From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
February 2010 Issue



Ask the Ombudsman

Q: I saw what appeared to be puffs of smoke coming from my cedar trees. When I investigated, there was no fire there. Can you explain my observation?

A: Cedar trees, including our common Eastern red cedar, are conifers and produce male cones and female cones on separate trees. The cones on male cedars are small, rusty-brown, scaly structures that produce cedar pollen. When the male cones are mature, usually late February through March in Missouri, they release their dust-like pollen into the air. The pollen is so abundant that small “clouds” of it are released when a gust of wind shakes the branches of a male cedar tree. After the pollen is shed, the tiny male cones will fall from the trees. The pollinated female cones, on female trees, will continue to grow and develop into this year’s crop of cedar “berries.” I’m sure that your “smoke” was clouds of cedar pollen being released into the air.

Q: I just turned 65 years old. Am I now exempt from needing hunting and fishing permits?

A: Missouri residents 65 years of age or older are exempt from needing a small-game hunting permit or a fishing permit. You must carry proof of age and residence with you while hunting or fishing, such as a Missouri driver’s license. Depending on the type of hunting and fishing that you do, there may be other permits that you still must purchase, such as deer and turkey tags, migratory bird permit, trout permit, and daily trout tag at trout parks.

Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at

Also in this issue

The Missouri Conservation Commission chose Robert L. “Bob” Ziehmer as the eighth

Looking Ahead

The Department’s new director, Robert L. Ziehmer, discusses the future of conservation in Missouri.

According to new regulations, trappers will be able to take more otters in many

2010 Regulations Update

Seasons, limits and methods expand for 2010.

As your outdoor mentors age, share with them the gift they shared with you.

Fitting Thanks

As your outdoor mentors age, share with them the gift they shared with you.

Lake #30 at August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles was recent

A Perfect Pond

Make old ponds new again for better fishing and family fun.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler