Reflections

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Why Go To Wappapello?

Thank you for the outstanding article Tom Cwynar wrote regarding Wappapello Lake in the March 2006 issue. The article highlighted Wappapello’s fishing opportunities and the partnerships that enhance them, including fish habitat improvements.

Each year, several area anglers approach our office wanting to place brushpiles in their favorite spots on the lake. We try our best to oblige these requests; however, these activities do require a Special Use Permit from our office. These permits are free of charge, and the purpose of these permits is to ensure that materials are placed in areas and depths that will not pose a threat to recreational boaters or other anglers.

We invite Missouri Conservationist readers to experience the excellent camping facilities Wappapello Lake offers. Our camping opportunities can accommodate those who enjoy modern facilities, as well as those who want a “back to nature” primitive camping experience. There’s something for everyone at this southeast Missouri gem.

We look forward to serving you!

Gary G. Stilts, operations manager

Wappapello Lake Management Office

Doodle On, Chmielniak

Cartoonist Betty Chmielniak Grace has just one-upped the “can-you-hear-me-now” boys with her cell-phoning bird’s great reception (having nested on the tower in April’s Conservationist). Great chuckles; it made my day! P.S.: She might do a cell-phoning turkey driving an SUV. My caption would be, “look out hunters, turkey armed and dangerous.”

Fred Boeneker, Glendale

Down By The Blue

Your story of the Blue River Rescue [ “Missouri Stream team reaches 3000,” April 2006] brought back fond memories. Growing up in Leeds (Kansas City) in the ‘30s, we kids spent lots of time down by the Blue. Old men would fish, and sometimes they would catch carp and snapping turtles so large they could hardly land them. In winter, it was our skating rink. No one had skates, but it was the only frozen pond in town. I now live on a small farm in Bolivar, where my only livestock are deer and turkeys.

Dent Blickham, Bolivar

We’re Here To Help

Last night I attended an MDC duck season and zoning workshop that was very well done, and your agents volunteered that we could call them with any questions. Last spring, after reading an article on jug fishing, I called the author, who was very helpful in getting me started in my new hobby.

The point of my letter is to thank you for all your help over the years and to remind other readers that your staff is very accessible and anxious to help the taxpayers of Missouri. Keep up the good work.

Richard J. Bagy, Jr., president

First National Bank, St. Louis

Friends In Conservation

The April issue of the Conservationist magazine had news of the Belle FFA and their bluebird house project. Their efforts are to be commended.

The article also served to remind me of the efforts of the late Charles Schlanker of DeSoto. Charles was named a Master Conservationist by the MDC in 1998. He passed away in December 2005, but he completed 560 bluebird houses before his illness. I have put up the ones remaining in his workshop and still have some to assemble that he had cut out.

Joe Wilson, DeSoto

Arbor Day Enthusiast

Congrats to the Shumard oak for becoming this year’s Missouri Arbor Day tree.

I recall my fourth-grade year when the Missouri Department of Conservation gave me a red oak to plant (1974). I planted it in my parents’ backyard and took care of it for years. That gift tree and experience made me a real “tree hugger.” I have since planted hundreds of trees over the years, everyplace I have lived.

The seedlings I have purchased from the Missouri Department of Conservation were thick with root stock and took well to the soil and their new homes.

Thanks to the tree stewards working for our great state for the wonderful trees. Ours are doing well.

Dr. Page Crow, Independence

The letters printed here reflect readers’ opinions about the Conservationist and its contents. Space limitations prevent us from printing all letters, but we welcome signed comments from our readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: In the past few years, our farm pond of approximately 1 acre has been inundated with pea-green little granules on top. I have asked a lot of people and they say you can’t get rid of it. I have already used a copper chemical. It did not work. What is it, and what can we do?

A: Sounds like you’re dealing with duckweed. Copper sulfate won’t help much with duckweed, as that’s a remedy for algae.

Chemical control is only one of several methods used to control unwanted vegetation. Be sure to carefully read and follow directions when using herbicide.

While we’re on the topic of ponds, this would be a good time to mention that the Department of Conservation provides fingerling bass, channel catfish and bluegill to landowners whose ponds meet certain qualifications.

The Department encourages landowners participating in this program to enjoy the angling opportunities stocking will provide, but they are not obliged to allow the public access to the pond. The landowners always determine who will fish on their property.

For those landowners who don’t qualify for the stocking program or who have an interest in different varieties of fish, there are a number of commercial fish providers who can supply their needs. For information about fish suppliers, please see Missouri Commercial Fish Dealers. Contact your conservation office and ask to speak with staff from Fisheries or Private Lands for advice on managing a balanced fishery.

Ombudsman Ken Drenon will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Conservation Department programs. Write him at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at <Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov>.

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