Annual Report Fiscal Year 2003–2004
This summary of the Annual Report highlights the Conservation Department's financial transactions and year-long accomplishments from July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004. The Conservation Department made $667,032 in payments to Missouri counties in lieu of taxes, and also reimbursed counties $286,452 for land enrolled in the Forest Cropland Program.
Improved Trout Management: Department staff completed a "Plan for Missouri Trout Fishing." This included implementing a new, statewide, minimum length limit for brown trout, and increasing the number and size of trout stocked. Changes to length limits, daily limits and other fishing restrictions are planned for a number of trout areas. Winter trout fishing opportunities in the cities of Columbia, Jefferson City and Jackson will be expanded.
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring: The Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program trained 367 volunteers in 30 Water Quality Monitoring workshops across Missouri during fiscal year 2004. A total of 1,352 data sets on stream surveys, water chemistry and invertebrates were submitted to the sponsoring agencies.
Rural fire departments received help through training and grants. More than $380,988 was distributed to 188 fire departments for the purchase of safety and fire fighting equipment. The Department trained volunteer firefighters on wildland fires.
New Community Assistance Program Agreements: This program creates fishing and boating opportunities at more than 130 lakes and 41 stream access areas around the state. In 2004, new lakes in Macon County, and in the cities of St. Charles, Jennings and Marceline, came under cooperative management, as did river accesses in Lexington and in Pemiscot County.
Sturgeon Management: Department biologists established a program to assist federal authorities in monitoring sturgeon abundance, movement and harvest to protect sturgeon populations in Missouri. Department hatcheries are producing pallid and lake sturgeon to help restore populations of these species in Missouri's big rivers.
Catfish Management: A statewide Catfish Management Plan includes objectives to diversify catfish fishing opportunities and to gather more information to improve management of catfish. Recommendations include establishing separate, statewide daily creel limits for channel catfish and blue catfish; and establishing a special flathead catfish management area on the Missouri River in central Missouri.
More than 400 Missouri communities received help for local tree resources, with $280,000 in grants being allocated directly to 39 municipalities and public schools through the Tree Resource Inventory and Management -- TRIM grant program.
Expanded Deer Hunting Opportunities for firearms hunters by establishing an Urban Portion of the firearms season, increasing the number of counties open during the