MDC provides grant for upgrades at Higginsville City Lake

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Kansas City
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Higginsville, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) on May 4 presented the city of Higginsville with a check for $116,000, a matching grant for improvements at two of the city’s lakes used for recreation and as a drinking water source. Through a cooperative agreement, 75 percent of the total project cost was funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. MDC administers the federal funds to help communities provide fishing and boating recreation.

A covered and accessible floating fishing dock was installed at Higginsville City Lake in Lafayette County. Also added was a courtesy dock for boaters and a new restroom. The city installed walkways and security lighting. Upper Higginsville City Lake is separate and water from there flows into the main lake. A new restroom was also installed at the upper lake. All the improvements are accessible for wheelchairs.

“This means everybody has access,” said Jim Urfer, who recently retired but was the city’s water and wastewater manager when the project was designed and built. “The boaters absolutely love the courtesy dock. They’re extremely pleased. I’ve also had a lot of good comments on the nice restrooms.”

MDC and Higginsville began partnering at the lakes in 1987, including grants to build boat ramps. Department fisheries biologists monitor fish populations and provide management recommendations for the fishery. The city handled construction chores for the new improvements and did an excellent job, said Trish Yasger, MDC fisheries management biologist.

“The fishing is good here,” Yasger said. “The lake has a really good bass population.”

Crappie are present but often small. Catfish are in the lakes, both channel cats and flatheads.

Anglers fishing at the lakes between ages 16 and 65 must obtain a city permit, which are available at City Hall and sporting goods outlets in Higginsville. Standard Missouri fishing permits also are required.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program money comes from excise taxes that anglers pay when purchasing items such as fishing equipment or boats. 

For more information on Higginsville City Lake, visit

To discover more of Missouri’s great fishing places, visit