Windy Bar Island Conservation Area

Driving Directions

Windy Bar Island Conservation Area does not have road access and cannot be reached by automobile. It can be accessed by watercraft from Red Star Access (a Mississippi River boat launch), which is located on Second Street just north of the Cape Girardeau downtown district and one block east of Main Street. The southern end of Windy Bar Island is four river miles north of Red Star Access. Windy Bar Island can also be reached by watercraft from the Moccasin Springs Boat Ramp at Trail of Tears State Park. The northern end of Windy Bar Island is 4.50 miles south of the Trail of Tears State Park boat launch.


Windy Bar Island Conservation Area is a forested island along the right descending bank of the Mississippi River, north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The area is approximately 705 acres of riverfront forest and sand bar habitat. Schenimann Chute, a river side-channel, is located on the western side of the area.

About This Area

Windy Bar Island Conservation Area is extensively forested with approximately 90 percent of the island chain composed of riverfront forest or wet-mesic bottomland forest natural communities. Cottonwood and willow are the dominant tree species on the island. Forested ephemeral wetlands, sandbar, and streambank/riverbank communities compose the remaining cover types that can be encountered on Windy Bar.

Schenimann Chute, a high-flow side channel of the Mississippi River, adjoins approximately five miles of the western boundary of the property. Schenimann Chute side channel and Windy Bar Island are located along the right descending bank between river miles 62.5 and 56.5. The side channel is dissected by closing structures, which create four distinct pools during lower river stages. Schenimann Chute is important habitat for “Big River" fishes that seek off-channel habitats that the Chute provides.

Windy Bar Island CA was purchased by the Missouri Conservation Commission, with assistance from the USFWS grant progam, in the summer of 2008.

The Island is important for federally endangered pallid sturgeon, interior least terns, and many Mississippi River fishes that are declining.

General Information


Cape Girardeau


Owned by MDC

  • Best access to Windy Bar Island CA is afforded by utilizing the Red Star Access just upstream from the waterfront district of the city of Cape Girardeau.
  • Mississippi River fishing regulations apply when fishing Scheniman Chute side-channel.
  • South End of Windy Bar Island, Navigation Coordinates: Decimal Degrees -- Lat: 37.343371053, Long: -83.448293119 Lat Long -- Lat: 37 20' 36.135", Long: -83 26' 53.8548”

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Campers are limited to 14 consecutive days in a 30 day period. Groups of 10 or more campers need a special-use permit.  
Canoeing  Mississippi River, Schenimann Chute   
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population.  
Nature Viewing   
Trapping with Special Use Permit   

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
No Developed Facilities

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Named Forest Windy Bar Island 583.00 acres Windy Bar Island is primarily forested.  
Stream - Permanent Mississippi River, Schenimann Chute 5.00 miles Mississippi River fishing regulations apply  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 583.00 Variable forested acreage available depending on river stage 
Total Area Acres:583.30 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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