Coon Island Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Poplar Bluff, take Highway 53 south, then Route HH south 8 miles, then County Road 244 east 1 mile.

Highlights

This is primarily a wetland area with significant forest acreage. Facilities/features: two boat ramps and two permanent streams (Black River and Swift Ditch).

About This Area

The Missouri Bootheel was once predominantly swamp and almost completely forested. The once vast swamps along the Black River, which flows through Coon Island Conservation Area, were reportedly favorite hunting grounds for Native Americans.

Extensive land conversion from seasonally flooded bottomland hardwood forest to agricultural land has greatly diminished wetland habitat in this region and with it the numbers of resident and migratory wildlife species that depend on this valuable lowland habitat.

The 3,222.8-acre Coon Island Conservation Area was purchased in 1979 to protect existing wetlands, recreate seasonally flooded bottomland hardwoods and restore the hydrology of the area to simulate natural water processes.

A system of levees, spillways, water control structures, and submersible pumps maintain wetland habitat.  However, the area continues to be subject to frequent Black River floodings, which affect annual management practices.

The area lies in a major waterfowl flyway and provides important habitat for waterfowl.  Management of this wetland is designed to increase waterfowl use. The open marsh and flooded timber provide acorns, wild millets, smartweeds, pigweed, sedges, tubers and invertebrates for waterfowl. Corn and other row crops are grown to provide high energy foods when water levels allow.  Natural foods, such as smartweed, millet, pigweed and sedges, provide nutrients to waterfowl. Flooding fields during fall, winter, and spring makes these foods available to waterfowl, herons, shorebirds, aquatic furbearers and many other wildlife species.

During your visit to Coon Island Conservation Area, you may notice various forest improvement practices designed to improve tree growth, quality, and species composition and to maintain wildlife habitat. Any physical disturbance is only temporary, and the area will soon return to its normal and natural condition. Sound management practices such as these will ensure long range productivity of the diverse habitats present on the area.

General Information

Southeast

Butler

573-290-5730

Owned by MDC

  • Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited.

Activities
Activity
(Activity Explanations)
Comments
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Privy provided. 
Canoeing  Black River  
Fishing - Bass Good population. Mainly spotted bass.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Archery methods only. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Hunters must sign-in at parking lot before entering the field, non-toxic shot only, hunters should read area information posted on information board for other Special Regulations that apply. 
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Hunters must sign-in at parking lot before entering the field, non-toxic shot only except rimfire rifles, hunters should read Area information posted on information board for other Special Regulations that apply.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Hunters must sign-in at parking lot before entering the field, non-toxic shot only, hunters should read Area information posted on information board for other Special Regulations that apply. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Good population. Hunters must sign-in at the parking lot before entering the field, hunters should read area information posted on information board for Special Regulations that apply. All waterfowl hunting closes at 1:00 pm.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special use permit required.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Stream - Concreteaccessible  Both ramps access the Black River. One boat ramp is located on the south end of the area off county road 240, this one is ADA accessible. The second boat ramp is located off county road 244 near "Panhandler's Park" which is owned by the community of Coon Island.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No camping amenities are provided other than a privy. 
Parking Lot    
Privy/Restroomaccessible  This unit is located at boat ramp on south end of area off county road 240. 

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Features
Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Stream - Permanent Swift Ditch 3.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Black River 12.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Crop Land 270.00  
Other 22.80 Levees, roads, and trails. 
Wetland 1650.00  
Forest and Woodland 1280.00  
Total Area Acres:3222.80 

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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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