Bismarck Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Bismarck, take Route N south, then Grider Road west to Lakeview Road, which leads to the area.


Facilities/features: boat ramp, fishing jetty, and DiSalvo Lake (210 acres).

About This Area

Bismarck Conservation Area is a 1,188-acre tract of land in St. Francois, Iron, and Washington counties. The area surrounds 210-acre DiSalvo Lake, which was constructed in 1944 by the Hanna Mining Co. to serve as a water reservoir for nearby lead mining operations. The Department of Conservation purchased the property from Hanna in 1981.

In addition to its upland forested areas, Bismarck features an igneous glade and savanna complex, which is currently being restored, and 50 acres of wet-mesic bottomland forest. The glades and savannas support little bluestem grass, post oak, blackjack oak, fragrant sumac, pineweed, and prickly pear cactus.

The wet-mesic bottomland forest is one of the best such examples in the St. Francois Mountain region. It supports the rare oval ladies' tresses orchid, has an understory of pawpaw, spicebush and musclewood and a canopy dominated by pin oak and swamp white oak. A large stand of witch hazel grows near the dam of the lake.

The geology of Bismarck Conservation Area is among the oldest in Missouri; it includes precambrian igneous rock and lava-formed Cambrian-age LaMotte sandstone and Cambrian-age dolomites.

DiSalvo Lake, which serves as the headwaters of the St. Francis River, contains good numbers of bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and crappies. The Department provides a boat ramp, parking areas, and disabled accessible facilities, including a fishing dock.

Hunting is available for deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit and waterfowl.

General Information


Iron,Saint Francois,Washington


Owned by MDC

  • GPS  Coordinates  N37*43.790',W090*38.609'

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society of Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Good population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good 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-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit   

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete DiSalvo Lake   
Camping Area - Individual Campsites DiSalvo   
Fishing Jetty/PlatformaccessibleDiSalvo Lake   
Parking Lotaccessible   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond DiSalvo Lake 210.00 acres  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Old Field 66.00  
Glade 32.00  
Lakes/Ponds 210.00  
Forest and Woodland 878.00  
Other 2.00  
Total Area Acres:1188.00 

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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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