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There’s No Time Like Wintertime

Feb 01, 2016

Light snows dust the landscape like sprinklings of powdered sugar. A few inches of snow hold the delightful promise of a snowman. Heavy snowfalls weigh down branches and wires, and blunt the familiar outlines of objects in the neighborhood and countryside. People generally enjoy snow, but how does wildlife fare when the snow falls?

The amount of snow fall determines how wildlife survive and thrive in the winter. One inch of snow hinders ground-feeding birds such as quail from finding food, but efficiently hides a meadow mouse from the watchful eye of a hungry hawk.

A few inches of snow shields small animals from blustery cold winds and insulates the land, protecting insects and plants.

A half foot of snow forces a fox to leap and bound, yet lifts a rabbit, bringing it closer to its food supply of winter buds on saplings.

Ruffed grouse take advantage of deep powdery snows by diving into drifts at night and reaping the benefits of an insulated snow blanket, while a hungry deer fights deep snow drifts with each and every step.

Playful otters enjoy a good snow by sliding down snowy banks on their bellies, but wildlife such as songbirds struggle in the snow and cold of winter. Snow affects wildlife in different ways.

Winter Fun: Trout Fishing

Enjoy the great outdoors by going trout fishing this winter. Just make sure to dress warmly! A few reminders as you plan your trip:


  • Limits and tackle restrictions vary by lake and season. Be sure to check for special area regulations before you fish.
  • A Missouri fishing permit is required, and a trout permit also is required if trout are harvested.

Winter Trout Areas Around the State

  • August A. Busch Conservation Area (lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 28)
  • Chaumiere Lake (Kansas City)
  • Cosmo-Bethel Lake (Columbia)
  • Everyday Pond (MO Western State University, St. Joseph)
  • Fountain Bluff Sports Complex (Liberty)
  • Giessing Lake (Farmington)
  • Jefferson Lake-Forest Park (St. Louis City)
  • Kiwanis Lake (Mexico)
  • Liberty Park Pond (Sedalia)
  • McKay Park Lake (Jefferson City)
  • Rotary Lake (Jackson)
  • Spur Pond (Kirksville)
  • Tilles Park Lake (St. Louis County)
  • Veterans Park Lake (Fulton)

Find a complete listing of statewide fishing areas and other regulations on the MDC’s website.


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