MDC re-opens Columbia Bottom Conservation Area to limited access

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

SPANISH LAKE, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) has re-opened Columbia Bottom Conservation Area for public access. However, that access will be restricted for the immediate future.

Due to extensive flood damage, public vehicle access and parking on the area will be limited and public access will mainly be walk-in. The public will only be able to enter the area in the following locations:

  • Park in the visitor’s center parking lot and walk into the area
  • Drive on the main area road up to Parking Lot C, approximately 0.3 miles from the main entrance, and walk into the area
  • Park in Parking Lot V, located near the area maintenance shop just south of the main entrance, and walk into the area

In addition, the Missouri River boat access is closed to the public until further notice due to flood damage. Likewise, all area hiking trails are closed to public access until further notice.

Hunters should note that flood conditions have prevented dove management work of any type on the area for the 2019 season. Columbia Bottom staff are reporting very few doves using the area. Dove hunting will be permitted only after 1 p.m. during the first seven days of the dove hunting season and during legal shooting hours for the remainder of the season. All hunters must possess a Daily Dove Hunting Tag available at the visitor’s center. There will be no managed dove hunt on the area this year.

Columbia Bottom spent most of the past spring and summer under water due to near-record flooding. The flood waters have receded, but not without leaving extensive silt and mud throughout the area. In many portions, the deposits are four feet high, nearly or completely burying facilities like roads, parking lots and privies, and effectively changing the area’s entire landscape. The flood also left considerable damage to infrastructure on the area which will require significant repairs.

As work crews continue to rebuild portions of the road damaged by spring flooding, MDC plans to provide more vehicle access to the area as the repairs permit.

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in north St. Louis County. The area can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive Exit from I-270 and traveling north approximately three miles.