CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has entered a Community Assistance Program (CAP) agreement with Cape Girardeau County to stock and manage the lakes at both the North and South County Parks. Jason Crites, a MDC fisheries management biologist, said MDC will conduct fish and habitat management at the lakes, which will include fish stocking and placing brush piles for fish habitat. Conservation agents will also enforce Wildlife Code regulations at the lakes.
Future plans include a renovation of the South County Park Lake tentatively scheduled for this summer. The renovation will require the draining of the lake, dirt work, and enhanced infrastructure. Once renovation is complete the lake will be restocked with fish.
“The Cape County Park Department is pleased to partner with the Missouri Department of Conservation to enhance our parks and provide an excellent opportunity for the community to enjoy our fishing lakes and the outdoors,” said Clint Tracy, a Cape Girardeau County Commissioner.
Crites said MDC conducted a preliminary fisheries summary of the North County Lake in 2017 to assess stocking needs.
“We found a healthy fish population consisting of largemouth bass and bluegill,” Crites said. “We’ll stock channel catfish and possibly red ear sunfish later this year.”
He also stated the lack of fish habitat in the North County Lake so brush piles were created this winter and placed around the lake and fishing dock.
CAP was initiated in 1980 to provide close-to-home fishing opportunities in communities throughout the state. Through this program MDC enters into agreements with cities, counties, state and federal agencies, businesses, foundations, schools and colleges to provide fisheries management at existing lakes and ponds and to cooperatively develop and maintain facilities for anglers and boaters at lake and stream areas.
Through these cooperative agreements, MDC provides fisheries management (including appropriate stocking, habitat improvement, and special regulations) on lakes and ponds and provides enforcement of wildlife and area use regulations. The partners, in return, assist with facilities development, allow free public use of the area under agreement for fishing, boating or other related recreational activities, and provide routine maintenance and law enforcement. The cooperative agreements are tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances associated with the available sites and individual partners.
“These programs benefit local communities by providing cost effective ways of providing citizens with improved fishing opportunities,” Crites said.
North and South County Parks are located just east of I-55 Highway along Kingshighway. More information about fishing opportunities in Missouri can be found at mdc.mo.gov/fish. For more information about CAP agreements, contact MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573)290-5730.