Friday, August 31, 2012

Missouri State Parks hosts Fall Outdoor Discovery Day Sept. 8 at Crowder State Park

BALLWIN, MISSOURI - CASTLEWOOD STATE PARK*
BALLWIN, MISSOURI - CASTLEWOOD STATE PARK* (Photo credit: gobucks2)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Take advantage of all the outdoor activities perfect for fall at the Fall Outdoor Discovery Day Sept. 8 at Crowder State Park near Trenton. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the free event will be held from noon until 4 p.m. in the park’s lake parking lot.
The event will feature nature displays, face painting, nature crafts and a trivia contest. Visitors can learn new skills by watching outdoor recreation demonstrations such as Dutch oven cooking, archery and fishing.
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 about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Missouri State Parks hosts informational meeting Sept. 7 at Finger Lakes State Park


For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The public is invited to bring their ideas to an informational meeting Friday, Sept. 7 at Finger Lakes State Park near Columbia. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the park contact station and the public is invited.

Staff from the park will present an overview of the park and provide information about the status of park projects, park rules and regulations. Information will be provided on the Recreational Trails Program grants that will be used to make changes to the motocross track area and relocate the youth riding area. Staff will provide information on the new canoe rental opportunities and trail volunteers will be given the opportunities to sign up for trail workdays for both ORV trails and mountain bike trails. Following the meeting, a free kayak demonstration will be provided for those that pre-register by calling 573-443-5315.

This informational meeting is part of an ongoing effort by Missouri State Parks to ensure citizens have input on facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.

Finger Lakes State Park is located 10 miles north of Columbia off Highway 63 in Boone County. People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling the park directly 573-443-5315. For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com

Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watkins Mill and Lake of the Ozarks' Grand Glaize state park beaches close


Watkins Mill State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park’s Grand Glaize swimming beaches are closed due to water quality issues according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Results received today showed continued water quality issues at Watkins Mill State Park beach. Staff at Lake of the Ozarks State Park closed Grand Glaize Beach today when results showed that one of the two water samples taken at the beach failed to meet Missouri State Parks standards. Both beaches are scheduled to close for the recreational season after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Therefore, no additional water samples will be collected from the beaches and they will remain closed for the season. Public Beach #1 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park remains open until Sept. 4.

The water at all designated beaches in the state park system is sampled weekly during the recreational season by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to determine suitability for swimming. Water quality can be determined to be unsuitable for swimming based on either the single sample taken earlier in the week, or by the geometric mean, which is a mathematical value that takes into consideration results from the current week plus the results taken during the previous weeks. Both beaches closed this week had single samples in excess of the standard. The beach at Watkins Mill State Park also exceeds the geometric mean, which is a mathematical value that takes into consideration results from the current week plus the results taken during the previous weeks.

Higher bacteria levels are often associated with heavy rains that result in runoff from adjacent lands. However, there are a number of possibilities that can contribute to higher bacteria, and chances are no single source is the cause. The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake where the beach is located.

The beaches at two parks, Lewis and Clark State Park in Buchanan County and Trail of Tears State Park, Cape Girardeau County, remain closed for maintenance unrelated to water quality. Visit mostateparks.com for additional information.

Visitors to Missouri State Parks are able to sign up to receive free electronic notices about the status of state park beaches by visiting the department’s website at http://bit.ly/HlSnaG. In addition, visitors may continue to check the state park beach status on the department’s website at http://bit.ly/MoStateParksBeachStatus as well as mostateparks.com.

Enjoy swimming at one of many state park beaches this Labor Day weekend

English: Lake Lincoln in Cuivre River State Pa...
Lake Lincoln in Cuivre River State Park in Missouri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Enjoy a refreshing swim in one of Missouri’s state park designated swimming beaches this Labor Day weekend before the summer recreational season comes to an end.



There are 15 designated swim beaches located within 12 state parks across the state that will be open for the public to enjoy during the upcoming holiday weekend. However, Cuivre River, Lake of the Ozarks, Mark Twain, Thousand Hills, Harry S Truman, Wakonda and Watkins Mill state parks will officially close their designated swimming beaches on Sept. 4 when the recreational season ends. For additional information on their locations and hours of operation, visit mostateparks.com.



Watkins Mill State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park’s Grand Glaize swimming beaches are closed due to water quality issues. Results received today showed continued water quality issues at Watkins Mill State Park beach. Watkins Mill State Park was originally scheduled to close for the recreational season after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Therefore no additional water samples will be collected from the beach and it will remain closed for the season.



Staff at Lake of the Ozarks State Park closed Grand Glaize Beach today when results showed that one of the two water samples taken at the beach failed to meet Missouri State Parks standards. Grand Glaize Beach will reopen when subsequent sample results show the water has returned to Missouri State Parks and Department of Natural Resources standards. Samples will be taken again on Monday. Public Beach #1 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park remains open.



