Miscellany

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Ask the Ombudsman

Q: I’d like to buy quail to release on my property. Are there any regulations about this?

A: Yes. Primarily due to concerns about negative effects (disease, concentration of predators, genetic dilution), wildlife release and confinement is strictly regulated by the Wildlife Code of Missouri. See Chapter 9 for details.

There’s no magic formula for ensuring lots of healthy quail. Pen-raised birds aren’t suitable for sustained quail populations. It takes hard work and determination to do what it takes to provide food, cover and other habitat needs.

The efforts of farmers, landowners, the Department and cooperating state and federal agencies have been rewarded with an impressive list of recent habitat improvements: 15 million linear feet of native grass field borders have been installed in the last few years; there are more than 50,000 acres of wildlife-friendly CRP lands (in fact, Missouri just received an additional 10,000 acres of CP33—Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds); and approximately 70,000 acres of quail and grassland bird habitat have been created and are managed on conservation areas annually.

The Department’s wildlife professionals are available to help landowners manage their land for quail and other wildlife by providing technical assistance, information on cost-share programs and detailed management plans—all free of charge. For more information, contact your local Department office or visit us online. Another great resource is The Covey Headquarters newsletter and Web site as listed below.

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.

Agent Notes

Youth groups build character as they work on behalf of conservation.

Many fine youth organizations in Missouri provide young men and women with opportunities to experience the outdoors.

The Boys Scouts of America includes Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing, a program open to both boys and girls. The organization has successfully instilled respect for the outdoors in many generations. Each year, members complete numerous projects that benefit the outdoor community. The benches at your local fishing lake might be compliments of a talented group of Scouts, or you may have used a trail bridge that was an Eagle Scout project.

The 4-H group is another popular youth organization. 4-H members also complete many projects that benefit conservation. They may build wood duck or bluebird nesting boxes, plant trees or perform other habitat improvement projects at conservation areas or on private lands.

I have worked with both of these youth groups on a variety of projects and can tell you that you will not find a better group of young men and women. They are devoted to their projects and respect the outdoors and others.

Whether your child joins 4-H or the Boy Scouts, you can be sure both will build character and teach your child the value of conservation.

Grant Gelly is the conservation agent for St. Francois County, which is in the southeast region. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office

Time Capsule

July 1957

Sour Water by Robert Hartman told the story of Dodge Creek, a stream that was polluted by strip mining for coal. With the sulfur, iron and other minerals exposed to wind and rain, decomposition soon took place, forming weak solutions of sulfuric acid. The fish that once lived there could no longer breathe when the acid waters came in contact with their gills. Insects were limited to few kinds of water beetles and bottom-dwelling worms. As many said, “the water was sour.” Or, in more scientific terms, the water had a pH of 5 and lower. The article also identified other sources of water pollution and encouraged citizens to support Missouri’s newly created pollution Control board —Contributed by the Circulation staff

Behind the Code

Bi-state fishing permit for the White River Lakes.

by Tom Cwynar

The border separating Missouri and Arkansas runs through a lot of water, especially in the White River System. Anglers fishing Table Rock, Bull Shoals or Norfork reservoirs could easily cross into another state’s jurisdiction without knowing it. Previously, anglers protected themselves by buying permits from both states—one resident permit and one nonresident permit.

The White River Vorder Lakes Permit allows state’s resident permit holders from Missouri or Arkansas to take fish, except trout, from anywhere within the confines of the three reservoirs. The $10 permit cuts $30 from the cost of buying annual permits from both states.

Anglers 65 and older and other anglers legally exempted from license requirements need the permit if they fish in the waters of the other state. Youths 15 and under are not required to purchase the permit for most fishing methods. However, like all other anglers, they must have a trout permit to take trout.

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission cooperatively manage the fisheries on the lakes. They have agreed upon standardized daily limits and size limits for most species. The differences are in the daily white bass, striper and hybrid limits on the reservoirs and in length limits on spotted bass on Table Rock lake.

Anglers must be in compliance with the rules of the state in which they are located.

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