MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – People who hunt waterfowl at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Robert E. Talbot Conservation Area in Lawrence County will be pursuing their quarry at a wetland that’s not as wet as usual.
The drought-like conditions Missourians experienced during parts of last summer had impacts on water at the Talbot Area’s 30-acre wetland and also on the site’s source of supplementary pumped-in water – the Spring River which runs through the Talbot Area. As a result, duck hunters who come to Talbot for the second portion of Missouri’s South Zone waterfowl season (Dec. 3-Jan. 27) will be greeted by a wetland with water levels that are significantly lower than what hunters normally find at the site.
“Water conditions are extremely low due to the summer drought, low flow in the Spring River, and chronically dry soils. Waterfowl hunting opportunities will be very limited this winter especially later in the season,” said MDC Wildlife Management Biologist and Talbot Area Manager Frank Loncarich.
In the summer of 2018, a lack of rainfall gave much of Lawrence County a U.S. Drought Monitor rating of D2, classified as “severe drought,” and parts of the county had a D3 “extreme drought” rating. The U.S. Drought Monitor Scale ranges from D0 (abnormally dry) to D4 (exceptional drought). Loncarich hopes normal precipitation levels in winter and spring will return Talbot’s wetland to regular moisture conditions by next summer.
The 4,360-acre Talbot Conservation Area offers a variety of public use opportunities. People can get information on recreational opportunities at the Talbot Area and other MDC public use areas at https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places