South County Park’s Jigsaw Puzzle

A Facebook friend mentioned that the lake in South County Park was dry. Before I could check it out, The Missourian had an explanation.  Photographer Fred Lynch fired up his drone for an excellent story-telling photo, making me feel guilty for not putting mine back together after an unfortunate connection with a telephone line.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Project will take about two years

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the county came to an agreement  that the MDC would partner with the county to stock and manage the two lakes at the county park.

The latest project will involve draining the south laket, then adding improvements like fishing jetties, a new fishing dock, an island with a gazebo, and lighted sidewalks.

When the lake is refilled, it will be stocked with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel cat.

Drained more quickly than anticipated

The original plan was to drain part of the lake and allow fishing to go on while earth work was going on.

It turned out that the bathtub emptied faster than planned, which was good for the timetable, but bad for fisherfolks who were looking forward to dropping hooks in the middle of concentrations of fish.

I was surprised that I didn’t see any fish skeletons around nor any birds feeding on them. Either they were swept away so fast they weren’t trapped in shallow pools, or predators cleaned them up quickly.

Lake was leaking in 2007

In 2007, The Missourian carried a story that the lake was leaking around an overflow pipe at the south end. I’m assuming it was this pipe, which serves as a secondary path for high water, supplementing the open spillway.



The End of Summer

Greenbrier Dark Cypress Area 09-23-2014These rope swings at the Dark Cypress Access Area boat ramp near Greenbrier aren’t going to see a lot of use until next summer.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says the Greenbrier Unit of Duck Creek Conservation Area is in southeastern Bollinger county.

The Conservation Department purchased this 460-acre lowland swamp to preserve a small portion of the 2.4 million acres of hardwood bottomland swamps that once covered the southeastern part of the state.

Situated between Crowleys Ridge and the Ozark Plateau, the swamp formed after the Mississippi River abandoned its channel through the region and shifted east toward Cape Girardeau. Runoff from the Ozark hills, heavy rainfall and overflow flooding from the Castor River floods the surrounding swamp.

Dark Cypress Tales

Greenbrier Dark Cypress Area 09-23-2014I grew up hearing tales of the Dark Cypress. It was an area where hunters would go in and never come out. While we were down there, Mother told me that my grandfather had been shot accidentally while hunting in the Dark Cypress and the bullet remained in his neck until he died decades later.


UFO Docking Stations Discovered

Purple Martin birdhouses North County Park 08-09-2014Breaking News!!!!!!

UFO docking station was discovered in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Alien life forms have been detected arriving and departing from pods at irregular intervals. We’ll keep our camera glued to the scene so you can see the action as it happens.

Five hours later

Breaking News !!!!! It has been brought to our attention that the “UFO docking station” is really a bunch of purple martin birdhouses at the North County Park and that the alien life forms are birds feeding on mosquitoes.

Stay tuned for news as it breaks and corrections as we get around to them. Remember, “It’s News to Us.”


Kids Fishing at the Park

Kid Fishing Pond at North County Park 08-09-2014The hummingbird banding program we thought was going to be held at the Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Center at North County Park on Saturday morning turned out to be NEXT Saturday, so decided to people watch instead of bird watch.

The pond below the Nature Center is designated for “Kids Only,” and it was getting a lot of use. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The official rules

Kid Fishing Pond at North County Park 08-09-2014Children 15 and younger may fish the pond for catfish, bass, crappie, and sunfish. They may keep 2 bass (15 in. min.), 2 catfish, and 20 of the sunfish/ crappie. Fishing equipment may be checked out at the front desk while the facility is open. Returns need to be made by 4:30. An adult with a current Mo fishing permit may assist children who fish. No permit is needed by adults who are not assisting.”

Dads and Granddads

Kid Fishing Pond at North County Park 08-09-2014From what I could tell, there seemed to be more adults holding rods than kids, but who cares. Anytime you can get a kid, an adult and a fishing pole together, it doesn’t matter who is holding it.

I loved it when Dad would say, “We’re rained out today. Let’s go out to the Number 9 Ditch. The catfish ought to be biting.” It didn’t matter if we caught something.

More fishing than catching

Kid Fishing Pond at North County Park 08-09-2014In the brief time we were there, we saw a lot more fishing being done than catching. The MDC pond description says it has a “good population.” That must be because they didn’t show any desire to change location.