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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2009


Ask the Ombudsman

Q: I’ve been seeing a dove in my bird-feeding area that is different from the typical mourning doves. It is larger and has a black band around the back of its neck. Can you tell me what bird it is?

A: That is most likely a Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto). It was first reported from Missouri (Marion County) in 1998 and has spread rapidly throughout the state since then. The only other possibility of a dove with a black band on the neck is the ringed turtledove, which is sold in pet stores and occasionally escapes from captivity. The Eurasian collared dove is now a statewide permanent resident and is becoming relatively common in many towns.

The Eurasian collared dove is larger and grayer-colored than the mourning dove and has a tail that is squared-off at the tip. They nest in trees and feed on grain, often around areas of human habitation. They are not distinguished from mourning doves for purposes of daily and possession limits during dove season.

Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ombudsman@mdc.mo.gov.

Youth Turkey Hunt

Ten youths from throughout Missouri participated in the state’s first Governor’s Invitational Youth Turkey Hunt held April 4 and 5. The event was sponsored by the Missouri Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The Conservation Department hosted turkey-hunting seminars on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and Conservation staff and volunteers guided the hunts. Weekend activities included a dinner at the Capitol with Gov. Jay Nixon.

Overall, the 2009 youth-season harvest was down slightly with 2,883 birds checked, compared to 2,898 in 2008. Top harvest counties were: Franklin with 96, Osage with 85 and Polk with 61. Franklin County broke its previous record of 94 set in 2007. The Conservation Department issued permits to 19,135 Missouri turkey hunters age 15 and under this year, down from 21,595 in 2008.

The regular spring turkey season runs through May 10. More information can be obtained at your nearest Missouri Department of Conservation office or online.

Pictured front row, L-R: Cade Pendergraft, Levi Chew, Thomas Copeland, Chris Payeur, Charlie Boschert, Jack Boschert, Morgan Robb, Tori McAfee and Laura Richards. Back row, L-R: Garrett Jazenboski, Senator Frank Barnitz (Lake Spring), Representative J.C. Kuessner (Emmence), Governor Jay Nixon, CFM Executive Director Dave Murphy, MDC Assistant Director Bob Ziehmer.

Time Capsule

May 1989

Hill Country Cottonmouths was written by Mark Goodwin about Western cottonmouth snakes. You can find these snakes in the Ozarks in the southeast part of Missouri. These nocturnal animals can be found sleeping during the day in streamside brush piles, rocks and vegetation. They have a reputation of being aggressive and ill-tempered, but most of them will sit tight in heavy cover or flee in an attempt not to be noticed. The top of their head is flattened and their eyes are covered by two prominent scales. Cottonmouths can be dangerous if they bite and in some cases can be fatal to humans. Common water snakes are often misidentified as cottonmouths.—by Contributed by the Circulation Staff

Agent Notes

Regulations are tailor made for individual fisheries

Every summer millions of people head to Missouri’s Ozark rivers to enjoy their beauty and excellent fishing. Conservation agents dedicate thousands of hours during the year patrolling these rivers to protect the natural resources and to help ensure the safety of the people who enjoy them.

Ozark rivers have common characteristics: clear water, majestic bluffs and spectacular fishing for smallmouth bass and goggle-eye. What these rivers do not have in common are fishing regulations. Each stream is unique and requires regulations specific to it in order to best manage its fish populations. Fishing regulations are based upon data collected from fish sampling, creel surveys and public input.

Regulations may be specific to an entire stream or for only a certain portion of a stream. Some regulations might restrict the daily limit of smallmouth bass, while others establish a minimum length for goggle-eye or an increased minimum length for smallmouth bass. A red or blue ribbon trout stream designation means the use of live bait and certain artificial lures are prohibited to reduce the number of trout dying from hooking.

Before heading to the river this summer, make a review of the fishing regulations for your destination a part of planning your trip. The time you invest will help protect the fisheries and keep you from violating the Wildlife Code. You can pick up a copy of A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations at permit vendors or you can download a PDF online.

Aaron Pondrom is a District Supervisor in the Ozark region. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office.

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 Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler