Monday, April 30, 2012

Morning and moonlight walks May 5 highlight Big Oak Tree State Park

Boardwalk through Big Oak Tree State Park, Mis...
Boardwalk through Big Oak Tree State Park, Missouri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Experience two different sides of Big Oak Tree State Park with morning and moonlight walks May 5. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, both hikes will be on the elevated boardwalk in the park, which is located near East Prairie. The public is invited to attend.

The morning hike, which will begin at 9 a.m., will showcase spring wildflowers, flowering trees and migratory birds. Hikers can look for mushrooms and other wildlife during the approximately one hour long hike. Bring your binoculars, cameras and sense of adventure for this fun-filled morning.

The evening hike, which will begin at 8 p.m., will provide a moonlight setting to learn about the creatures and interesting natural phenomena that occurs during the night. Hikers can listen to the night sounds and have fun with a few activities to test their senses. Learn about the animals that make all the sounds and prepare to enjoy a fun and educational time with friends and family.

Both hikes will begin at the parking lot near the boardwalk and will be approximately 1.5 miles long.

Big Oak Tree State Park is located approximately 15 miles south of East Prairie on Highway 102. For more information about the event, contact Big Oak Tree State Park at 573-649-3149 or Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site at 573-748-5340. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

May Days Wildflower Walks planned May 2, 5, 6 at Crowder State Park

Experience the wonders of spring in the outdoors on guided wildflower walks May 2, 5 and 6 at Crowder State Park near Trenton. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the walks are free and open to the public.

Each walk will feature a different trail so participants will have the opportunity to see all of the park trails. Walks will be held on the following trails:
  • May 2 - 9 a.m. - Red Bud Trail (2 miles). Meet at the tennis court parking lot and 2 p.m. - River Forks Trail (2 miles). Meet at the beach parking lot.
  • May 5 - 9 a.m.-Tall Oaks Trail (3 miles). Meet at the Shelter 3 parking lot and 2 p.m.-North Thompson Trail (3.8 miles). Meet at the equestrian parking lot.
  • May 6 – 1 p.m.-South Thompson Trail (6 miles). Meet at the equestrian parking lot.

Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. In addition to healthy outdoor fun, the walks will provide the opportunity to identify and discover information about the wildflowers along the trail.

Crowder State Park is located west of Trenton off Highway 6. For more information about the event, call the park at 660-359-6473. For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Third Annual BioBlitz set for June 9 and 10

Prairie grasses
Prairie grasses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nature lovers of all ages are invited to enjoy the biological richness and beauty of Schwartz Prairie on June 9 and 10 at the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Third Annual Prairie BioBlitz. At this free event, adults and children with enthusiasm for the outdoors will team up with biologists to explore the prairie and document plants and animals of the site.

Named for conservation pioneers Charles W. and Elizabeth R. Schwartz, the Foundation’s Schwartz Prairie in St. Clair County harbors more than 300 plant species and many prairie-dependent animals within its original, unplowed 240 acres.

“The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Prairie BioBlitz is a blend of easy-going nature discoveries, fellowship with naturalists, and your favorite biology field trip all wrapped into one relaxing weekend,” said Jeff Cantrell, education consultant with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). “I find folks who’ve participated in the past talking about the Foundation’s Prairie BioBlitz experience for the entire year.”

Across the country, nature lovers and professional biologists team up at “BioBlitz’s” to identify as many species as possible (the “bio”) in an area over the course of 24 hours (the “blitz”). The Foundation’s version will begin June 9 at 2 p.m. and end the afternoon of June 10. In addition to plant and animal team activities, there will be a potluck picnic dinner, stargazing, nocturnal insect observations and free tent camping on the prairie. 
“Today, ecologists consider temperate grasslands to be the most endangered, least conserved of any major terrestrial habitat on earth, so Missouri’s tallgrass prairies have global conservation significance,” said Carol Davit, the Foundation’s executive director. “Collectively, our remaining prairies in Missouri support up to 800 plant species, dozens of vertebrates and thousands of invertebrates, but there is still much to learn. We want to see how many species we can find at Schwartz Prairie, and BioBlitz participants will help in that effort.”

On the afternoon and evening of June 9 and the morning of June 10, biologists who study ants, bees, birds, beetles, butterflies, true bugs, insect mimicry, moths, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, land snails, vascular plants, mosses and liverworts will lead groups across the prairie to survey and inventory as many species as possible.

Several MDC biologists will be group leaders, including mammalogist Debbie Fantz, natural history biologist Mike Arduser , wildlife biologist Rochelle Renken and naturalist Shelly Cox. Other leaders will include entomologist James Trager, botanists Justin Thomas, John Atwood, and Nels Holmberg, malacologist Ron Oesch, lepidopterist Phillip Koenig and naturalist Elizabeth Hamilton.

“We are thrilled that so many biologists are giving their time to help uncover the plant and animal treasures of this prairie,” said Davit. “If you love wildlife, this is a great opportunity to learn from experts passionate about their given subjects, and play a role in much-needed data collection as well.”

When the Missouri Prairie Foundation purchased the 240-acre Schwartz Prairie in 1991, the tract, though original prairie, was dissected by a woody draw that fragmented the native grassland habitat. The Foundation’s thorough removal of trees and brush from the draw has resulted in an unbroken prairie vista at Schwartz. Relentless annual control of sericea lespedeza and other invasive plants conserves and maintains the abundant biodiversity of the site.

Home to an impressive 337 plants species, most of them dependent on high quality prairie, Schwartz also is one of fewer than 50 locations in the world with a population of Geocarpon minimum, a tiny plant that is federally listed. A number of state-listed animal species occur at the prairie as well. Prairie mole crickets, regal fritillary butterflies and northern crawfish frogs can be seen or heard in the warm months, and short-eared owls use Schwartz Prairie regularly in the winter.

The BioBlitz is free, but participants must RSVP. For a detailed BioBlitz schedule, directions to the prairie and to RSVP, visit the Upcoming Events page at moprairie.org, email info@moprairie.com or call 888-843-6739.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 46-year-old membership organization that protects and restores prairie and other native grasslands through acquisition, management, education and support of prairie research. The organization owns more than 2,600 acres of prairie across the state and helps manage an additional 1,500 acres owned by conservation partners.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Keep Baker Beautiful Day Planned May 5 at Sam A. Baker State Park

The dining lodge at Sam A. Baker State Park wa...
The dining lodge at Sam A. Baker State Park was built by the CCC of native stone and wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You are invited to spend the day outdoors and help one of Missouri's most scenic state parks at the "Keep Baker Beautiful Day" May 5 at Sam A. Baker State Park near Patterson. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, this 20th annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.

This special day recognizes both Earth Day and Missouri Beautification Month by getting the park in shape for the upcoming visitation season.  There will be assignments for all ages. Planting, trail care and litter patrol are just a few of the projects planned for the day. Meet at the park's visitor center around 8:30 a.m. to meet other volunteers and get your project assignments.

After the work is completed, volunteers will receive a free picnic lunch and a certificate of appreciation. Bring a pair of work gloves and drinking water, wear closed-toed shoes and join the fun. 

For more information, contact Michelle Soenksen, Sam A. Baker State Park naturalist, at 573-856-4514. To register, call the park office at 573-856-4411 by May 3. In case of severe or inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.

Sam A. Baker State Park is located four miles north of Patterson on Highway 143 in Wayne County. For information on Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Weekly Fishing Report, 4/26/2012

Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) Françai...
Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) Français : Achigan à petite bouche (Micropterus dolomieu) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In most streams south of the Missouri River, black bass season will open May 26, 2012, 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.



Missouri Fishing Public Access Page



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CENTRAL REGION (573) 882-8388

    LAKES

Binder Lake: 67 degrees, normal, clear; crappie good on jigs and minnows; bluegill good on worms and crickets; channel catfish fair on liver and stinkbaits;  largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits and plastic Gulps.

