Conservation Lands

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Published on: May. 20, 2010

protect critical coldwater habitats along Capps Creek, Barren Fork and other springs and spring branches.

  • Wire Road Conservation Area both protects and provides public access to 2.5 miles of Crane Creek.
  • The Conservation Department acquired Althea Spring on the North Fork of the White River and Blue Springs Creek, a tributary of the Meramec, to provide public trout fishing opportunities.
  • Hatchery Operation


    • To construct and operate two warm water hatcheries, including 200 acres of ponds, hatchery buildings and other necessary structures.
    • To construct and operate two cold water hatcheries, including hatchery buildings, rearing pools and other necessary structures.
    • To construct and operate a combination experimental hatchery and fish disease diagnostic center for hatching and rearing experimental fish as well as providing diagnostic services.

    Keeping the Promises of Design:

    • The Conservation Department completely renovated Chesapeake Hatchery, a holdover from the old Civilian Conservation Corps days, improving its production capabilities and efficiency.
    • The recently completed Lost Valley Hatchery, near Truman Lake in Warsaw, is the largest warmwater hatchery in the state. It produces catfish, walleye, bluegill, bass, sunfish and a host of other species for Missouri waters.
    • The Conservation Department operates five coldwater hatcheries that supply 1.5 million trout each year for the state's four trout parks, as well as for 16 stream areas and for put-and-take winter fishing opportunities in 13 St. Louis urban lakes and four Kansas City urban lakes.
    • Hatchery innovations and research have resulted in fast-growing channel catfish that are ready to stock in one year, more efficient trout rearing techniques and the ability to culture and rear endangered mussels, sturgeon, paddlefish and Niangua darters.
    • Hatcheries provide fingerling largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish for more than 800 private impoundments each year.
    • Many of the 846 lakes managed by the Conservation Department are regularly stocked with walleye, paddlefish, muskie and a variety of other species produced by Department warmwater hatcheries.

    Wetland Wildlife


    • To purchase, develop and operate five new wetland areas geographically located to provide all Missourians-and especially the Kansas City-St. Louis metropolitan areas-with readily accessible areas, and to develop these areas for nature enjoyment and hunting and fishing.

    Keeping the Promises of Design:

    • Four Rivers Conservation Area recently doubled its wetland acreage with the addition of August A. Busch Jr. Memorial Wetlands. The area now includes 13,732 acres and is managed for waterfowl and wetland species.
    • Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (4,269 acres) in Boone County has drawn international attention for its innovative use of recycled waste water to increase wetland habitat.
    • The Conservation Department owns and manages several major wetlands in the state, including those at Bob Brown (3,302 acres), Grand Pass (5,096 acres), Settle's Ford (6,578 acres), Ten Mile Pond (3,793 acres) and Otter Slough (4,863 acres) conservation areas.
    • Direct habitat management for wildlife is being conducted on more than 45,000 acres of wetlands.


    • Update: State forests used to be distinct from wildlife areas and natural areas. Most conservation properties now are called conservation areas.
    • Update: Conservation Department acquisitions are subject to finding willing sellers. The Conservation Department has identified segments of streams where it would like to provide public accesses and acts to purchase suitable properties when they become available.
    • Update: Gaining public ownership of large lake basins has proven more difficult than envisioned. Where it proved impossible to construct new lakes, the Conservation Department focused its efforts on providing access to and improving the fishing in existing lakes.
    • Update: Conservation Department hatcheries have provided uncountable millions of fish for public and private waters. Hatcheries are improved or built with the help of Federal Aid to Sportfish Restoration funding, which in many cases provides up to 75 percent of the costs.

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