From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
May 2008 Issue

Clean Water

Stream Team: Gallatin R-V School

Stream Team #: 697

Date formed: August 1995

Location: Gallatin

For more info about Stream Teams: see links listed below.

Dennis Steigerwalt is always alert for ways to create “teachable moments” for his advanced science students. When he learned that Missouri Stream Teams would give him chemical water testing equipment, he knew it was the perfect enhancement for field trips. “Before that I had taken kids out to the Grand River just to expose them to the outdoors,” said Steigerwalt. “This gave us a good reason to be out there. After that, it just kind of snowballed.” Thirteen years later, the R-V Stream Team’s “snowball” includes opening the stream team to all students in grades 9 through 12, getting more than 1,000 youths involved in water-quality monitoring, picking up 2.5 tons of litter, adopting the Wabash Crossing Access, forming a chapter of the Missouri Forestkeepers Network and sending students to Maryland to represent Missouri at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Clean Water Act.

Fixing Leaky Ponds

Try these easy fixes for porousness and perforations.

Few things are more frustrating than a pond that won’t hold water. Causes range from sandy bottoms to tree roots perforating dams. Many leaks can be fixed. Dams sometimes can be sealed with bentonite, a special clay available at farm supply stores. To avoid problems with tree roots, remove trees less than 4 inches in diameter. Leave larger ones. Rotting roots can create leaks. For more about leaky ponds, get the “Missouri Pond Handbook” or “The Problem of Leaky Ponds,” from Conservation Department offices or by writing MDC, (requested publication’s name), PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or e-mail pubstaff@mdc.mo.gov.

ATVs and Streams Don’t Mix

Four-wheeling in streams isn’t cool.

Are you hoping to enjoy some cool fun on your all-terrain vehicle? Don’t do it in a stream. That’s not cool at all.

Running ORVs in or through streams kills aquatic insects and other small animals that fish depend on for food. It also destroys habitat needed by fish and the animals they eat. Furthermore, it muddies water, making it less pleasant for swimming, canoeing, fishing and other recreation.

Missouri law prohibits driving ORVs in streams except when fording streams at customary road crossings or for agricultural purposes on land owned by the ORV operator. Doing so under other circumstances can bring fines and suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.

Missouri has public areas set aside especially for ORV riders. These include:

  • Finger Lakes State Park in Boone County, (573) 443-5315.
  • St. Joe State Park, 8,238 acres in St. Francois County, (573) 431-1069.
  • Sutton Bluff Recreation Area in Reynolds County, (573) 729-6656.
  • Chadwick ATV and Motorcycle Area in Christian County, (417) 683-4428.

Also in this issue

Champion Stewards

Teens compete for the future of agriculture and conservation—and national honors.

Ruby-throated hummingbird in flight

Nature's Helicopters

Missouri's smallest bird makes a big impression.

Smallmouth bass in landing net

Fishing the Forks

Tired of fighting the crowds of Missouri’s big-name smallmouth streams? Try a tributary.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler