Fire And Water

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Published on: Apr. 2, 2002

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010


We turned around at the low-water bridge, but not before doing some high-intensity fishing. As it flows through the culverts under the slab, water crashes into a wide, deep pool below that harbors an impressive variety of fish. This is also a major break that separates the two main bass species in the river. The river above the low-water bridge contains almost exclusively smallmouth bass. Below the bridge, it contains largemouth bass and spotted bass.

After catching an impressive collection of largemouth and spotted bass, as well as some white bass and a crappie, we turned around and paddled back to Fiery Fork. As I loaded my boat, two young boys were steadily catching longear sunfish, channel catfish and smallmouth bass with live worms. As I mentioned earlier, that pool gets fished heavily, and there's never any fish there. Those boys should have known better.

Fiery Fork Conservation Area

Whether you like your recreation wet or dry, Fiery Fork Conservation Area has something to satisfy outdoor enthusiasts of all tastes.

Located about 15 miles northwest of Camdenton, Fiery Fork CA occupies 1,606 acres of diverse plant and wildlife habitat in northern Camden County. The area supports white-tailed deer and wild turkey, as well as plentiful numbers of squirrels and rabbits.

In 1994-95, the Missouri Department of Conservation re-introduced ruffed grouse on a parcel of private property on the east side of the river, and some have been spotted on the conservation area. Ruffed grouse may not be hunted on this area, however.

The area's most conspicuous feature is the expansive river bottom bordering the Little Niangua River. It contains a patchwork of overgrown fields, woods and fencerows, all of which are visible from the main road. Vehicles are restricted to this road, but a number of smaller roads allow foot access to more remote areas that are lightly visited, except during hunting seasons.

Rising from the valley is a wall of steep hills that are blanketed with oak/hickory hardwood forest. In addition, there are two small areas (about 4.5 acres) that have been planted with shortleaf pine. This extra diversity in the woodland structure creates valuable habitat for songbirds such as prothonotary warblers.

Fiery Fork CA also contains several glade areas which the Conservation Department manages. One is behind the first campsite you see when you enter the area beyond the orange gate. There you'll find lead plants and

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