 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Blind Pony Lake: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; largemouth bass good on soft plastics;  sunfish and channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers; all other species slow; the lake is closed to private boats, and bait held or transported in containers with water is prohibited. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Bagnell Tailwater): 57 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie slow, try minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed;
white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics and crappie jigs;
catfish fair on cut shad, stinkbaits, chicken livers and worms.
 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Glaize): 63 degrees, dingy; crappie fair on minnows and crappie jigs; black bass fair, try dark colored soft plastic worms and buzzbaits; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics; catfish fair on stinkbaits and cut baits.

 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Gravois): 63 degrees, dingy; crappie good on minnows; black bass good; white bass slow; catfish fair on cut bait.

 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Niangua): 63 degrees, dingy; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; black bass good on spinnerbaits and soft plastics; catfish good on liver and cut bait; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics.
 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Osage): 63 degrees, dingy; crappie fair on minnows and jigs, fish beds around docks; black bass fair on soft plastics and crankbaits; catfish good on cut baits; white bass slow, try using light colored soft plastics.
 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Little Dixie Lake: 68 degrees, normal, clear; crappie good on live minnows and jigs; largemouth bass good on  plastic worms; bluegill fair on earthworms; channel catfish fair on stinkbaits and chicken liver; the area is closed to all activity including fishing from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

    RIVERS

Lamine River: normal, muddy; channel catfish good in late afternoon and early evening at Roberts Bluff Access using worms and cut baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Missouri River (middle): high, muddy; channel catfish fair on stinkbaits and cut baits; blue catfish fair on stinkbaits and cut baits; flathead catfish fair on stinkbaits and cut baits; all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Osage (lower, at Tuscumbia): 57 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie slow, try minnows and crappie jigs; black bass season closed;
white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics and crappie jigs;
catfish fair on cut shad, stinkbaits, chicken livers and worms.
 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

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KANSAS CITY REGION (816) 655-6254

    LAKES

Atkinson Lake (Schell-Osage CA): 75 degrees, normal, clear; crappie slow; catfish good; black bass good; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area: 64 degrees, clear; 6" low; channel catfish fair; crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and largemouth bass good; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Montrose Lake: 67 degrees, normal, dingy; catfish fair; black bass good; crappie slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Schell Lake (Schell-Osage CA): 76 degrees, normal, clear; crappie slow; catfish good; black bass good; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Truman Lake: 63 degrees, high, muddy; crappie fair using spider rigging in the creeks in 12 - 18' of water; catfish good on fresh cut bait on jugs and trotlines; black bass fair.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Truman Lake Tailwaters: 62 degrees, falling, clear; crappie slow below the dam, spawn over; catfish good; white bass and hybrid bass good; fishing pressure moderate. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

    RIVERS

Missouri River (Kansas City area): 60 degrees, falling, muddy; all species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

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NORTHEAST REGION (660) 785-2420

    LAKES

Hunnewell Lake: 62 degrees, normal, clear; channel catfish fair using chicken liver; largemouth bass good using flukes; crappie good using Twister Tails; all other species slow.

  (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Long Branch Lake: 58 degrees, high, dingy; channel catfish fair on liver, cut shad, and worms; all other species slow.

 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Mark Twain: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; crappie fair on assorted jigs and minnows; channel catfish good on nightcrawlers; white bass fair; all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Sever: 65 degrees, normal, clear; crappie fair on tube jigs; black bass good on shallow to medium depth crankbaits; catfish fair on earthworms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Thomas Hill Reservoir: 63 degrees, high, dingy; small channel catfish fair on worms; all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/25/2012)

    RIVERS

Mississippi River (upper): 60 degrees, high, muddy; black bass good on buzzbaits; channel catfish good on stinkbaits, liver and nightcrawlers; shovelnose sturgeon fair on nightcrawlers; drum fair on nightcrawlers; all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Salt (below Mark Twain): 62 degrees, normal, muddy; channel catfish and flathead catfish good using shad, stinkbaits and live baits on rod and reel and bank poles left overnight (bank poles left overnight must be labeled with full name and address, or Conservation number); all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

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NORTHWEST REGION (816) 271-3100

    LAKES

Bilby Ranch Lake: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish good using cut bait or liver; black bass fair on crankbaits or topwater lures; bluegill and crappie good on live bait.   (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Lake Paho: 68 degrees, normal, clear; crappie fair on jigs and small spinners off the rocks on the dam during the early evening hours; largemouth bass fair on soft plastics in 2 - 5' of water; channel catfish fair on natural baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Mozingo Lake: 65 degrees, high, clear; all species good. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Pony Express Lake: 58 degrees, normal, clear; bluegill good on worms and crickets; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Smithville Lake: 64 degrees, normal, clear; crappie good on minnows near brush piles; black bass fair on spinners; catfish fair using nightcrawlers or liver; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

    RIVERS

Grand River: 67 degrees, falling, clear; channel catfish fair; blue catfish fair; flathead catfish slow; all other species good. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Missouri River (upper): 60 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish fair on worms and dip bait; blue catfish fair on cut bait; carp fair on worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

----------------------
OZARK REGION (417) 255-9561

    LAKES

Bull Shoals Lake (East): 70 degrees, high, dingy; black bass fair on artificial baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Norfork Lake: 71 degrees, high, dingy; black bass fair on artificial baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

    RIVERS

Big Piney River (lower, Pulaski Co.): 62 degrees, normal, dingy; goggle-eye good on crankbaits and small spinnerbaits. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Big Piney River (upper, Texas Co.): 64 degrees, normal, clear; goggle-eye and black bass (catch and release only) good on soft plastics and live bait. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Bryant Creek: 68 degrees, normal, dingy; smallmouth bass (catch and release only) and goggle-eye fair on soft plastics. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Current River: 68 degrees, normal, clear; all species good on live baits and artificial lures. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Eleven Point River: 60 degrees, normal, clear; rainbow trout good on corn and prepared baits; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Gasconade River (middle): 62 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish fair on live bait. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Gasconade River (upper): 59 degrees, normal, dingy; goggle-eye and sunfish fair on live bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Jacks Fork: 64 degrees, normal, clear; smallmouth bass and goggle-eye good on soft plastics (black bass are catch and release only). (Report made on 4/25/2012)

North Fork of the White River: 63 degrees, normal, clear; smallmouth bass (catch and release only) and goggle-eye fair on soft plastics. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

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SOUTHEAST REGION (573) 290-5858

    LAKES

Clearwater Lake: 72 degrees, normal, clear; crappie fair on jigs and minnows; black bass fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits; bluegill fair on live worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Council Bluff Lake: 66 degrees, normal, clear; largemouth bass good on dark colored soft plastics; crappie fair on jigs and minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Cypress Lake: 62 degrees, normal, dingy; bluegill and redear sunfish good on jigs, crickets and worms in 1 - 3' depths; crappie fair on minnows and jigs in 1 - 2' depths, mostly smaller fish being caught right now; largemouth bass fair on minnows and jigs incidental to crappie fishing, and plastic worms in 1 - 3' depths; channel catfish fair on worms and stinkbait in 2 - 3' depths. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Duck Creek CA Pool 1: 65 degrees, high, clear; bluegill and warmouth sunfish fair on crickets and jigs; largemouth bass and chain pickerel fair on spinnerbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Lake Girardeau: normal, clear; bluegill and redear sunfish good on crickets; channel catfish fair on worms; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Perry County Lake: 64 degrees, clear; crappie good on jigs; redear sunfish good on worms; black bass fair on spinnerbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Robert DeLaney Lake: normal, crappie fair on jigs and minnows; channel catfish fair on stinkbaits; all other species slow.  (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Wappapello Lake: 64 degrees, rising, crappie good on minnows and jigs; channel catfish good on trotlines and jug lines using live bait at night; black bass fair on crankbaits and plastic worms; bluegill fair on crickets; all other species slow.
Anglers should note the 9" minimum length limit regulation for crappie on Wappapello Lake.  Call the Wappapello Lake Recreation Hotline for updates at 573-222-8139. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

