From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
March 2021 Issue

Places To Go

St. Louis Region | Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area

Wetlands offer opportunity for hard-core and fair-weather visitors.

In March, Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area (CA), whose name in French means “fair weather marsh,” has plenty to offer both hard-core and fair-weather hikers and birders.

“Our spring waterfowl migration is going pretty good,” said Marais Temps Clair CA Manager Gary Calvert. “So, in March, there’s an opportunity to be able to see a lot more birds.”

Located in St. Charles County in the flood plain between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the nearly 918-acre Marais Temps Clair CA hosts migrating waterfowl heading north. Nearly two-thirds of the area is managed wetlands, which attracts a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds, Calvert said.

Waterfowl and shorebirds are not the only winged attractions, as bald eagles have also taken up residence in the area.

“There’s one nest on Marais Temp Clair, but there’s two or three other nests within a few miles,” he said. “So, it’s not uncommon to see bald eagles any time of year.”

Although the area has no designated hiking trails, the more than 11 miles of levee-top service roads are open to hiking, he said.

“They could weave around and make that several more miles if they wanted,” he said.

Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area consists of nearly 918 acres in St. Charles County. Go north from St. Charles on Highway 94 to Route H. Follow Route H northeast to Island Road and go north on Island Road to the area.

  • 38.9117, -90.416
  • short.mdc.mo.gov/Zbo 
  • 636-441-4554

What to Do When You Visit

  • Birdwatching: Included in the National Audubon Society’s Great Rivers Confluence Important Bird Area (short.mdc.mo.gov/Zb4). Included in the Great Missouri Birding Trail (short.mdc.mo.gov/ZbZ). The eBird list of birds recorded at Marais Temps Clair CA is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/Zbk.
  • Fishing: Catfish
  • Hiking: More than 11 miles of service roads open to hiking
  • Hunting: Deer. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey booklet for current regulations. Also dove
  • Trapping: Special-use permit required.
  • Waterfowl Hunting: Morning draw. Waterfowl regulations are subject to annual change, so check the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2020–2021.

What to Look For When You Visit

  • Muskrat
  • Snapping turtle
  • Wilson’s snipe
  • American bullfrog

Also in this issue

Blue Ash

The Mighty Ones II

A second celebration of Missouri’s champion trees.

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Learning to Fish

Missouri is a great place to fish if you know where to start.

Wild Edibles

Wild Edibles

Discover nature’s bounty beyond morel mushrooms.

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This Issue's Staff:

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler