Duck Creek Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Puxico, take Highway 51 north 9 miles to the main entrance.


This area contains 2,400 acres of wetland in addition to forest and some cropland. Facilities/features: four boat ramps, boat rentals, boat dock, primitive camping, six fishing jetties, and lake (1,800 acres).

About This Area

Duck Creek Conservation Area is located nine miles north of Puxico on Highway 51 in Stoddard, Bollinger and Wayne counties.  The Missouri Department of Conservation purchased the land for the area in 1950 in order to establish a waterfowl hunting area in conjunction with Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.

The 6,318-acre area has a wide variety of habitat types that support a diversity of plant and animal species, some of which are unique to Missouri.  Duck Creek Conservation Area is a remnant of the bottomland hardwood forest that once covered the southeastern part of the state, most of which were in the former floodplain of the Mississippi River.  This conservation area contains 1,500 acres of open marsh, 2,700 acres of bottomland forest which includes, 1,200 acres of managed greentree reservoirs and a 1,800 acre lake. 

The area is managed to provide a diversity of food and shelter for migratory and resident wetland wildlife.  Pool 1 is a 1,800 acre manmade reservoir that supplies water to the greentree reservoirs to mimic the flooding that once occurred naturally.  Wells provide water for flooding the open marsh units.  Managers manipulate water levels on about 2,700 acres of managed wetlands.

Open marsh areas are dried out in the summer to produce a variety of native plants that provide seeds and tubers and harbor important invertebrates for waterfowl and other wildlife.  Flooding is initiated in the fall to provide habitat for fall migrating shorebirds, rails, and waterfowl.  Bird use continues throughout the winter.  Wetlands remain flooded throughout wet springs as birds migrate back through the region heading north.  The area's 1,200 acres of managed greentree reservoirs provide critical resources for migratory and wintering waterfowl.  These forests offer an abundance of acorns and invertebrates to help meet the energetic needs for dabbling ducks.  This habitat also provides critical cover during courtship behaviors as pair bonds form between ducks through the winter months.  Later in the spring hooded mergansers and wood ducks utilized these woods for nesting. 

Duck Creek CA is undergoing major renovations to aging infrastructure as a part of MDC's Golden Anniversary Wetlands Initiative.  Work on the Phase I contract was completed in October 2012.  The Phase II contract is scheduled to begin in July 2013 and be completed by 2015.  Funds provided by multiple partners including MDC, DU and others were matched  by two $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants. 

General Information




Owned by MDC,Leased

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Birding highlights include spring and fall songbird and waterbird migration, post-hunting season waterfowl observation, and late summer/early fall shorebird use. Bald Eagles are frequently observed year round. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Bollinger County. Stoddard County. Wayne County.  
Camping - Primitive Area  There are 2 designated camping areas with fire pads, picnic tables, and privies.  
Dog Training with Special Use Permit   
Fishing - Bass Good population. Regulations differ between streams and impoundments.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population. Pool 1 is stocked with Channel Catfish periodically. Cypress pond is also stocked with Channel Catfish periodically.  
Fishing - Crappie Good population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Chain Pickerel fishing peaks in February and March. 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Hiking  No designated trails 
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. Non-toxic shot only, hunters required to sign-in and report their harvest at the area headquarters. Dove hunting is not allowed after October 14.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Non-toxic shot only, hunters required to sign-in and report their harvest at the area headquarters. Rabbit hunting is not allowed during the prescribed waterfowl season. 
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Non-toxic shot only, hunters required to sign-in and report their harvest at the area headquarters. Squirrel hunting is not allowed from October 15 through the prescribed waterfowl season. 
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Non-toxic shot only. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Waterfowl – Morning Draw Good population. Daily drawing during duck season and during goose season as hunter numbers dictate. Portions of the area close at 1:00 p.m., hunters should contact area headquarters for other special regulations.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special use permit required 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete   All on Pool 1 
Boats for Rent Pool 1  Boats are tied to a floating dock, which is disabled accessible. 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Headquarters Camping Area  Large parking area in front of the office and hunter check station, adjacent to Route 51. There is a privy as well as picnic tables and fire rings at each campsite. There is room for approximately 15 parties at this camping area. The area commonly fills up quickly during archery deer and waterfowl seasons.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Pool 1 Camping Area  This camping area is conveniently located on the south end of Pool 1, adjacent to the boat docks and rental facility. It shares a privy with the dock facility, and each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. It is open from the end of waterfowl season (late December or early January) through October 14. When fishing is good, especially crappie and bluegill in the spring, the camping area commonly fills up. The Pool 1 Camping Area can accommodate approximately 12 parties.  
Fish Cleaning Station    
Fishing Jetty/Platformaccessible  Five rock jetties, one is disabled accessible. A floating fishing platform located on the south end of the pool is also disabled accessible. 
Hunting Blind - Waterfowl  38  All blinds may not be available throughout the duck season.  
Other Archery Shooting Range   
Parking Lotaccessible 21  Disabled accessible parking at area headquarters.  
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Disabled accessible privy at area headquarters and at the campground on the south side of Pool 1.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Pool 1 1800.00 acres Fishing is permitted in designated areas except from October 15 throught the end of the areas duck season. Aquatic vegetation is quite abundant during summer months. Fisheries staff routinely treats the south portion of Pool 1 with aquatic herbicides to improve access. For more information about herbicide treatments contact the Southeast regional office at 573-290-5730. 
Fishing Lake or Pond Cypress Pond 1.00 acres  
Fishless Pond Otter Pond 10.00 acres Otter pond is located in the center of Pool 3. It is a Cypress / Tupelo swamp which varies in water depth and size. 
Stream - Permanent Ditch 111 7.00 miles Stream regulations apply to Ditch 111. The majority of fishing activity occurs adjacent to Unit-A. Fishing is permitted in designated areas except from October 15 throught the end of the area's duck season. 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1500.00  
Crop Land 535.00  
Lakes/Ponds 1800.00  
Wetland 2400.00  
Total Area Acres:6318.04 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information






1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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