,000 cfs; crappie good on jigs and minnows; white bass and hybrid bass good; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)



 RIVERS

Missouri River: muddy; river rising, near flood stage; lots of debris in river; all species slow.
 (Report made on 4/21/2011)

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NORTHEAST REGION (660) 785-2420

    LAKES

Hunnewell: 49 degrees, normal, clear; largemouth bass good on flukes; channel catfish good on chicken livers; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Long Branch: 55 degrees, high, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Mark Twain: 50 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie fair on jigs and minnows; channel catfish good on cut bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Sever: 54 degrees, normal, dingy; muskie good on traditional muskie bait; crappie fair on minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Thomas Hill: 59 degrees, high, clear; hybrid striped bass good on shallow diving Rapalas and Rattle Trap; channel catfish slow on natural baits; crappie fair on minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



RIVERS

Mississippi (above St. Louis): 53 degrees, high, muddy; river is at flood stage; channel catfish fair on worms and stinkbait; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Salt (below Mark Twain): 55 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

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NORTHWEST REGION (816) 271-3100

    LAKES

Bilby Ranch Lake: 55 degrees, low, clear; black bass good on crankbaits; walleye slow on crankbaits, channel catfish good on cut bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Mozingo: 55 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie good on jigs over deep brush; black bass fair; walleye fair leaving dam area; channel catfish good. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Paho: 62 degrees, high, dingy; channel catfish and bullhead fair on nightcrawlers; hybrid striped bass fair on large spinners; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Pony Express: 54 degrees, high, clear; all species fair. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Smithville: 50 degrees, rising, dingy; crappie slow in shallow water near brush and trees on minnows and a variety of jigs; channel catfish slow on nightcrawlers; white bass fair in the creek arms of the lake on jigs; walleye slow with some being caught in the evening off the dam with shallow diving stickbaits; all other species slow; all snagged/foul hooked fish must be returned to the water immediately. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



  RIVERS

Grand: 49 degrees, falling, dingy; channel catfish and blue catfish fair; flathead catfish slow; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Missouri (below Iowa line): 50 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

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OZARK REGION (417) 255-9561

    LAKES

Bull Shoals (East): 62 degrees, normal, dingy; white bass good on jigs; largemouth bass fair on a variety of artificial baits; crappie fair on minnows or jigs. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Norfork: 64 degrees, normal, dingy; white bass fair on soft plastics; crappie fair on minnows or jigs; largemouth bass fair on a variety of artificial baits. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



 RIVERS

Big Piney (lower, Pulaski Co.): 59 degrees, high, dingy; smallmouth bass catch-and-release fishing and goggle-eye fair on small plastic baits and jigs. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Big Piney (Upper): 60 degrees, normal, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Bryant Creek: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Current: 61 degrees, normal, clear; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Eleven Point: 58 degrees, low, clear; rainbow trout good on corn; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Gasconade (middle, Pulaski Co.): 60 degrees, high, dingy; smallmouth bass catch-and-release fishing and goggle-eye fair on small plastic baits and jigs. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Gasconade (upper): 60 degrees, normal, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Jack's Fork: 60 degrees, high, clear; all species fair on live bait. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

North Fork: 58 degrees, normal, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



SOUTHEAST REGION (573) 290-5858

    LAKES

Clearwater Lake: 64 degrees, high, dingy; crappie fair on jigs; white bass fair on Rooster Tails; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Council Bluff: 63 degrees, normal, clear; largemouth bass fair on dark colored soft plastics and minnows; crappie fair on minnows and jigs near brush piles and beaver lodges; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Cypress Lake: 64 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie and largemouth bass fair in 2-3' depths using minnows and jigs; bluegill fair in 2-3' depths using jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Duck Creek: 66 degrees, clear; redear sunfish good on jigs; crappie fair on minnows; bluegill fair on jigs; largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Lake Girardeau: normal, clear; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Perry County Lake: 66 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie fair on white jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Robert DeLaney Lake: 57 degrees, normal, clear; crappie good on blue and white, pink and white, and black and green jigs, as well as live minnows; bluegill fair on crickets and worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Wappapello: low, crappie good on minnows and jigs; catfish fair on worms; all other species slow; anglers should note the 9" minimum length limit regulation for crappie on Wappapello Lake.  Recorded lake level and other information can be received by calling the Wappapello Lake Information Hotline at 573-222-8139 or 1-877-Lake-Info. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



 RIVERS

Black River (near Annapolis): 58 degrees, high, dingy; white bass fair on Rooster Tails; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Castor River (above Zalma): high, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lower Black River (Clearwater Dam): high, dingy; catfish good on worms and live bait; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; black bass (season currently closed, catch-and-release only) fair on minnows and jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Mississippi (below Charleston): rising, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Mississippi River (Cape Girardeau): high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

St. Francis (above Wappapello): rising, dingy; catfish good on worms and live bait; black bass fair in backwaters on worms and jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

St. Francis (below Wappapello): high, dingy; flathead catfish good on trotline and pole and line using live bait; channel catfish fair on stinkbait and chicken liver; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)