The water at all designated beaches in the state park system is sampled weekly during the recreational season by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to determine suitability for swimming. Water quality can be determined to be unsuitable for swimming based on either the single sample taken earlier in the week, or by the geometric mean, which is a mathematical value that takes into consideration results from the current week plus the results taken during the previous weeks. Both beaches closed this week had single samples in excess of the standard. The beach at Watkins Mill State Park also exceeds the geometric mean, which is a mathematical value that takes into consideration results from the current week plus the results taken during the previous weeks.



Higher bacteria levels are often associated with heavy rains that result in runoff from adjacent lands. However, there are a number of possibilities that can contribute to higher bacteria, and chances are no single source is the cause. The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake where the beach is located.



The beaches at two parks, Lewis and Clark State Park in Buchanan County and Trail of Tears State Park, Cape Girardeau County, remain closed for maintenance unrelated to water quality. Visit mostateparks.com for additional information.



Visitors to Missouri State Parks are able to sign up to receive free electronic notices about the status of state park beaches by visiting the department’s website at http://bit.ly/HlSnaG. In addition, visitors may continue to check the state park beach status on the department’s website at http://bit.ly/MoStateParksBeachStatus as well as mostateparks.com.



Missouri’s state parks and historic sites offer something to suit everyone’s taste – outdoor adventure, great scenery and a bit of history. With Missouri’s 86 state parks and historic sites, the possibilities are boundless. For more information about Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, visit mostateparks.com.

Act now to avoid hunter education rush

English: Map of the administrative regions of ...


New hunters and those who want to mentor new hunters should plan now for the approaching hunting season, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
Seasons for several small-game species, including squirrel, already are open, and archery deer and turkey seasons and early teal, rail, snipe and Canada goose seasons are coming up soon, followed by duck, goose, urban deer, rabbit and firearms turkey seasons, plus youth seasons for ducks, deer, quail and pheasants in October. By Nov. 1, no fewer than 16 seasons run concurrently.
Wouldn’t it be a pity to miss any of this because you couldn’t buy a hunting permit or were not allowed to mentor a novice hunter because you didn’t have a hunter education certification card?
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and are 16 years of age or older you must complete an approved hunter education certification class or buy an Apprentice Hunter Authorization before buying hunting permits. Youth under 16 years of age do not need hunter education certification to hunt any Missouri species while hunting with an adult mentor.
Adult hunters over 18 years of age and born after Jan. 1, 1967, may need hunter education to mentor hunters who are not certified and not hunting on a landowner permit. Most states now have hunter education requirements and recognize each other’s certification, so taking a class in Missouri qualifies you to buy permits in other states.
“Taking a hunter education class with a youngster, even if you are not required to, is an excellent bonding opportunity,” said MDC Hunter Education Coordinator Tony Legg. “It also helps set the tone for safe, ethical hunting experiences that build relationships and positive character traits.”
Legg said experienced older hunters who take hunter education classes invariably say they learned something new.
“These aren’t just dry, factual presentations,” said Legg. “We have more than 1,400 talented, dedicated volunteer instructors, and each one adds a unique dimension to his or her classes. They enrich the basic material with stories and insights that bring the subject to life. Everyone who takes a hunter education class comes away a better hunter for the experience.”
Legg suggests enrolling now if you need to attend a hunter education class. The longer you wait, the greater the chances that classes will be full. To find a class near you, visit //bit.ly/9dxTLV. You also can take the hunter education course online at hhunter-ed.com/missouri/index.html.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Conservation Commission sets waterfowl seasons


Season structure remains unchanged,
and bag limits are nearly the same as last year.
JEFFERSON CITY—Waterfowl seasons and limits set by the Missouri Conservation Commission at its August meeting are similar to last year, except for an increase in bag limits on scaup.
At its meeting in Jefferson City Aug. 24, the Conservation Commission approved the following seasons and bag limits.
Ducks
North Zone:
Youth season - Oct. 20 and 21
Regular season - Oct. 27 through Dec. 25
Middle Zone:       
            Youth season - Oct. 27 and 28
            Regular season - Nov. 3 through Jan. 1
South Zone:
            Youth season - Nov. 17 and 18
            Regular season - Nov. 22 through Jan. 20        
            Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
            Bag Limit:        Six ducks daily with species restrictions of:
o   4 mallards (no more than 2 females)
o   3 wood ducks
o   4 scaup
o   2 redheads
o   2 hooded mergansers
o   2 pintail
o   1 canvasback
o   1 black duck
o   1 mottled duck
            Possession Limit: Twice the daily bag (in total 12; varies by species).

Coots
                                    Coot season runs concurrently with duck seasons in the respective zones with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 30.

            Geese
Blue, snow, and Ross’s geese - Oct. 27 - Jan. 31 statewide

White-fronted geese -   Nov. 22 - Jan. 31 statewide

Canada geese and brant - Oct. 6 – Oct. 14 statewide and        
                                                Nov. 22 - Jan. 31 statewide

            Shooting Hours - One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Bag/Possession Limit - The bag and possession limits include no more than three Canada geese daily (six in possession), 20 blue, snow, and Ross’s geese (all species combined) daily (no possession limit) with, two white-fronted geese daily (four in possession), and one brant daily (two in possession).


FALCONRY SEASON FOR DUCKS, COOTS, AND MERGANSERS:
Falconry is open during the teal (16 days) and regular gun duck season (60 days), including the youth season (2 days) in the respective zones, leaving 29 days remaining for extended falconry.  The extended falconry days are Feb. 10 through March 10 statewide. The daily bag and possession limits shall not exceed three and six birds, respectively, singly, or in the aggregate during the regular duck hunting seasons (including teal and youth seasons) and extended falconry seasons.

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER: 
Persons must possess a Conservation Order permit to chase, pursue, and take blue, snow, and Ross’s geese between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from February 1 through April 30, 2012. Any other regulation notwithstanding, conservation order participants may use electronic calls and shotguns capable of holding more than three shells.  A daily bag limit will not be in effect during the Conservation Order.

ZONES: Zone boundaries remain the same as last year.

NONTOXIC SHOT: 
Shells possessed or used while hunting waterfowl and coots statewide, and for other species as designated by posting on public areas, must be loaded with material approved as nontoxic by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Youth waterfowl seasons will take place the weekend before the regular season in each zone. This is different than the past two years, when the youth hunt in the Middle Zone was held two weeks before the regular season opener to avoid an overlap with youth deer season.
Full details of waterfowl hunting regulations are available in the 2012-2013 Waterfowl Hunting Digest, available wherever hunting permits are sold or online at mdc.mo.gov/node/5646.
Before making waterfowl season recommendations to the Conservation Commission the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) surveyed hunters regarding the possible introduction of a fourth zone or a split hunting season. Resource Scientist Doreen Mengel says hunter responses to the survey were so divided that choosing any combination of split seasons or zones would have displeased a majority of hunters. Based on that information, MDC staff recommended no changes to the zone or season structures through 2015.
Mengel says Missouri’s ongoing drought could dramatically reduce waterfowl habitat and hunting prospects in Missouri this year.
“Although duck-hunting prospects are potentially bright again this year, with a liberal season and historically high duck numbers, hunter expectations must be tempered due to conditions created by the current severe drought conditions,” says Mengel. “Duck-hunting prospects will depend on the weather more this year than most. Fall rains will be needed to fill wetland basins and provide habitat for an anticipated record fall flight.”
-Jim Low-

Monday, August 27, 2012

Safety-consciousness especially important for dove hunters this year



Fewer dove fields and a weekend opener will mean more hunters per field.

JEFFERSON CITY–Dove hunters will need to be extra conscientious about safety this year, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The reasons include weather and the timing of opening day.

MDC Hunter Education Coordinator Tony Legg is urging hunters to review hunting safety measures that are especially important when hunting on specially managed dove fields.

“Having lots of hunters in one place increases the possibility of mishaps,” said Legg. “Under normal circumstances, opening day of dove season is probably the busiest hunting day of the year, other than deer and turkey seasons, and this year is not normal.”

For one thing, said Legg, opening day of dove season this year falls on a Saturday – Sept. 1. Most hunters will not have to take a day of vacation to enjoy the excitement of the dove opener.

“We always see greater participation when the dove opener falls on a weekend,” said Legg. “This year the effect could be even greater, due to the effect of drought conditions on food sources and water.”

The largest dove concentrations occur around food sources. Doves feed mainly on seeds, including those of natural vegetation, such as ragweed and various grasses, and grain crops, especially sorghum, millet, corn, wheat and sunflowers.

Each year MDC plants hundreds of patches of land on conservation areas (CAs) with grain to create wildlife food plots. Some of these are mowed before the dove season opener each year to make the grain available to doves and other wildlife and to create superb dove hunting.

“Most years there are enough managed dove fields to provide hunting opportunities without overcrowding,” said Legg. “This year could be different.”

This year’s unusually dry weather has hampered the growth of crops planted for doves on CAs. That means fewer high-quality dove fields in a year of peak participation. In addition, the drought has resulted in an early corn harvest, which will likely spread out the birds instead of concentrating them on a few fields.

Legg said a large number of hunters can use the same field safely if all are courteous and safety conscious.

“By courteous, I mean not crowding hunters already in the field,” said Legg.

More important than inconveniencing other hunters is the issue of safety. Legg said taking up a shooting position less than 50 yards from the nearest hunter dramatically increases the possibility of a serious injury. If a field already has as many hunters as it can accommodate with this minimum spacing, he urges late arrivals to wait at the field edge until someone shoots his or her limit and leaves, making room for another hunter.

Or, you could go somewhere else.

“I would suggest that hunters do more scouting this year than they might ordinarily do,” said Legg. “You can pretty well count on managed dove fields being crowded on opening day this year. For myself, I would rather find a hunting spot that has fewer hunters.”

Legg suggests scouting to identify flight paths that doves use going into and leaving managed dove fields on CAs. Another alternative is getting permission to hunt harvested crop fields on private land adjacent to CAs and hunting doves on their way across public land to those dove magnets.

Legg said hunters often are so focused on managed dove fields that they neglect other good hunting spots on CAs.

“Doves need water and grit, and they prefer to roost in dead trees. If you can find all those things within sight of each other, you are in business. If there happens to be a crop field close by, that’s even better.”

For those who choose to hunt managed dove fields at CAs, Legg recommends the following precautions to help ensure safe hunts.

Wear hunter orange. “A cap at the least will help other hunters know you are there.”

Protect your eyes. “That is a very soft area and more vulnerable to injury than the rest of your body. Even if you don’t wear glasses, get a pair of shooting glasses.”

Keep shots to blue sky. “Don’t shoot if you can’t see sky above and well below your target. It’s best not to shoot at an angle lower than 45 degrees from the horizon.”

Keep shots in your zone of fire. “Your zone of fire is a 45 degree zone directly in front of you. Don’t swing on game and shoot into areas in your peripheral vision where you cannot clearly see another hunter or obstacles which can happen with target fixation when excited for a shot.”

Keep track of other hunters’ whereabouts. “Even shooting at a safe angle you can rain shot down on others if you aren’t careful.”

Don’t shoot cripples. “A wounded bird can be chased down on foot. Recovering a downed bird isn’t worth the chance of a ricochet off the ground.”

Bring a retriever. “They make catching cripples much easier, and they allow you to stay at your shooting station, where other hunters are expecting you to be. Take plenty of water for your canine companion, and be alert for signs of distress. Dogs can die of heat stroke.”

Everybody needs to use common sense. “That sounds obvious, but it is easy to forget when doves are flying and the shooting is fast. Under those kinds of conditions, you have to make a conscious effort not to let down your guard. Unload your gun every now and then and take a short breather to take a drink of water, water your dog and watch other hunters. You might miss a shot or two, but you are less likely to go home with a heart full of regret because you lost your cool.”

MDC lists the locations of managed dove fields at mdc.mo.gov/node/8905, or you can call the nearest MDC office and ask for information about dove fields in your area. The agency urges hunters to visit dove fields before the season to see if crops have matured.

Missouri’s dove hunting season runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 9. Mourning, collared and white-winged doves all are legal. The limit is 15 doves of all three species in the aggregate daily and 30 in possession.

Dove hunters ages 16 through 64 must buy a Small Game Hunting Permit to pursue doves. All dove hunters 16 and older must have a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit for dove hunting.

Full details of dove hunting regulations are found in the 2012 Migratory Bird Hunting Digest, available wherever hunting permits are sold, at MDC offices or online at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/3641.

Spent shotgun shells are litter. Hunters who leave behind empty shells risk getting citations for littering.

Hunters must keep birds they kill separate and identifiable from those of other hunters. Having two or more hunters put their doves into one cooler or other container could violate this requirement unless they use individually identified bags or other means to keep the birds separate.

-Jim Low-

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beach at Watkins Mill State Park remains closed for third week

Missouri state parks and historical districts ...
. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information: 573-751-1010



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The swimming beach at Watkins Mill State Park will remain closed due to water quality issues, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.



The beach, which is located northeast of Kansas City in Clay County, will remain closed following the results of water samples taken Monday. Although the samples taken Monday at the park’s beach were within the single sample federal guidance, the geometric mean for the beach failed to meet the standard.

The water at all designated beaches in the state park system is sampled weekly during the recreational season by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to determine suitability for swimming. Water quality can be determined to be unsuitable for swimming based on either the single sample taken earlier in the week, or by the geometric mean, which is a mathematical value that takes into consideration results from the current week plus the results taken during the previous weeks.

The beach will reopen when subsequent sample results show the water at the beach has returned to Missouri State Parks and Department of Natural Resources standards. Samples will be taken again on Monday. The beach was closed for the first time this season on Aug. 8 and has remained closed since.

The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake where the beach is located.

The beaches at two parks, Lewis and Clark State Park in Buchanan County and Trail of Tears State Park, Cape Girardeau County, remain closed for maintenance unrelated to water quality. However, there are 12 state parks with designated swim beaches that remain open for the public to enjoy. Visit mostateparks.com for additional information.



Visitors to Missouri State Parks are able to sign up to receive free electronic notices about the status of state park beaches by visiting the department’s website at http://bit.ly/HlSnaG. In addition, visitors may continue to check the state park beach status on the department’s website at http://bit.ly/MoStateParksBeachStatus as well as mostateparks.com.



Missouri's state parks and historic sites offer something to suit everyone's taste - outdoor adventure, great scenery and a bit of history. With Missouri's 86 state parks and historic sites, the possibilities are boundless. For more information about Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, visit mostateparks.com.

Doves plentiful, but hunting might be tougher

Mourning Dove, Cabin Lake Viewing Blinds, Desc...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Conservation Department manages fields especially for
doves and hunters. The birds get credit for their own abundance.
JEFFERSON CITY–For many Missourians, the opening of dove season Sept. 1 marks the start of hunting season, and the state’s top mourning dove expert says this year’s season is full of promise.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), approximately 33,000 people hunt doves in the Show-Me State. Resource Scientist John Schulz says the mourning dove not only is the state’s most popular game bird, it also is the most democratic, attracting hunters from every walk of life.
This popularity results from the mourning dove’s prolific nature. A pair of doves can easily raise six broods of two chicks each nesting season, starting as early as March and persevering well into September. Doves build flimsy, shallow nests, and rainy, windy weather reduces nest success, but that hasn’t been a problem this year, so good dove numbers are expected come opening day.
Missouri’s dove-hunting season runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 9. Mourning, collared and white-winged doves all are legal. The limit is 15 doves daily, which can be a combination of all three species. The possession limit is 30.
Missouri residents ages 16 through 64 must buy a Small Game Hunting Permit to pursue doves. All dove hunters 16 and older must have a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit for dove hunting.
Dry weather is a two-edged sword for dove hunters. Without adequate rainfall, food crops planted for doves on conservation areas don’t thrive. Hunters can call any Conservation Department office to learn the location of managed dove fields or visit mdc.mo.gov/node/8905.
Schulz offered one caution about MDC’s managed dove fields. This year’s drought stunted the growth of crops planted on many dove fields. Hunters should visit fields they want to hunt beforehand or at least call area managers for up-to-date information about field condition. Contact information for area managers is available through the Conservation Atlas database at mdc.mo.gov/atlas.
Another problem this year could be an overabundance of dove fields. Drought conditions have prompted many farmers to harvest corn earlier than normal. In more normal years, doves can be concentrated around the few cornfields that are harvested early. This year they may be spread out over large areas, making hunting tougher.
Hunters who understand doves’ habits and preferences sometimes can locate spots as productive as managed dove fields. Doves like open ground, seeds, perching sites and water. Any spot that combines two or more of these elements can be an excellent hunting spot. An abandoned gravel road, an old airstrip or parking lot is a start. Ponds with wide margins of bare soil also are attractive to doves, and such spots are easy to find this year. Add a telephone line or a dead tree for perching, and you have a dove magnet.
MDC bands approximately 2,500 birds annually as part of a nationwide effort to create a dove-management database. Approximately 12 percent of those doves are recovered and reported, mostly by hunters. The most important thing dove hunters can do to improve their sport is to check every bird they shoot for a leg band and report any they find at reportband.gov, or by calling 800-327-BAND (2263).
Data from band recoveries drive a wide array of analytical processes that directly affect mourning dove regulations. By reporting band numbers, hunters are helping manage our dove resource for future generations.
MDC statistics show that hunters fire an average of five shots per dove bagged. If you kill a limit of 15 doves with fewer than three boxes of shotgun shells, first pick up all the empty hulls littering the ground around you. Leaving them in the field is littering, and could earn you a ticket. Then pat yourself on the back for being an above-average wingshot.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Missouri State Parks hosts bison hike Sept. 1 at Prairie State Park

American Bison (Bison bison). Image taken at W...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Experience seeing one of our most magnificent mammals on its native prairie habitat during a bison hike Sept. 1 at Prairie State Park near Mindenmines. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, this free hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the visitor center.
During the hike, participants will learn about bison biology, Native American uses, herd dynamics, prairies and much more. The hike could last at least one hour and possibly longer depending on the location of the bison herd. Dress for the weather and hiking across the prairie. Long pants, sturdy shoes and insect repellant are recommended.
Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane, Mindenmines, in Barton County. To register or to get additional information about the event, contact the park at 417-843-6711. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Missouri State Parks hosts open house and bat event Sept. 1 at Onondaga Cave State Park

The "lily pad room" in Onondaga Cave...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The public is invited to bring their ideas to an open house Saturday, Sept. 1, at Onondaga Cave State Park near Leasburg. The open house, which also celebrates the Year of the Bat, will begin at 10 a.m. in the visitor center.
Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the open house will provide an opportunity for staff to update the public on events and projects at the park. Visitors are invited to share comments on the park’s operations and facilities.
The Year of the Bat is a two-year-long global species awareness initiative, undertaken by The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats. Throughout the day, games, raffles and other fun activities will take place with all prizes being bat-oriented. Visitors can watch a movie about bat conservation, play a game about bat facts or fiction or just visit to learn about these incredibly fascinating masters of our night skies.
The open house is part of an ongoing effort by Missouri State Parks to ensure citizens have input on facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.
Onondaga Cave State Park is located off Hwy I-44, seven miles south on Hwy. H from the Leasburg, exit 214. People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the open house can make arrangements by calling Onondaga Cave State Park at 573-245-6576. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weekly Fishing Report, 8/23/2012

Micropterus salmoides
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
CENTRAL REGION (573) 882-8388

     LAKES

Binder Lake: 77 degrees, low, clear; bluegill good on crickets and worms; largemouth bass good on topwater lures and soft plastics; channel catfish fair on liver and cut baits; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Blind Pony Lake: 76 degrees, clear; 3' low; largemouth bass fair on soft plastics; bluegill, redear 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 8/23/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Glaize): 79 degrees, dingy; black bass fair on dark colored soft plastics and buzzbaits; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics and spoons; crappie slow, try minnows and crappie jigs; catfish fair using worms, stinkbaits and cut baits.
 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Gravois): 79 degrees, dingy; crappie and catfish fair; black bass and white bass slow.
 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Niangua): 79 degrees, dingy; black bass fair using soft plastics and crankbaits; crappie good using jigs and minnows; white bass good using small spinners and small crankbaits; catfish good on live bait and stinkbaits.

 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Lake of the Ozarks (Osage): 79 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass fair on soft plastics; crappie good on jigs and minnows;
catfish good on liver and cut bait; white bass fair on small spinners.
 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Little Dixie Lake: 83 degrees, low, clear; largemouth bass good on topwater lures; all other species slow; the area is closed to all activities, including fishing from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

     RIVERS

Lamine River: low, fishing activity and success has picked up over the past week; flathead catfish fair around Harriman Hill Access on setlines baited with goldfish;  blue catfish  good from De Bourgmont Access to the Missouri River on setlines and rod and reel using a variety of cut bait, the best success has been after midnight;  all other species  slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Missouri River (middle): low, muddy; blue catfish and channel catfish good on cut carp; flathead catfish good on cut baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Osage (Bagnell Tailwater): 67 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass slow, try worms and dark colored soft plastics; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics, crappie jigs and Rooster Tails; crappie slow, try minnows and crappie jigs; catfish slow, try cut shad, chicken livers, worms and stinkbaits.
 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Osage (lower, at Tuscumbia): 70 degrees, normal, dingy; black bass slow, try worms and dark colored soft plastics; white bass slow, try light colored soft plastics, crappie jigs and Rooster Tails;
crappie slow, try minnows and crappie jigs; catfish slow, try cut shad, chicken livers, worms and stinkbaits.
 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

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KANSAS CITY REGION (816) 655-6254

     LAKES

Atkinson Lake (Schell-Osage CA): 83 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area: 76 degrees, clear; water level 2' low; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Montrose Lake: 80 degrees, low, dingy; black bass fair; catfish and crappie slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Schell Lake (Schell-Osage CA): 83 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow; fishing pressure light. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Truman Lake: 79 degrees, low, clear; crappie good on minnows; catfish good on cut bait; all other species fair. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Truman Lake Tailwaters: 79 degrees, low, clear; catfish good; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

     RIVERS

Missouri River (Kansas City area): 85 degrees, muddy; fishing remains steady for all catfish; Kansas state record blue catfish was caught last weekend in the MO River upstream from Kaw Point; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

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NORTHEAST REGION (660) 785-2420

     LAKES

Hunnewell Lake: 72 degrees, low, dingy; bluegill fair using earthworms and crickets; 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 8/22/2012)

Long Branch Lake: 74 degrees, low, clear; crappie slow but can be caught near flooded timber and rocks; channel catfish fair on leeches, shrimp and nightcrawlers; hybrid striped bass good off points with shad style lures; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Mark Twain: 79 degrees, low, dingy; crappie fair on jigs and minnows; channel catfish fair on cut baits and nightcrawlers; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Sever: 79 degrees, low, clear; crappie fair on minnows beneath bobbers; channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers; black bass fair on black or purple artificial worms; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Thomas Hill Reservoir: 78 degrees, low, clear; crappie fair in deeper water near brush piles on jigs; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

     RIVERS

Mississippi River (upper): 74 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish good on nightcrawlers and stinkbaits; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Salt (below Mark Twain): 78 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish good on stinkbaits near re-regulation dam and bottoms of riffles; blue catfish fair near the mouth of river on shad; drum good on nightcrawlers; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

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NORTHWEST REGION (816) 271-3100

     LAKES

Bilby Ranch Lake: 80 degrees, low, clear; black bass good on soft plastics or topwater lures during low light hours; channel catfish good on liver. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Lake Paho: 76 degrees, low, clear; largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass good using large spinnerbaits; channel catfish good on stinkbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Mozingo Lake: 78 degrees, low, clear; black bass good near weedlines and deeper brush on crankbaits and soft plastics; crappie good over deep brush; walleye fair on main lake points and weedlines; channel catfish fair. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Pony Express Lake: 73 degrees, low, clear; catfish good using chicken liver; black bass fair near weedlines using soft plastics; all other species fair. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Smithville Lake: 82 degrees, low, clear; crappie good around brush piles using jigs or minnows; black bass good on soft plastics near weedbeds; all other species fair. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

