Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mark Twain Lake’s Waterfowl Refuge will close to boating Oct. 29th

Mark Twain Lake's 3,000 acre waterfowl is closed to boating and/or waterfowl hunting during duck season, October 29 to December 27, 2011.  This resting area allows the migrants to feed and rest before continuing their journey to wintering grounds.

Duck swimming in
Mark Twain Lake.

Mark Twain Lake’s waterfowl refuge, located on portions of the Middle Fork and Elk Fork Area, provides a stopover for migrants.  The refuge is made up of various habitats, appealing to various migrating birds.  Deep pools of water are feeding grounds for the diving birds and a safe resting area for other birds.   Shallow water flood plains become feeding areas for dabbler's (mallards) and long-legged shore birds.  The exposed mud flats hold many insects and invertebrates for the short-legged shorebirds.  Flooded dead snag trees become roost and viewing towers for the double-crested cormorants and bald eagles.

When people think of a refuge; they envision thousands of geese and ducks taking to wing from a large body of water.  A refuge is a place that provides shelter for resting and protection from danger.  National Refuges started in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.  The first refuge was setup to protect the brown pelican population.  Refuges establish suitable habitat for nesting purpose, as wintering grounds, or as a stopover for migrants.

Waterfowl can be seen and heard in the spring and fall moving in large flocks to nesting and wintering area. After traveling thousands of miles, the migrants need to stopover to feed and rest.  Though our refuge holds waterfowl, usually species such as the double-crested cormorants, bald eagle, and white pelicans can be found there.  For more information about our refuge contact the Mark Twain Lake Project Office at or call 573-735-4097.

No comments:

Post a Comment