SOUTHWEST REGION (417) 895-6881

    LAKES

Bull Shoals (West): 52-55 degrees, low, dingy; dam/Swan Creek area: white bass good on swimming minnows; walleye fair on jerkbait; black bass fair on jigs and nightcrawlers; all other species slow; Beaver Creek: black bass good on jigs, crankbait and nightcrawlers; white bass good on swimming minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Lake Taneycomo: 51 degrees, normal, clear; upper lake: trout good on jig and float, puff balls and Rooster Tails. Lower lake: trout good on Power Baits, corn and nightcrawlers. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Pomme de Terre: 61 degrees, high, dingy; largemouth bass fair on plastics baits and spinning baits over submerged cover; crappie fair on minnows and jigs in backs of coves over submerged cover in 5' - 10' of water; catfish fair on worms and shad in flats and rising water conditions in upper portions of lake; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Stockton: 59 degrees, high, dingy; crappie good on Crappie Candy, minnows, tube baits, and Cast Master in 15' of water; white bass good on tube baits, moving up into rivers; walleye slow, best on minnows and tube baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

Table Rock (James River arm): 68 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie good on brown, pearl, or purple jigs or soft plastic minnows, cast around stick-ups in 2' to 5' of water; white bass good on white vibric spinners, white soft plastic baits or purple soft plastic minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Table Rock (main lake): 68 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie good on brown, pearl, or purple jigs or soft plastic minnows, cast around stick-ups in 2' to 5' of water; white bass good on white vibric spinners, white soft plastic baits or purple soft plastic minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)



RIVERS

Big Niangua: 51 degrees, high, dingy; black bass slow, catch and release only until May 28, best on soft plastics; goggle-eye slow, best on soft plastics and jigs; trout slow, best on natural baits and Power Baits below Bennett Spring; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

James River (lower): 61 degrees, normal, clear; catfish good on nightcrawlers and cut bait; white bass good on swimming minnows and live bait in mornings and evenings; crappie good on jigs and minnows; bluegill good on crickets and worms; paddlefish are moving up river and can be caught with snagging methods. (Report made on 4/20/2011)

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ST. LOUIS REGION (636) 300-1953

    LAKES

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lake 33: 56 degrees, normal, dingy; bluegill fair on worms; black bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits; catfish slow on stinkbaits and chicken liver; limit 4; crappie good on jigs and minnows; please remove litter. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23: 60 degrees, high, dingy; channel catfish slow on stinkbaits and chicken liver; limit 4; stocking will begin in early May; bluegill fair on worms; black bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits; limit 4; please remove litter.


 (Report made on 4/21/2011)



RIVERS

Big River: 58 degrees, rising, muddy; catfish good on liver and shrimp; black bass catch-and-release fishing fair on nightcrawlers; drum good on worms; bluegill fair on crickets; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Bourbeuse (middle, lower, Franklin Co.): 62 degrees, rising, dingy; channel catfish fair on blood baits and cut bait;  crappie fair on minnows; black bass catch-and-release fishing fair on spin and crankbaits; all other species slow on natural baits. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Meramec (above Sullivan, Crawford Co.): 60 degrees, high, dingy; catch-and-release black bass good on natural baits; crappie good on minnows and jigs; goggle-eye good on worms and jigs; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Meramec (below Eureka): 60 degrees, high, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Missouri (below New Haven): 60 degrees, high, muddy; channel catfish slow on cut baits and blood baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/21/2011)



TROUT PARKS

Fishing the Missouri Trout Parks: A Streamside Guide to Bennett Spring State Park, Maramec Spring Park, Montauk State Park, & Roaring River State Park

Bennett Spring State Park: 56 degrees, the spring level is slightly above normal and off colored; Zone 1 and 2 best lures: red and green Cracklebacks, white floss mini jig, gingersnap colored with gold head, pink and white colored and black and yellow colored marabou jigs, white colored with red ring Rooster Tail,  tri-colored  and pink and peach colored glo balls; Zone 3 best lures: yellow, white and cheese Power Baits, Trout Nip, and minnows.  April fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Our annual kids fishing day is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. Activities will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m.
 (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Maramec Spring Park: 56 degrees, normal, fishing is good; the water is clear with good flow; doughbaits and putty baits are producing good numbers of fish; feather jigs in black, yellow, olive and white are also good choices. Fishing hours for the month of April are 7:00 a.m to 7:30 p.m. Kid's Free Fishing Day is Saturday, May 14th, 2011. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Montauk State Park: 57 degrees, the river level is normal for this time of year and steady as of 4:00 p.m. on April 21st. The water is clear. Fishing is good on all baits with the best fishing in the morning and evening hours.  Fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


For up-to-date stream conditions check  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440 (Report made on 4/21/2011)

Roaring River State Park: 57 degrees, the stream is normal and clear; orange, chartreuse and black spinners and small crankbaits are good; marabou jigs and micro jigs are still working; black, yellow, white, dark brown, tan and olive Power Bait worms and eggs are working; white, brown and fluorescent yellow eggs, white and orange worms are working; in Zone 3 nightcrawlers, corn and small Power Bait nuggets are working very well. (Report made on 4/21/2011)

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