Nodaway Valley Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From St. Joseph, take I-29 north, then Highway 59 (Exit 67) west 3.50 miles, then Route B north 9 miles to the area.


The area is mostly open land with significant wetland, grassland, and oldfield acreage. There are some small tracts of forest and woodland on the area as well.

About This Area

The Conservation Department purchased the area in 1991 to restore a small portion of wetlands that once flourished along the Nodaway River floodplain. A four-mile stretch of the Nodaway River flows through the middle of the area and provides habitat for both migratory and resident wildlife species.

A major wetland development project on the Nodaway Valley Conservation Area was completed in 2002. The project enabled the restoration of more than 2,000 acres of shallow wetland habitat and more than 400 acres of prairie and bottomland hardwood forest in the Nodaway River floodplain. The development project was made possible by the contributions of a diverse group of partners, including: The North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Holt County Levee District #5, The National Wild Turkey Federation, Wildlife Forever, The Missouri Prairie Foundation, Boy Scouts of America Troop 81 of Oregon, Mo., Northwest Missouri Quail Unlimited, Northland Pheasants Forever, Ideker Inc., and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The area is managed primarily to provide wetland habitat for a wide range of game and non-game wildlife. Management practices on the area include farming, controlled burning, planting of various trees, shrubs and grasses; and pumping and releasing water in the wetland pools.

This area has been designated by Audubon Missouri as an Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs are sites that have been identified by Audubon as those that are the most crucial for bird population, due to their abundance and/or diversity of birds present. Peak times for viewing waterfowl are mid-November and mid-March. In 2012 the Kathleen Lance Family donated 48 acres as an addition to the Area.  This addition is located south and east of Area Proper.

General Information




Owned by MDC

  • Use or possession of lead shot prohibited.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Excellent opportunty to observe eagles, shorebird, waterfowl. This area has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IMB) by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Randy Herzog Wetland Unit. Ronald J. Stites Wetland Unit.  
Camping - Primitive Area  One designated area, 1/2 mile south of the area headquarters, has individual sites with fire rings.  
Canoeing  This area has an access to the Nodaway River. It is located on the south portion of the East Unit. Canoes must be hand loaded up and over a levee and down the steep river bank.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population. On Nodaway River and stocked half-acre pond near the headquarters.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Buffalo and Carp on Nodaway River. 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population. Stocked half-acre pond south of the headquarters building.  
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 Good population. Click on link to dove management map (available in August).  Non-toxic shot only.  
Hunting-Pheasant Good population. Non-toxic shot. 
Hunting-Quail Fair population. Non-toxic shot only. 
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Non-toxic shot only. 
Hunting-Waterfowl – Morning Draw Good population. Morning drawing for most of area but has some open hunting.  The area is closed to waterfowl hunting on Christmas Day.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Good population.  

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   The campground on the southwest corner of the area has individual sites with fire rings.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No amenities provided.  
Hunting Blind - Waterfowlaccessible  One hunting blind is ADA accessible and can be reserved by calling 816-271-3100.  
Parking Lotaccessible 26  4 ADA  
Viewing Deck/Tower   This platform is ADA accessible and overlooks the Mike Keller Memorial Marsh.  

Go to Top of Page

Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  0.50 acres Periodically stocked  
Named Wetland Ronald J. Stites Wetland Unit 1218.00 acres This area is intensively managed wetland habitat types for migrating waterfowl and some upland game species.  
Named Wetland Randy Herzog Wetland Unit 2615.00 acres This area is intensively managed wetland habitat types for migrating waterfowl and some upland game species.  
Named Wetland Mike Keller Memorial Marsh 100.00 acres This marsh is intensively managed wetland habitat types for migrating waterfowl and upland game species.  
Stream - Permanent Nodaway River 4.00 miles No boat ramp  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 267.00  
Crop Land 720.76  
Grassland (non-prairie) 273.00  
Lakes/Ponds 0.50  
Old Field 500.00  
Wetland 2100.00  
Other 20.00 Roads 
Total Area Acres:3881.26 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

Go to Top of Page