    RIVERS

Black River (above Clearwater Lake): 60 degrees, normal, clear; smallmouth bass (catch and release only) and goggle-eye fair on tube baits and live minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Black River (below Clearwater Lake): 70 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish good on live bait and cut bait; crappie good on jigs and minnows; black bass good on jigs and minnows (season closed, catch and release only); all other species slow.
 (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Castor River (above Zalma): normal, clear; all species fair. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Mississippi River (middle): falling, muddy; channel catfish fair on worms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

Mississippi River (Ohio River to Arkansas): normal, muddy; channel catfish fair on beef liver and cut baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

St. Francis River (above Wappapello): normal, dingy; channel catfish good on live bait; black bass (season closed until May 26th) good on minnows and jigs; redear sunfish good on crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

St. Francis River (below Wappapello): 61 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish fair on liver, large minnows and stinkbaits; crappie fair using chartreuse tube jigs and minnows; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/25/2012)

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SOUTHWEST REGION (417) 895-6881

    LAKES

Bull Shoals Lake (West): 52-55 degrees, high, clear; white bass good on white, purple, smoke, and chartreuse swimming minnows; black bass good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, soft plastics and jigs; crappie good on white swimming minnows and crappie jigs; walleye fair on jerkbaits and crankbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Lake Taneycomo: 49 degrees, low, clear; trout good on scuds, midges and San Juan worms fished with a fly rod in the upper portion of the lake; trout good on chartreuse, orange, and pink Power Baits, corn and live nightcrawlers in the lower portion of the lake. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Pomme de Terre Reservoir: 61 degrees, high, clear; crappie good on minnows and tube jigs in 5 - 12' of water; black bass fair on Texas rigged worms; tube jigs and spinnerbaits in 12' of water; walleye fair on bottom bouncers and jig and minnow or worms off of points and in the mouth of rivers; white bass fair on Twister Tails in the rivers; catfish fair on cut baits; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Stockton Lake: 62 degrees, high, dingy; catfish good on liver from banks of coves and points; crappie slow, best on minnows in 10' of water; black bass slow, best on jerkbaits in various colors, most commonly chartreuse, in 6 - 15' of water over flats and off points; walleye slow on plastic worms and minnows at the edge of bluffs and up into the lake arms; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Table Rock Lake (James River arm): 65 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass good on soft plastic crayfish, Wiggle Warts and grubs, black, pearl or shad colored baits working well, fish over beds in coves and some largemouth bass are very close to the banks; crappie fair on jigs and live minnows in 20' or less of water; white bass fair on white or bright yellow Vibric spinnerbaits, small diving crankbaits and pearl swimming minnows, trolling is working well.  (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Table Rock Lake (main lake): 66 degrees, normal, clear; black bass good on tube baits and medium sized crankbaits that look like shad in 5 - 12' of water; bluegill good on nightcrawlers in shallow water; crappie fair on minnows and small tube baits in 8 - 12' of water, moving closer to shore to spawn; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

    RIVERS

James River: 64 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass good on shaky jigs, smaller worms, flukes, and small crankbaits with bluegill colors (catch and release only); white bass good on white Road Runners and Power Baits with plastic minnows; crappie good on grub baits in 1 - 2' of water; catfish good on bait fish and frogs. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Niangua River: 59 degrees, high, dingy; black bass slow, best on soft plastics and natural baits (catch and release only); goggle-eye slow, best on natural baits and jigs; trout slow, best on natural baits and Power Baits below Bennett Spring; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

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ST. LOUIS REGION (636) 300-1953

    LAKES

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lake 33: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish good on livers; black bass good on spinners, plastic worms and crankbaits; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; please remove litter.
 (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23: 63 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish good on doughbait, cut bait and blood bait; limit 4; black bass good on spinners, plastic worms and crankbaits; crappie fair on minnows and jigs; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; please remove litter.


 (Report made on 4/26/2012)

    RIVERS

Big River: 63 degrees, falling, dingy; channel catfish fair on blood bait and livers; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Bourbeuse River: 63 degrees, falling, muddy; black bass slow on spinners and plastic worms (catch and release only); channel catfish slow on cut bait and blood bait; crappie fair on jigs & minnows; all other species slow on natural baits.
 (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Meramec River (Crawford Co.): 63 degrees, falling, muddy; channel catfish fair on cut bait and blood bait; black bass fair on plastic worms (catch and release only); all other species fair on natural baits. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Meramec River (St. Louis Co.): 63 degrees, falling, dingy; channel catfish good on cut bait and livers; all other species slow. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Missouri River (lower): 59 degrees, falling, muddy; channel catfish fair on cut bait and livers; all other species fair. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

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TROUT PARKS

Bennett Spring State Park: 57 degrees, the spring level is still slightly high and clearing; Zone 1 and 2 best lures: white colored roaches; bedspread colored, and white sparkly blue-green colored mini-jigs; gray or white colored scuds; black or sulfur colored Cracklebacks; ginger snap, red and white colored marabou jigs; bumblebee colored and black sparkled colored Rooster Tails; orange colored and peach colored glo balls; olive or brown colored wooly buggers with gold spinner; Zone 3 best lures: red or white colored plastic worms; white with sparkle, salmon peach, and yellow colored Power Baits; brown colored Trout Nip.  April fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Our Kid's Free Fishing Day is Saturday May 5; fishing is free to kids 15 and younger, there will be many exhibits that are open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Lunch will be provided for the kids. Fishing hours for May will be 6:30 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Maramec Spring Park: 56 degrees, falling, fishing is good; the water is clearing up; use very light weight line and tackle; throughout the spring branch feather jigs in dark colors are producing good numbers of fish; dough and putty baits are producing when fished on or near the bottom; use white or yellow; fish are holding in deep holes, below the waterfalls and around boulders, target these areas for best success; Kid's Free Fishing Day is May 19th; fishing hours for the month of April are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Montauk State Park: 57 degrees, the river level is slightly below normal; the water is clear; fishing is good on most baits; brown, white, and yellow scented dough and putty baits are working well in the bait zones; flies, Rooster Tails and jigs in black and yellow, white, and olive colors are working well. April fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Our Kid's Fishing Day is Saturday May 5th.


For up-to-date stream conditions check  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440 (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Roaring River State Park: 58 degrees, the water is dropping fast and getting very clear; use 2 or 3 pound test; dry flies have been good with lots of caddis and midge hatches; beetles, ants and hoppers, Cracklebacks, pheasant tails and copper johns are good; olive, black, and brown wooly buggers or worms are good; orange, white, chartreuse, fluorescent yellow plastic eggs are working well; cheese yellow, white, mint green, yellow/orange, pink, and the orange, and orange/white plastic worms are good; spinners are good early, black, brown, olive and black/yellow are good early;  marabou jigs in white, tan and pinks early and later in the day; use black, black/yellow, brown, brown/yellow, and black/olive marabou jigs in 1/16th - 1/100 in size; in Zone 3 use nightcrawlers, corn, Power Bait paste and nuggets. Kid's Free Fishing Day is May 19. (Report made on 4/26/2012)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First-week turkey harvest rebounds

This photo is published under an Attribution 3...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Jakes make the difference.
JEFFERSON CITYMissouri hunters shot more turkeys during the first week of the spring hunting season than they did during the same period last year. This is the first increase since 2004.

This year’s first-week harvest of 21,765 represents a 15.8 percent increase from 2011. It also is 2.1 percent more than the previous five-year average. Top counties were Franklin with 467 turkeys checked, Ste. Genevieve with 439 and Texas with 433.
Resource Scientist Jason Isabelle supervises wild-turkey management for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). He says the increase is in large part due to the good hatch that was observed throughout much of Missouri in 2011. He notes that jakes, as one-year-old male turkeys are commonly known, made up 26.4 percent of this year’s first-week harvest. That is a substantial increase from last year.
“Hunters checked 5,748 jakes during the first week of the season,” says Isabelle. “That is a 61-percent increase from 2011. The number of mature gobblers in the harvest was only up by about 800 birds, so birds hatched last year accounted for nearly three-quarters of the harvest increase.”
Isabelle says weather, which can significantly influence turkey harvest, probably was a wash during the first week of Missouri’s 21-day spring turkey season. The week included some rain and wind, which typically reduces hunter success, but these conditions were interspersed with ideal hunting weather.
First-week harvest figures were up in all eight regions of the state, ranging from an increase of 11.3 percent in the Central Region to 21.3 percent in the Ozark Region.
Isabelle says he is hoping that Missouri’s weather will remain favorable for turkey nesting for the next two months. Good nesting and brood-rearing conditions could enable the state’s turkey flock to build on gains made last year.
Missouri hunters also had an above-average first week in terms of safety. MDC recorded two firearms-related hunting incidents, compared to an average of 3.4 over the past 10 years.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Table Rock Lake/Lake Taneycomo among 10 “Waters to Watch” for 2012

Table Rock Dam Apr 2008 Flood Spillways Open f...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) has unveiled the 2012 10 “Waters to Watch” list, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries , watershed systems, shores and lakes that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.


These waters represent a snapshot of this year’s larger voluntary habitat conservation efforts in progress. These and other locally driven conservation projects are prioritized and implemented by regional Fish Habitat Partnerships that have formed throughout the country to implement the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. The objective, to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats essential to the many fish and wildlife species that call these areas home is the foundation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. In Missouri, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo have been selected as one of the 10 “Waters to Watch” projects for 2012, through the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership.


Throughout the year, through the work of our partners these projects will be the showcase of conservation efforts working to avoid and reverse persistent declines in our nation’s aquatic habitats. Having featured 60 partnership projects since 2007, the monitoring of these projects proves that partner efforts and strategies do make a difference.



Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo are located in the White River Hills region of the Ozark Plateau along the Missouri-Arkansas border. At conservation pool, Table Rock Lake encompasses 43,100 acres with 745 miles of shoreline, and Lake Taneycomo covers just over 2,000 acres. Table Rock Lake is the second largest of five reservoirs in the upper White River drainage basin which covers over 5,000 square miles in both Missouri and Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the recreational use of the lake at between 40 and 50 million visitor visits annually with the economic value of the fishery estimated at $41 million (1997 estimate). Along with the Branson tourism industry, Table Rock and the other White River impoundments are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the local economies.


This high-profile recreational development has come with an environmental cost. The large number of visitors, as well as increases in confined animal production spaces in the watershed and population growth, has created water quality issues in Table Rock Lake. According to USGS, water clarity at Table Rock Dam decreased by more than 2.5 feet from 1974 to 1994. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) identified municipal sewage discharges, residential wastewater treatment systems and livestock and poultry wastes as the likely causes of nutrient loading. In response to declining water quality issues, the Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce formed Table Rock Lake Water Quality (TRLWQ), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, in 1998. TRLWQ is focusing its efforts on failing onsite wastewater treatment systems and other decentralized wastewater treatment systems in the watershed. Estimates are that 75 to 90% of existing systems over 5 years old are failing. MDC has pledged full support of TRLWQ’s water quality improvement programs.


TRLWQ received $2 million in federal funding and along with $667,000 in local match funded a demonstration project to determine which advanced wastewater treatment systems were best suited for local conditions, along with installation and on-site testing. The project also tested the feasibility of a Responsible Management Entity (RME) to own, operate and maintain the wastewater treatment system so property owners had only to pay a monthly maintenance fee. TRLWQ identified Ozarks Clean Water Company as the RME and expects active service connections to number in the thousands.


Lack of structural habitat in Table Rock Lake was identified by MDC as a limiting factor of fish community stability. The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership’s reservoir habitat assessment has also identified “lack of structure” as a major impairment of reservoirs in this region. In 2007, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), in cooperation with Bass Pro Shops, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC), began working on a five-year project to maintain and enhance the fish habitat in Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. This project is part of the NFWF’s National Fish Habitat Initiative (NFHI) and More Fish Campaign and is designed to be a pilot project in a broader national program focusing on habitat restoration within reservoirs. A total of $4.5 million was earmarked to spend on the 5-year project.


Between October 2007 and September 2011, 1,650 fish habitat structures were installed in Table Rock Lake, including 1,460 brush structures, 104 rock piles, 49 stump fields, 11 rock/stump combination piles and 26 shallow water rock fence structures. Structure locations are recorded by GPS and are available to the public on the MDC website. In addition to the structural habitat portion of the project, eight cost-share projects for erosion control and sediment reduction in the Table Rock Lake watershed were initiated.


Habitat improvements to the upper portion of Lake Taneycomo began in November 2011 and will include large rock structures designed to increase holding areas for trout and other fish, as well as increase locations for anglers to fish. Project publicity has been a success, with the cooperation of our various partners and other media outlets and businesses.


Evaluation and monitoring of the fish habitat structures began in 2010. Four evaluation techniques are utilized, three of which are underway: electrofishing surveys of habitat treated coves, SCUBA observations of selected habitat structures and radio-telemetry tracking of largemouth bass in the Kings River Arm. The fourth evaluation technique, an angler creel survey, is set to begin in 2012.


The Table Rock Lake NFHI project builds upon a long-standing public/private partnership in southwest Missouri to improve and restore fish habitat in Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and their watersheds through cover augmentation, watershed management and other water quality-related projects. This project has proven to be an excellent opportunity to proactively maintain and enhance fish habitat in and around two of the Midwest's most popular sport fisheries and is providing a national example for sustaining and improving reservoir sportfish populations through large-scale habitat improvements.

“Large-scale reservoir habitat restoration efforts are larger and more costly than any one agency, state or federal, can undertake on its own.” said Jeff Boxrucker, Coordinator for the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, “Partnerships among agencies, local communities, and resource users are vital to addressing these issues, not only to sustain high quality recreational opportunities but to maintain the quality and quantity of water needed by consumptive users.”


Since 2006 The National Fish Habitat Partnership has been a partner in 342 projects in 45 states benefiting fish habitat. “Our approach—teaming local, state, tribal, and federal agencies with private partners and stakeholders is the most strategic way we can make a difference in benefiting fish habitats,” said Kelly Hepler, Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “By watching these 10 models of our nation’s aquatic conservation efforts underway, we can see real progress. Too often we have focused on treatment of symptoms with limited success. Through sound science and on-the-ground locally driven partnerships, these select Action Plan projects can be held high as a vision of what quality habitat should and can be, and how it benefits all people throughout the United States.”


The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is built on a framework of National Fish Habitat Partnerships. These regional-scale efforts include, the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, the Western Native Trout Initiative, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort, the Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership, the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership, the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership, the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership, the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership, the Fishers and Farmers Partnership, the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, the Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership, the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, the California Fish Passage Forum, the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership and the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership. There are also four “Candidate” Fish Habitat Partnerships that have stated their intent to apply for full NFHAP Board recognition.

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:

The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, and private funding sources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 18 regional grassroots partner organizations.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FalconCam shows three chicks in nest with two eggs left

Peregrine Falcon silhouettes (Falco peregrinus...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ST. LOUIS, Mo – The pair of peregrine falcons that are having their nesting activities shared with the world through a “FalconCam” at Ameren Missouri’s Sioux Energy Center in St. Louis recently hatched three chicks. Two eggs remain unhatched.


The FalconCam is a cooperative effort among the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ameren Missouri and the World Bird Sanctuary to help people discover nature through a bird’s-eye view of peregrine falcons raising chicks. A camera near the nest box provides video feeds to each organization’s website.

Watch the FalconCam at mdc.mo.gov/node/16934.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Duck Decoy Making

A duck hunter with three mallards. A Labrador ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Create your own piece of waterfowl hunting history at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center!  Learn how to make a duck decoy from rough-cut cork that will entice birds during your next hunting trip. 
We’ll review duck identification, duck ecology and decoy history as you sculpt and paint your very own decoy beginning Friday, April 27 from 6-9 pm and finish up on Saturday, April 28 from 8 am-

1 pm. 
Enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from crafting your own decoy to use on your next hunt, or just admire it on your shelf for years to come.  Either way, you won’t want to miss this workshop!
Ages 14 and up.  (Ages 14-15 with an adult mentor)  Call 573-290-5218 to register or for more information.