Places To Go


Blind Pony Lake Conservation Area

Shaking off cabin fever with quality fishing

With its 195-acre namesake waterbody and seven additional fishing ponds, Blind Pony Lake Conservation Area (CA) provides anglers with plenty of opportunities to shake off any remnants of a winter spent indoors.

Located on 2,246 acres in Saline County, Blind Pony Lake maintains a healthy population of Missouri’s most familiar game fish, said Blind Pony Lake CA Manager Nathan Storts.

“It’s a great place for people who have cabin fever and are ready to get outside,” Storts said. “It has a lot of decent-sized crappie and catfish, and when the crappie come up on the banks, you can catch them just about anywhere all the way around it.”

As the water source for the Blind Pony Lake Hatchery, which supplies the warm-water fish used to stock many of Missouri’s public lakes, care is taken to protect the lake’s water quality. Private boats are banned, but MDC provides 12 jon boats that are free to use on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We don’t want zebra mussels or any other invasives to come in hitchhiking on somebody’s boat,” Storts said. “Anything that goes into the lake is going to come into the hatchery, and it could potentially cause a lot of damage to what we’re doing.”

“We manage the place — the wildlife area — for quail, so we’re trying to do a lot of early successional habitat work. We do a lot of burning and maintenance of areas to keep it to grassland.”

—Blind Pony Lake CA Manager Nathan Storts

Blind Pony Lake Conservation Area consists of 2,246.5 acres in Saline County. From Sweet Springs on I-70, take Highway 127 north 1 mile, then Route ZZ east 5.7 miles to the area.

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What to Do When You Visit

  • Birdwatching: Included in the Great Missouri Birding Trail ( The eBird list of birds recorded at Blind Pony Lake CA is available at
  • Fishing: Black bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish.
  • Hiking: Allowed on 3.5 miles of gravel service roads and 0.7 miles of paved roadway.
  • Hunting: Deer and turkey
  • Deer and turkey regulations are subject to annual changes, so refer to the Spring Turkey and Fall Deer and Turkey booklets for current regulations. Also quail, rabbit, and squirrel
  • Waterfowl Hunting: Waterfowl regulations are subject to annual change, so check the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2020–2021 for current regulations.

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What to Look For When You Visit

  • North American river otter
  • Horned grebe
  • Southern leopard frog
  • Cooper’s hawk

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