SPANISH LAKE, Mo.— Due to extensive flood damage to the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, the Eagle Days events planned there for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16-17, have been canceled.
The levee at Columbia Bottom was breached during the late-December floods and the area was inundated with water, which left the main asphalt road and other parts of the area with severe damage. There was also a significant of silt and mud deposited. Columbia Bottom will be closed to the public until further notice for clean-up and repairs.
Those seeking alternative bald eagle watching opportunities are encouraged to attend the nearby Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge festival the same days from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is located approximately a quarter mile south of the I-270 Riverview Drive exit, a short drive from Columbia Bottom.
Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at any time from the vantage point of the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge which is part of the Mississippi Greenway, also known as the Riverfront Trail. On both days, the World Bird Sanctuary will be presenting an educational program, repeated every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., featuring a live eagle. Programming includes a hands-on exhibit of local birds presented by St. Louis Audubon, a full-size replica of an eagle's nest, and warming tent activities, including children's art.
Guests will also enjoy Lewis and Clark living history demonstrations at both sides of the bridge. The Missouri Bridge entrance will feature re-enactors from the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Mo. Visitors can see how Lewis and Clark and their crew lived, cooked, and traveled more than 200 years ago. Demonstrations will also include a flag raising at 10 a.m. and lowering at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Illinois side will feature re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, Ill.
Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is produced through a partnership of MDC, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Great Rivers Greenway, and is sponsored by Cabela's.
Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes (eagle viewing occurs at the center of the Bridge, a half-mile walk from each Bridge entrance), and leave their pets at home. Hot food and drink will be available onsite for purchase.
For more on eagle days, go online to mdc.mo.gov/events/eagledays.