Fellows Lake duck hunters will need to supply own blinds

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Fellows Lake offers Springfield-area waterfowl hunters a close-to-home opportunity to pursue their favorite quarry. However, the procedure for providing hunting blinds at the lake has changed this year.

Hunters will now be required to provide their own blinds. This new provision allows individuals to hunt from blinds they built themselves and, thus, have been constructed to fit personal preferences, comforts and needs. It also eliminates maintenance and security issues that previously existed when blinds were provided at the lake.

Fellows Lake, located in Greene County north of Springfield, is owned by City Utilities of Springfield. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) oversees waterfowl hunting and fisheries management at the reservoir.

Another change Fellows Lake duck hunters need to be mindful of this season is that, this year, Missouri’s South Zone waterfowl season is in two segments – Nov. 23-26 and Dec. 4-Jan. 28. This split-season format is in response to comments received from a statewide survey of waterfowl hunters.

The eight MDC-managed blind locations on the south side of Fellows Lake will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. (The area encompassed by these eight blinds is the only portion of the lake where waterfowl hunting is allowed.) All blind locations may only be utilized on a day-to-day basis. Commercially manufactured blinds are permitted. Blind sites may not be sold or leased.

Hunters may use boats or vehicles to access the Fellows Lake blind locations daily. Boats must be launched at the ramp or hand-launched from a blind site. Boat blinds are permitted, but must be tied or anchored within 50 yards either direction of the designated blind location. Boats may be used to retrieve waterfowl. Hunters are reminded that outboard motors larger than 40 hp are not allowed on Fellows Lake.

Hunters must use designated roads only. City Utilities security staff will open gates approximately 1 ½ hours before sunrise daily. Shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. daily. Gates will be shut by City Utilities staff at 2:30 p.m. daily.

Hunters are required to check in and check out at the registration building located on Greene County Farm Road 183 by filling out a daily waterfowl hunting tag for every day hunted. At the end of their hunt, hunters must deposit their daily waterfowl hunting tag in the check-out box provided at the site.

Hunters need to remember that decoys, boats and other equipment used for waterfowl hunting can transport invasive plant species from one body of water to another. Hunters should clean, drain and dry all waterfowl hunting equipment before and after the hunt.

More information about waterfowl hunting at Fellows Lake can be obtained by calling the MDC Southwest Regional office in Springfield at 417-895-6880. Waterfowl hunting information can also be found at mdc.mo.gov.