State officials are seeking comment on public access areas, including two on Auxvasse Creek in Callaway County.
The Missouri Department of Conservation officials are in a multi-year process of updating a 15-year Conservation Area Management Plan for the Loutre District. This plan would go through 2032.
The draft management plan for Loutre District accesses includes the Hams Prairie Access (28 acres) and the Moores Mill Access (101 acres) in Callaway County, and Loutre Lick Access (163 acres) in Montgomery County. MDC manages these areas to provide public fishing access to Auxvasse Creek and the Loutre River for small boats, plus wade- and bank-angling, while protecting stream banks from excessive erosion and maintaining healthy riparian corridors.
The plan lists parking areas at all three sites, but no concrete ramps. No boat slides are available at either Callaway County site, but there is a campsite area at Moores Mill access.
According to the plan, the Hams Prairie access includes 28 acres purchased in 1989 from a Donald DeMeyer to be used as a public fishing access. This parcel had a quarter-mile of stream frontage and is located about five miles upstream from the Missouri River. A parking lot was constructed in 1992 off County Road 428 and was upgraded in 2002.
The original 38-acre tract at Moores Mill access was purchased in 1978 from the Infortunio family with additional purchases made later. The stream frontage is 1.5 miles. A parking lot is located off County Road 139 with primitive camping available. This site is about three miles southeast of Calwood and can be accessed off Route JJ.
A draft management plan for the Department's Loutre District Accesses is available for public review through Nov. 30. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans. There, residents can also comment on a proposed management plan for Mexico area fishing lakes.
These Conservation Area Management Plans focus on natural resource management and public use on conservation areas. The plans do not address regulations on hunting, fishing and other area uses, which are set by the Conservation Commission and enforced under the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
MDC officials will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing areas for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife and people. Decisions will be based on the property's purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional, and statewide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.
Statewide, MDC conservation areas cover almost 1 million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.