Fountain Grove Conservation Area

Driving Directions

At Meadville, take Route W south 5 miles, then Blackhorn Drive south 0.75 mile to the area headquarters.

Highlights

This area contains large wetlands and forest tracts in addition to cropland, grassland, and old fields. Facilities/features: boat ramps, picnic areas, and waterfowl blinds. In addition, there are three major bodies of water: Che-Ru Lake, Bittern Marsh, and Jo Shelby Lake. There are also three permanent streams: Grand River, Parsons Creek, and Locust Creek.

About This Area

Fountain Grove Conservation Area sits in the floodplain of the Grand River and serves as an important migration stop for a variety of wildlife.  It also plays an essential role in providing wintering habitat for Canada geese of the Eastern Prairie Population.

The area was the first wetland area developed by the Conservation Commission and has grown from its original 3,433 acres in the 1940s to its present size of 7,906 acres.

The area is managed to provide diverse wetland habitats, including marshes, bottomland forests, grain fields, oxbow lakes and sloughs.

An active heron rookery is located along Locust Creek.  Bald eagles are commonly seen on the area throughout the winter. The area also supports populations of rail, snipe, wood ducks, mourning doves, white-tailed deer, turkey, raccoon, beaver, river otter and many bird species.

General Information

Northwest

Livingston,Linn

660-646-6122

Owned by MDC

  • Use or possession of lead shot prohibited.

Activities
Activity
(Activity Explanations)
Comments
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Designated as an Audubon Missouri Important Bird Area. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  At Jo Shelby Lake, potable water, and privy available.  Otherwise, primitive camping allowed on and adjacent to designated parking lots (see area map).  
Canoeing  Access by hand launching. Variable flow on Grand River, Locust Creek, and Parsons Creek (either due to flooding or drought) can make canoeing difficult. 
Fishing - Bass Fair population. Area lakes and ponds.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Catfishing good in area lakes, numbered ponds, Grand River, and Locust Creek. 
Fishing - Crappie Fair population. Good in Jo Shelby.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, buffalo, and white bass on Che-Ru. Carp and buffalo fishing good on Grand River. 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population. Bluegill in Jo Shelby. 
Hiking  Boardwalk Trail is open; however, it is no longer a loop trail due to a gap in the boardwalk resulting from vandalism (please see area map). Riparian Trail is on both Pershing State Park and Fountain Grove and is not a loop trail. Mowed service roads provide additional hiking opportunities. Both the Riparian Trail and service roads are subject to seasonal closures. Please see area regulations.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. See regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Good population. Click on link to dove management map (available in August).  Use or possession of lead shot prohibited.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population. Portions of the area are open to statewide regulation.  Other portions of the area are available for small game hunting beginning January 1.     
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Portions of the area are open to statewide regulation.  Other portions of the area are available for small game hunting beginning January 1.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.

Portions of the area are open to statewide regulation.  Other portions of the area are available for small game hunting beginning January 1.

 
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Area open under statewide regulations during spring turkey season. "Fall firearms closes October 15th on portions of the area.  Other portions of the area are open to statewide regulations." Use or possession of lead shot prohibited. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  
Hunting-Waterfowl – Morning Draw Good population. Morning drawing used to allocate hunting opportunity during waterfowl season. South Side Wetland Complex is open to statewide regulations.  
Tours  Auto tour is located on east side of the area. This is within the waterfowl refuge and is closed to all uses Oct. 15 through Jan. 31.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special use permit - Contact Chris Freeman 660/646-6122  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete Che-Ru boat ramp  Che-Ru Lake serves as a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all uses Oct. 15 through Jan. 31.  
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete Jo Shelby boat ramp   
Camping Area - Individual Campsites  10  No facilities available except potable water and privy available at Jo Shelby. Otherwise, camping allowed on and adjacent to designated parking lots (please see area map). 
Dock - FishingaccessibleChe-Ru Lake  Che-Ru Lake serves as a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all uses Oct. 15 through Jan. 31.  
Hunting Blind - Waterfowlaccessible 27  Waterfowl blinds are allocated through a daily morning draw throughout the duck and Canada goose season. One disabled accessible blind is reserved by contacting the Chillicothe office (660/646-6122) according to established Department procedure.  
Parking Lotaccessible 31  Some parking lots are subject to seasonal closures; please see area brochure for additional information.  
Picnic Table  22   
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Privy located on west side of Jo Shelby Lake is not disabled accessible.  
Staffed Office    

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Features
Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Jo Shelby Lake 30.00 acres Jo Shelby Lake is open to fishing year-round. 
Fishing Lake or Pond  10 36.00 acres Fishable ponds include Pond 1 (1 ac), Pond 2 (2 ac), Pond 3 (5 ac), Pond 4 (2.6 ac), Pond 5 (0.8 ac), Pond 7 (3.3 ac), Pond 8 (1.2 ac), Pond 9 (1.4 ac), Pond 10 (5 ac), and Goose Pond (14 ac). See area map for locations. Goose Pond is closed to fishing Oct. 15 - Jan. 31.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Che-Ru Lake 160.00 acres Che-Ru Lake serves as a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all uses October 15 through January 31.  
Named Wetland Jeff Churan Wetland Complex 2663.00 acres  
Named Wetland Mike Milonski Wetland Complex 942.00 acres  
Named Wetland South Side Wetland Complex 400.00 acres 

Open to statewide regulations, except deer may be hunted by archery methods only.

 
Stream - Permanent Locust Creek 4.00 miles Locust Creek forms the eastern boundary of the area. A portion of the stream is located within a waterfowl refuge and bank access is restricted along this reach October 15 through January 31.  
Stream - Permanent Parsons Creek 4.00 miles Access for bank fishing is restricted during waterfowl season. 
Stream - Permanent Grand River 4.00 miles Access for bank fishing is restricted during waterfowl season and periodically, dependent on conditions, during and after flood events.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Crop Land 682.00  
Forest and Woodland 2264.00  
Wetland 2814.00  
Lakes/Ponds 226.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 1500.00  
Old Field 420.06  
Total Area Acres:7906.06 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Riparian Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.40 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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