Places to Go

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From Missouri Conservationist: September 2016

Little River Conservation Area

Tucked away in the heart of the Bootheel, this area boasts a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Fishing Jerry P. Combs Lake is the main attraction at this conservation area. This 150-acre perched lake (above ground level) was built by the Department in the late 1990s and is an excellent fishery for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. The levee surrounding the lake is over 2 miles long and has six different jetties to provide ample locations for bank fishing. By mid- to late-September, crappie begin to congregate around the brush piles and habitat mounds in the lake and provide good early morning and late-evening fishing as the nights cool off. At the main parking lot, there is a two-lane boat ramp, one covered fishing dock, one courtesy dock, another concrete jetty, and restrooms — all of which are accessible to those with disabilities.

Birders will enjoy the wetland pools surrounding the lake that were developed when dirt was borrowed for building the lake’s levee. These pools are managed to promote native

wetland vegetation, commonly referred to as moist soil vegetation. Staff begins flooding the ponds in late summer to provide habitat for early migrating waterfowl, such as teal, and shorebirds, such as lesser yellow legs, least sandpipers, and dowitcher.

Birds like least tern, black tern, osprey, American white pelican, and others have been observed on Combs Lake. Birders may also want to check out the old fields and grasslands on the area to spot bobolink, dickcissel, indigo bunting, and many other species. Because of its location in the Lower Mississippi Delta, Little River CA is a popular stopover for an assortment of migrating birds.

Hunters who want to test their wingshooting skills can enjoy some fast-paced teal hunting in one of the flooded wetland pools or dove hunting in a managed dove field. Teal hunting is permitted in season on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Deer and other small game hunting are permitted every day during their respective seasons. Other hunting opportunities include rabbit, quail, rail, and snipe.

—Tommy Marshall, area manager

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler