Conservation Regulations

Area Specific Regulations

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Lake Girardeau Conservation Area

--- Note --- The information below reflects regulations for most activities on this conservation area but does not contain regulations for all possible uses. For more information on area regulations consult the Wildlife Code (http://sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3csr.asp) or the phone number listed for this area in the online Conservation Atlas.

  • Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code applies to this area.(more)

Area General Provisions(more)

  • Collecting wild animals (including invertebrates) and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except under the provisions of a valid Wildlife Collector’s Permit, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.
  • Commercial use and vending are prohibited on department areas.
  • Fires are permitted only in designated camping areas.
  • Guiding for pay is prohibited on department areas.
  • In addition to the rules of the Wildlife Code, federal, state and local laws also apply on department lands.
  • Soil disturbance and digging, including the digging of roots, is prohibited on all conservation areas.
  • Unless specifically authorized, the following activities are prohibited: swimming, sailboarding, skateboarding, entry on areas closed to the public, removal of water, rock collecting, planting, ranging of horses and other livestock, caving, rock climbing, rappelling, paint-balling, scuba diving, and water skiing.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Waste containers may be used only for disposal of garbage, trash, refuse or rubbish generated on department areas.
  • Wild plants, plant products, vegetation, and mushrooms (more)
    • Collecting or possessing wild plants and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except under the provisions of a valid Letter of Authorization for Plant Collecting, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.
    • Nuts, berries, fruits, edible wild greens and mushrooms may be taken only for personal consumption.
    • Vegetation, including trees, may not be cut or destroyed. The only exception is that willows (Salicaceae spp.) may be cut for use in constructing on-site blinds.

Area Hours(more)

  • Open for public use from 4 a.m. To 10 p.m.; hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, dog training, launching and landing boats is allowed 24 hours a day on areas where these activities are permitted.
  • Parking or storing watercraft or commercial vehicles on department areas during closed hours is prohibited

Bullfrogs and green frogs(more)

  • Taking of bullfrogs and green frogs is allowed.
    • Bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken during the statewide season only by hand, handnet, atlatl, gig, bow, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or pole and line and only during dates and times when those waters are open to fishing or hunting. An artificial light may be used. Season: Sunset June 30 through Oct. 31. Daily limit 8.
    • Firearms may not be used to take bullfrogs and green frogs.

Camping(more)

  • Camping is allowed on the area as indicated.
    • Camping is allowed anytime in designated camping areas. These may or may not have defined campsites. Seasonal closures and restrictions may apply.
    • Camping is limited to a period of 14 consecutive days in any 30-day period. Personal property must be removed at the end of the 14-day period. Unless a special use permit is obtained, total camping days on all department lands are limited to 30 days within one calendar year.
    • Groups of more than 10 people must obtain a special use permit prior to camping. Contact the area manager at the phone number listed for this area in the Online Conservation Atlas.
    • Only two camping units are permitted in each site in areas with established campsites.
    • Quiet hours are in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. Visitors who are not occupying a campsite are required to leave the campground by 10 p.m.

Decoys and blinds(more)

  • Permitted but must be disassembled and removed daily.
    • Blinds may be constructed on-site only from willows (Salicaceae spp.).

Field Trials(more)

  • Field trials are prohibited.

Fishing general provisions and seasons(more)

  • Fishing permitted (see fishing regulations table below).

Fishing methods(more)

  • Gizzard shad may be taken from lakes and ponds by dip net or throw net.
  • On lakes and ponds fish may be taken only with pole and line and not more than three poles may be used by one person at any time. Snagging, snaring or grabbing of fish is prohibited.
  • Seining or trapping live bait.
    • Seining or trapping live bait, including tadpoles, is prohibited in lakes and ponds.

Hunting, General provisions, seasons and restrictions(more)

  • Hunting is permitted. Special seasons, methods, and limits may apply (see hunting regulations table below).
    • Special Small Game or Furbearer Hunting Regulations Apply (see hunting regulations table below).
    • Special deer hunting regulations apply (see hunting regulations table below).
    • Special turkey hunting regulations apply (see hunting regulations table below).
    • Special waterfowl hunting regulations apply (see hunting regulations table below).(more)

Pets and hunting dogs(more)

  • Pets and hunting dogs are permitted but must be on a leash or confined at all time. Hunting dogs may be used off the leash and unconfined for hunting and training for the purposes of chasing, locating, tracking or retrieving game. A valid small game hunting permit is required to train dogs in pursuit of wildlife.
    • Locations and times where pets and hunting dogs are permitted may be further restricted by area brochures or signs

Target Shooting and Ranges

  • Target shooting is not allowed on the area.

Trapping(more)

  • Trapping is allowed only with special use permit. Contact the area manager at the phone number listed for this area in the Online Conservation Atlas.

Tree stands(more)

  • Only portable tree stands are allowed from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on a durable material with the full name and address, or Conservation Number, of the owner and be removed from the area before Feb. 1. Use of nails, screw-in steps, and any material or method that would damage the tree is prohibited.

Use of boats and motors.(more)

  • Boats, including sailboats, may be used on lakes and ponds designated as open to boats. Boats may not be left unattended overnight.
    • Float tubes may only be used for authorized fishing or hunting activities.
    • Outboard motors in excess of 10 horsepower must be operated at slow, no-wake speed.
    • State laws regarding the operation, registration, and required safety equipment also apply to watercraft being operated on waters under the control of the Department.
    • Use of Houseboats and personal watercraft is prohibited.

Vehicles, Bicycles, Equestrian Use(more)

  • Bicycles
    • No bicycling opportunity except on public roadways.
  • Horses and horseback riding
    • No horseback riding opportunities exist on this area except on public roadways.
  • Vehicles
    • Vehicles are only permitted on public roadways and in parking lots.
      • State laws regarding the operation, registration and required equipment also apply to the operation of motor vehicles on areas open to vehicular traffic that are under the control of the department.
      • The speed limit on department lands is 45 miles per hour, except as otherwise posted.

X Regulation Tables-Limit Information

  • All fish that are not released unharmed immediately after being caught are included in an angler’s daily limit.
  • Anglers may not possess any fish that is less than the specified minimum length limit on the waters, banks or area where the length limit applies.
  • Anglers may not possess more than the daily limit of any species of fish on the waters or banks of any body of water where the limit applies.
  • The table below specifies special regulations for hunting on this conservation area. These regulations must be followed while hunting on this area. Regardless of how many different locations are hunted on the same day (public or private land), no more than the statewide daily limit for any species may be taken
  • When fishing on different bodies of water during the same day (public lakes, streams, conservation areas, areas managed under cooperative agreement, etc.), specified restrictions for individual bodies of waters or areas must be followed. However, no more than the statewide daily limit for any species may be taken for all waters or areas combined.

Fishing Regulations:

Lake/Stream Species Location Details Season Dates Length Limit Daily Limit Notes
Lake  Muskellunge  Lake Girardeau  all year  36" minimum  Must be included in the daily limit for all other species combined. 
Lake  Crappie  Lake Girardeau  all year  9" minimum  15   
Lake  Catfish - Channel, Blue, and Flathead Combined  Lake Girardeau  all year  None   
Lake  Black Bass - Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass Combined  Lake Girardeau  all year  Release 12"-15"   
Lake  All Other Species Combined  Lake Girardeau  all year  Statewide limits apply  Statewide limits, but not to exceed 20 total fish  Muskellunge that are kept must be included in this limit. 

Hunting Regulations:

Species Qualifier Season Dates Limits Deer Regulations (Applies to Deer only) Notes
All Waterfowl  CLOSED   CLOSED      No waterfowl hunting allowed. 
Deer  November Firearms  Nov. 14 through Nov. 24, 2015    Archery methods only.   
Deer  Youth  Oct. 31 through Nov. 1, 2015 and Jan. 2 through Jan. 3, 2016    Archery methods only.   
Deer  Antlerless  Nov. 25 through Dec. 6, 2015    Archery methods only.   
Deer  Archery  Sep 15 through Jan 15 excluding the dates of the Nov portion of the firearms deer season    Archery methods only.   
Coyote  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  See Chapter 7 of the Wildlife Code (SEE NOTES)  No Limit    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Crow  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Nov 1 through Mar 3 (SEE NOTES)  No Limit    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Dove  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Sep 1 through Nov 9 (SEE NOTES)  15    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Furbearers  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Nov 15 through Jan 31 (SEE NOTES)  No Limit    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Groundhog  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  The day following the prescribed spring turkey hunting season through Dec 15 (SEE NOTES)  No Limit    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Quail  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Nov 1 through Jan 15 (SEE NOTES)    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Rabbit  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Oct 1 through Feb 15 (SEE NOTES)  Daily limit 6 including no more than 2 swamp rabbits.    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Squirrel  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Fourth Saturday in May through Feb 15 (SEE NOTES)  10    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Woodcock - American  Special Hunting Dates- See Notes  Oct 15 through Nov 28 (SEE NOTES)    Hunting this species allowed only from Nov 1 through Apr 1 withn prescribed open season dates 
Turkey  Fall Archery  Sep 15 through Jan 15 excluding the dates of the Nov portion of the firearms deer season  See Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet    ARCHERY METHODS ONLY 
Turkey  Spring Youth  April 11 through April 12, 2015  See Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet    ARCHERY METHODS ONLY 
Turkey  Spring Firearms  April 20 through May 10, 2015  See Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet    ARCHERY METHODS ONLY 
Turkey  Fall Firearms  Oct 1 through Oct 31  See Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet    ARCHERY METHODS ONLY