The bald eagles have returned to winter in Missouri, and four Eagle Days events will allow people to view hundreds of eagles in the wild and learn more about the amazing comeback of our national bird.
Each event includes guided eagle watches, a movie, displays and an appearance by a captive bald eagle.
In northwest Missouri, Eagle Days are scheduled for Dec. 2-3 at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City.
In southwest Missouri, experience Eagle Days Dec. 30-31 at Springfield Conservation Nature Center.
In central Missouri, Eagle Days are scheduled for Jan.6-7 at School of the Osage Elementary in Lake Ozark.
In east Missouri, Eagle Days will take place Jan. 27-28 at Clarksville Lock and Dam 24 in Clarksville.
The events run Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Signs direct you to program areas. Registration is not required. Bring your camera and binoculars, and dress for the weather.
For more information and maps of locations, send a card to Eagle Days, Conservation Department, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, 65102-0180.
Other locations offering prime eagle watching this winter include Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Sumner, Table Rock Lake near Branson, Shell Osage Conservation Area near Schell City and Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Puxico. Plan a visit in January or early February and watch for eagles perching in large trees along the edge of rivers and lakes.
The Soil and Water Conservation Society will award a $500 Conservation Scholarship to an undergraduate student working toward a career in natural resources conservation.
Applicants must currently be enrolled at a Missouri institute of higher education and are required to supply two letters of reference and to write a five- to six-page essay about improvements in the extension of soil and water knowledge to Missouri producers. Essays will be judged on creativity, substance, clarity and execution. For more information contact Clark Gantzer, School of Natural Resources, UMC, 143 Mumford Hall, Columbia, 65211, (314) 882-6301.
Cruisers of the Internet's World Wide Web can now visit the Conservation Department electronically.
A home page packed with information about Missouri conservation is now available (http://www.mdc.mo.gov/welcome.html).
Included in the home page are the last two issues of the Conservationist, recent news releases and a variety of files about hunting and fishing seasons, nature centers, shooting ranges, pond management and other conservation subjects.
"The Internet is a new way for us to communicate," said Shannon Cave, chief of the Conservation Department's Information Services Division. "We've only begun and will continuously be adding more and better information."
A new 18-inch minimum size regulation on brown trout in the Niangua River and its tributaries promises to provide more trophy fish for anglers.
The new Trout Special Management Area regulations, which go into effect Jan. 1, also affect anglers at Bennett Spring Trout Park.
The new rule requires anglers to release any brown trout less than 18 inches in total length and allows anglers to keep only one brown trout per day.
There remains no length limit on rainbow trout throughout the Niangua River system. Anglers can keep five trout daily. However, only one of these may be a brown trout.
To possess trout on the river, anglers must have a fishing permit and a trout permit. Bennett Spring Trout Park anglers need a fishing permit and a daily tag. The only lure restrictions on the river are in the trout park.
The Conservation Department will continue to stock rainbow and brown trout in the Niangua River below Bennett Spring Branch and rainbow trout in Bennett Spring Trout Park.
Writers and artists age 17 and under can have their adventure stories and art published in a special issue of "Outside In," the Conservationist's quarterly kid's section.
"Outside In" editors are looking for true stories and original art with a nature or outdoor theme, such as camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, encounters with wildlife, etc. Space is limited, and not all submissions can be printed.
Send your material to "Outside In," Conservation Department, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180. Material cannot be returned unless you include a self addressed envelope with sufficient return postage.
A new market for wood chips has been developed that allows more efficient use of forest resources as it helps the state economy.
Three companies have begun selling chipped wood to paper mills in the southeastern United States and to users overseas.
The demand should mean lucrative business for state wood producers. For details, sawmill operators or chip producers can call Shelby Jones at (314) 751 4115, ext. 109.
while pursuing a career with a soil and water conservation emphasis in soil science, agronomy, agricultural engineering, forestry, geography, journalism, education, wildlife management, fisheries or a related field.
Conservationist subscribers would like more articles about rivers and streams, wildlife, birdwatching and places to go, according to a recent survey mailed to 10,000 households receiving the Conservation Department's monthly magazine.
The survey asked people what kinds of articles interested them and what they do to enjoy nature.
"Knowing what readers like helps take the guesswork out of long-range planning," said Conservationist Editor Kathy Love.
Respondents preferred wildlife articles above all others. Hunting articles rated high in rural areas. Urban dwellers preferred articles about hiking and nature centers. Interest in birdwatching has zoomed from 32nd place to 5th place since a similar survey was conducted in 1988.
The following permits will be eliminated, but the privileges they allow will be included with other permits listed above:
Editor - Kathy Love
Assistant Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Director - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Composition - Kevin Binkley
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Paul Childress
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Staff Writer - Charlotte Overby
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer