Summer Fun on the Water

Blog Category
Discover Nature Notes
Published Display Date
Jul 18, 2021

Note: Always practice safety on the water and check weather, road, and water conditions before heading out.

The best place to be in the summer is on the water. Missouri has 110,000 miles of streams where you can fish, float, and explore. 


The two biggest rivers in the country, the Missouri and Mississippi, flow through the Show Me state and come together just above St. Louis.

Streams flow through prairies in the north and Ozark bluffs in the south. You can float by forests, caves and springs and see anything from crayfish to hawks and herons along the way. There's no better way to beat the heat of summer then by getting out on the water with family and friends. Always practice safety when enjoying Missouri's many waters this summer.

Head out to the Irish Wilderness for a float down the Eleven Point River.  See where the Beatles explored on their debut tour in America.  And enjoy Greer Springs, one of Missouri's most scenic.

For more ideas of Places to Go on the water, check out our Mo Outdoors app.

If you would like to help keep Missouri's streams clean, try joining a Missouri Stream Team.

Ozark Streams

One of the most famous water systems may be the Ozark Streams.

  • The Ozark highlands occur mostly south of the Missouri River. To the east, they end where the Bootheel lowlands begin, and to the west, they transform gradually into the Prairie Faunal Region.
  • The limestone and dolomite karst geology in the Ozarks is famous for its caves and springs, and these influence the character of Ozark streams.
  • Ozark streams typically occupy narrow, steep-sided valleys and often amount to a series of short pools connected by well-defined riffles. 
  • Ozark streams usually have coarse, rocky substrates and steeper gradients than those in our prairie regions. Chert gravel is often at the bottom of the stream bed. 
  • Ozark streams are typically clear and relatively cool, often because they are fed by springs.
  • In addition to its famous streams and springs, the Ozark Aquatic Faunal Region also contains some large reservoirs created when certain rivers were dammed. The Lake of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake are examples. These large lakes have their own habitat conditions quite different from Ozark streams, and their dams prevent aquatic animals from moving past them, particularly upstream.

For more on Ozark Streams.

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