MDC COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 RESPONSES (AS OF 7/8/2020)

We will continue to update this page as more information is available.

  • Conservation areas are operating as normal.
  • Trails are operating as normal.
  • Boat ramps are operating as normal.

Outdoor spaces are well suited to increased social distance, and fresh air is a great way to calm your mind. But we must remain diligent in taking steps to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible:

  • If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.
  • Travel in a small group of 10 people or fewer.
  • If a conservation area looks crowded or an area parking lot is full, please do not stop and find another less-crowded location.
  • Keep a proper physical distance of at least six feet while visiting areas and especially on trails.
  • Avoid popular spots where people congregate, such as scenic overlooks, fishing docks, etc.
  • Pack water, soap and/or hand sanitizer.
  • Get more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for keeping you and your family safe at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

Missourians are encouraged to review information provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as it relates to COVID-19.

General Information

April 2, 2020
MDC Reminds People to Follow Health Precautions While Outdoors

With many people in Missouri heading outside to enjoy the spring weather, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds people that it is still critical for everyone to continue to heed all recommendations for physical distancing, avoiding overcrowding, hand-washing, and other public-health measures during outdoor activities. Read more about health precautions to follow while outdoors.

Hunting and Fishing

April 30, 2020
Trout Fishing Update

The James Foundation will reopen Maramec Spring Park to a limited number of visitors (maximum of 250 people at one time) on May 4. Daily trout tags, along with a fishing permit, unless exempt, will be required beginning May 16 for fishing at all four trout parks: Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James. Read more about Maramec Spring Park opening and daily trout tag requirements.

April 9, 2020
Daily Trout Tag at Open Trout Parks Waived Until Further Notice

Anglers will need to have a fishing permit, unless exempt, after April 15. Trout anglers will also need required fishing permits after April 15 but will not need a daily trout tag at the three open trout parks until further notice. Read more about fishing permits and trout tags.

March 24, 2020
MDC to Temporarily Waive Fishing Permits Starting March 27

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Conservation Commission announce they are temporarily waiving permit requirements for sport fishing and daily trout tags for Missouri residents and nonresidents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended. The waiver of needing a permit or trout tag to fish will run from Friday, March 27, through April 15. MDC will reassess the situation at that point. All season dates and limits will continue to apply and be enforced. Read more about the temporary waiving of fishing permits.

MDC Offices, Nature Centers, Visitor Centers, and Staffed Shooting Ranges

July 8, 2020
To help protect the public amid ongoing coronavirus concerns, some of offices are still temporarily closed. You can check the status of each public office at https://mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/public-offices. 

April 30, 2020
MDC works to safely reopen facilities closed due to COVID-19

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is working on its transition plan to safely reopen MDC facilities, including nature center centers and staffed shooting ranges, to ensure social distancing requirements and infection-prevention measures are in place before opening. The facilities will remain temporarily closed to visitors during this transition phase. Read more about the reopening of MDC facilities.

April 9, 2020
MDC Extends Closures of Its Facilities

Following state and federal guidance, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is extending the temporary closures of its facilities and cancellations of its public events and programs through April 30. Read more about the extended closure of facilities.

March 22, 2020
MDC to Close Offices to Visitors Starting March 23

The Missouri Department of Conservation announces it will close regional offices, Department headquarters in Jefferson City, and all other public contact offices around the state to visitors starting Monday, March 23, through April 15.While MDC public offices will be closed to general visitation, offices will still be staffed. Visitors with official business will need to notify the office to gain access. Find MDC office contact information at mdc.mo.gov/regional-contacts?county=All. Read more about MDC office closures.

March 19, 2020
MDC to Close Staffed Shooting Ranges Starting March 20

The Missouri Department of Conservation announces it will close its five staffed shooting ranges starting Friday, March 20, through April 15. MDC will reassess the situation at that point. MDC unstaffed shooting ranges remain open.The MDC staffed shooting ranges closing Friday are:

  • Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Greene County,
  • August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in St. Charles,
  • Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in St. Louis,
  • Lake City Range in Jackson County, and
  • Parma Woods Range and Training Center in Platte County.

MDC’s several dozen unstaffed shooting ranges around the state remain open. Find more information on them at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/find/places/mdc-ranges. Read more about the staff shooting range closure.

March 18, 2020
MDC to Close Nature Centers, Visitor Centers Starting March 19

The Missouri Department of Conservation announces it will close its nature centers, visitor centers, and education centers around the state to visitors effective Thursday, March 19, to help protect the public amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. The indoor facilities will be closed to the public through April 15 and MDC will reassess the situation at that point. Nature center trails remain open.

Closed MDC facilities include:

  • Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs;
  • Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center in Cape Girardeau;
  • Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City;
  • Lost Valley Fish Hatchery in Benton County;
  • Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood;
  • Rockwoods Reservation in St. Louis County;
  • Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City;
  • Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery near Branson;
  • Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin;
  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center in Springfield; and
  • Twin Pines Conservation Education Center near Winona.

Read more about nature centers and visitor centers closing.

Events and Programs

June 2, 2020
MDC extends program cancellations to June 30 and will offer more programs online

April 30, 2020
MDC has extended the cancellation of its programs and events through May 31.

April 13, 2020
MDC cancels May kids’ fishing day events at trout parks

April 9, 2020
MDC cancels events and programs through April 30

March 30, 2020
MDC cancels June 20 youth outdoor day camp at Lee's Summit

March 20, 2020
Runge Nature Center cancels native plant sale

March 20, 2020
MDC cancels April 23 Arbor Day event in St. Joseph

March 16, 2020
MDC cancels MoNASP virtual State Tournament activities

March 16, 2020
MDC cancel most programs and events through April 15

March 12, 2020
MoNASP State Tournament changed from live event to virtual one

Free Resources and Activities Available

Learn to use a box call
Watch this short video on how to use a box call to call in a turkey.

Free access to DNS curriculum 
Access all the DNS curriculum teacher and student guide files.

Compiled list of educational resources and activities 
Education staff have compiled a comprehensive list of websites and activities families can do while children are out of school.

Read the Conservationist and Xplor magazines
Read the Conservationist and Xplor online or download PDF's to read later.

Xplor More Printout
Staff have compiled activities and games from previous Xplor issues into an easy-to-print PDF. 

Xplor More Printout - Round 2
Staff have compiled more activities and games from previous Xplor issues into an easy-to-print PDF.

Free mobile applications
Find all the free mobile applications offered by the Department.

Wildlife cameras
Watch the live streams from the Runge Nature Center or a peregrine falcon nest box. 

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Our Magazines

Conservationist Magazine

Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents.

A merlin soars as it hunts for prey

Xplor Magazine for kids

Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.

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