     RIVERS

Grand River: 82 degrees, falling, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish good on worms and prepared baits. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Missouri River (upper): 85 degrees, low, clear; flathead catfish good using live bait; channel catfish and blue catfish good using worms and cut baits; carp good on worms or corn. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

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OZARK REGION (417) 255-9561

     LAKES

Bull Shoals Lake (East): 86 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Norfork Lake: 84 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

     RIVERS

Big Piney River (lower, Pulaski Co.): 83 degrees, low, clear; black bass and goggle-eye good on crankbaits and soft plastic worms. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Big Piney River (upper, Texas Co.): 75 degrees, low, clear; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Bryant Creek: 83 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Current River: 77 degrees, low, clear; goggle-eye good on grubs and soft plastics; smallmouth bass slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Eleven Point River: 62 degrees, low, clear; rainbow trout good on corn and minnows; all other species fair. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Gasconade River (middle): 83 degrees, low, clear; black bass and goggle-eye good on crankbaits and soft plastic worms. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Gasconade River (upper): 80 degrees, low, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Jacks Fork: 78 degrees, low, clear; all species good on soft plastics. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

North Fork of the White River: 69 degrees, low, clear; smallmouth bass and goggle-eye fair on soft plastics. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

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SOUTHEAST REGION (573) 290-5858

     LAKES

Clearwater Lake: 80 degrees, normal, clear; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Council Bluff Lake: 81 degrees, low, clear; black bass fair on dark colored soft plastics; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Cypress Lake: 90 degrees, normal, dingy; channel catfish fair in 2 - 8' depths on worms, crickets and stinkbaits; bluegill and redear sunfish fair in 1 - 3' depths on jigs, worms and crickets; crappie slow in 1 - 3' depths on minnows and jigs; largemouth bass slow in 1 - 3' depths on minnows and jigs, largemouth bass slow in 1 - 3' depths on minnows and jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Duck Creek CA Pool 1: 83 degrees, low, clear; largemouth bass fair on topwater lures and spinners; bluegill, redear sunfish and warmouth sunfish fair on jigs and crickets; all other species slow.  Note: boaters be aware of tree stumps due to low water levels. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Lake Girardeau: low, dingy; channel catfish and largemouth bass fair on worms; bluegill fair on crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Perry County Lake: 78 degrees, low, clear; black bass fair on crankbaits; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Robert DeLaney Lake: 86 degrees, normal, dingy; all species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Wappapello Lake: 79 degrees, normal, black bass good on plastic worms and crankbaits early and late;  crappie fair using minnows and jigs early in the morning; bluegill fair using crickets; channel catfish fair on trotlines and jug lines using live bait; 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 8/22/2012)

     RIVERS

Black River (above Clearwater Lake): 72 degrees, low, clear; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Black River (below Clearwater Lake): 78 degrees, low, dingy; black bass fair; channel catfish fair on live and cut baits; walleye fair on crankbaits; all other species slow.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Castor River (above Zalma): low, clear; all species good; black bass best on soft plastics. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Mississippi River (middle): low, dingy; blue catfish and channel catfish good on stinkbaits and cut baits; flathead catfish fair on live bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Mississippi River (Ohio River to Arkansas): normal, dingy; channel catfish fair on cut baits, live sunfish and livers; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

St. Francis River (above Wappapello): low, dingy; all species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

St. Francis River (below Wappapello): 83 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish good on chicken liver, stinkbaits and worms; flathead catfish good on live bait, goldfish and small sunfish; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

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SOUTHWEST REGION (417) 895-6881

     LAKES

Bull Shoals Lake (West): 75-80 degrees, low, clear; Dam Area - bluegill fair on crickets and earthworms; black bass fair on soft plastics and nightcrawlers; walleye fair on jerkbaits and minnows; Beaver Creek Arm, temp is 84-86 - black bass fair on soft plastics and nightcrawlers; bluegill fair on crickets and earthworms; catfish fair on nightcrawlers; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Lake Taneycomo: 55 degrees, normal, clear; trout good in upper portion of lake on black/white Rooster Tails, black/chrome Rogues, orange and chartreuse glo balls, scuds and San Juan worms; trout good in lower portion of lake on nightcrawlers filled with air, corn and orange, chartreuse and bubblegum colored Power Baits. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Pomme de Terre Reservoir: 82 degrees, low, clear; crappie fair on minnows and white jigs in deeper water over structure; black bass fair on deep diving lures, spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms off of deep drop-offs and rocky bluffs, best in early morning or late evenings along banks and in deeper water during daylight hours; catfish fair on cut bait using trotlines or jug lines; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Stockton Lake: 81 degrees, low, clear; crappie slow, best on minnows around brush piles in 8 - 10' of water; black bass slow, best on topwater lures off points in the early morning; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Table Rock Lake (James River arm): 83 degrees, low, dingy; crappie good on live minnows in at least 20' of water, find brush piles or stick ups and drop the bait to the bottom and then reel up 2 or 3 times to keep the bait just off the bottom; black bass fair on diving crankbaits, plum or purple 12" plastic worms and watermelon colored soft plastic crayfish in early morning off gravel points; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Table Rock Lake (main lake): 84 degrees, low, clear; black bass good on deep running crankbaits, tube baits, drop shot or spoons in 22 - 35' of water around brush piles or structure, especially good in early morning around any kind of structure or on topwater lures where there are shad; crappie good on live minnows or small plastics on standing timber or around brush piles in 15 - 25' of water and by using lights at night; flathead catfish good on small bluegill; channel catfish good on nightcrawlers or chicken livers; bluegill good on earthworms in shallow water or around cover; walleye slow, best on crankbaits or nightcrawlers on main river points. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

     RIVERS

James River: 82-85 degrees, low, clear; catfish good on bait fish, cut bait and earthworms on pole and line or trotlines; goggle-eye good on small plastic spinnerbaits in white or green colors; black bass slow, best on buzzbaits over brush and in shallow water in early morning and evenings, also try crankbaits with 1/2 oz. spoons, white is best color; crappie slow, best on jigs and minnows around brush in 5 - 15' of water. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Niangua River: 70 degrees, low, clear; trout fair, best on natural baits and Power Baits below Bennett Spring; goggle-eye slow, best on natural baits and soft plastics; black bass slow, best on soft plastics and natural baits; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

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ST. LOUIS REGION (636) 300-1953

     LAKES

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lake 33: Lake 33 is under construction for dam repairs, no boats available. During aeration operation, Lake 33 is closed to public use due to concerns for public safety. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Busch Memorial Conservation Area Lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23: 74 degrees, low, clear; channel catfish fair on cut bait, worms, doughbait, blood bait and livers; last stocking of the year; limit 4; black bass fair on spinners, plastic worms and crankbaits; please remove litter.


 (Report made on 8/23/2012)

     RIVERS

Big River: 79 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish fair on livers and blood baits; black bass fair on crankbaits; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Bourbeuse River: 77 degrees, low, clear; black bass fair on minnows and plastic worms; bluegill good on worms and crickets; channel catfish fair on cut bait, blood baits and worms; all other species fair on worms.  (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Meramec River (Crawford Co.): 74 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish good on minnows; black bass good on plastic worms, topwater lures and crankbaits; bluegill fair on worms and crickets; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Meramec River (St. Louis Co.): 77 degrees, low, dingy; channel catfish slow on worms and livers; black bass slow on topwater lures; bluegill slow on natural bait; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

Missouri River (lower): 75 degrees, low, muddy; channel catfish fair on cut bait, livers and live sunfish; all other species slow. (Report made on 8/23/2012)

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TROUT PARKS

Bennett Spring State Park: 57 degrees, the spring level is low and clear; Zone 1 and 2 best lures: olive colored roaches; John Deere colored, grey deere colored and white floss colored mini-jigs; cream colored scuds; green grizzly colored and red holographic colored Cracklebacks; moss colored and powderpuff pink colored marabou jigs;  red colored and purple colored brassies; shiny black colored and bumblebee colored Rooster Tails; easter egg colored, pink colored and red and white colored glo balls; olive or brown colored wooly buggers with gold spinner; Zone 3 best lures: pink colored and pink and white colored plastic worms; white colored and yellow colored Power Baits and minnows; August fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Maramec Spring Park: 58 degrees, fishing is good; use very light weight line and tackle as the water is extremely low and very clear; fish are holding in shady areas and swift water below the waterfalls and around boulders, target these areas for best success; orange, green, and red trout worms are producing well; feather jigs in dark colors are producing good numbers of fish; tightlining doughbait (salmon flavor) is producing fish in the late afternoon; fishing hours for the month of August are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Montauk State Park: 60 degrees, the river level is below normal and slowly dropping, the river is still fishable; the water is clear; 2 lb. test fishing line or lighter is recommended; look for fish to be staying in deeper or shaded areas; fishing is good on most baits; white, brown and yellow scented dough and putty baits are working well in the bait zones; most flies, Rooster Tails and jigs in black and yellow, olive colors and other dark colors are working well; the best fishing is in the mornings and evenings. August fishing hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
For up-to-date stream conditions check  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07064440 (Report made on 8/22/2012)

Roaring River State Park: 58 degrees, the river is clear and getting very low; conditions are typical of late summer; use 2 pound test or lighter; 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, and 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.  (Report made on 8/22/2012)