Enjoy winter trout fishing, archery deer hunting and winter birding at this diverse area in Newton County.
Take a little time out of this hectic holiday month to reconnect with natural Missouri. A great place to enjoy a day or two of outdoor winter recreation is Capps Creek CA in Newton County. This 724-acre area features woods, cropland, open grassland, a small wetland, a mile and a half of Capps Creek and 0.2 miles of Shoal Creek. Together, this diverse habitat supports white-ribbon trout fishing, decent archery deer hunting and good winter birding.
Capps Creek is a small stream with plenty of cover to grab a back-cast, so bring a shorter fly rod and a selection of flies to tempt rainbow and brown trout. MDC stocks the creek once a month from October to April, so your chances of landing a catch are good. The daily limit is a total of four for both trout species combined. There’s no length limit on rainbows, but there’s a minimum length of 15 inches for brown trout.
If you prefer hunting to fishing, you’ll find a good population of whitetails for archery deer season, which runs through January 15. You can set up a portable tree stand on the area, but be sure to put your name and address or conservation identification number on it, and take it down by Feb. 1. You can also pursue quail, squirrel and rabbit in season.
Birders will find a wide range of upland birds and waterfowl, including kinglets, northern harriers, white-throated sparrows, song sparrows and various duck species.
Don’t forget to carry along a camera to catch scenic winter views of Capps Creek and Shoal Creek and the area’s wildlife.
Area managers use many techniques to create, restore and maintain habitats for the area’s fish and wildlife. These include prescribed burning, haying, planting food plots and native grass mixes, timber stand improvement through thinning, and commercial harvest when beneficial.
To reach Capps Creek CA, travel seven and one-half miles west of Monett on Highway 60, then 1.75 miles south on Wallaby Road to its junction with Jolly Mill Road. Jolly Mill Park, a privately owned historic mill site, sits right across the road from Capps Creek CA. It’s open daily and fishing is allowed.
Before you travel, check Capps Creek CA’s web page (listed below) for special notices, area brochure and map.
—Bonnie Chasteen, photo by David Stonner
Recreation opportunities: Birding, winter trout fishing, hunting and nature photography
Unique features: This area occupies 724 acres in the Springfield Plateau Section of the Ozark Natural Division and features two permanent streams: Capps Creek and Shoal Creek
For More Information: Call 417-895-6880 or visit mdc.mo.gov/a9725.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler