While there might be a Stay-At-Home Order in place for the entire state of Missouri to combat the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean residents can’t still go out and enjoy themselves responsibly. 

Covid-19 Hiking

“There are still places where people can enjoy fishing, hiking and biking,” said Jeff Eilerman of the St. Louis Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation. “There are plenty of things to do in the area so people don’t have to be cooped up inside, as long as they still try to keep a six-foot distance from one another.”

Even though Cuivre River State Park is closed due to the novel coronavirus, Cuivre Island Conservation Area, located between Lincoln and St. Charles counties is still open for hunting and fishing. Crouch Access is still open for fishing and bird watching.

Kessler Memorial Wildlife Area, Leach Memorial Conservation Area, William R. Logan Conservation Area and Prairie Slough Conservation Area are all available to the public for access, containing boat ramps, parking lots, privies, natural areas and other spots.

Spring fishing is a great way to enjoy time outside.  The Missouri Department of Conservation has waived fishing permits and daily trout tags until April 15 for residents and non-residents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended.  

Regulations stay in place for daily limits, length limits, seasons and methods.  All MDC conservation areas and lakes remain open to the public.  All MDC boat ramps also remain open.  There are many opportunities to fish in Lincoln County and surrounding counties.  

Spring turkey season is also upon us.  There is no better way to enjoy time outside, away from people, than spring turkey hunting.  The sights and sounds that come with a morning in the woods is enough to lift anyone’s spirits.  There has been false information posted to social media about MDC closing turkey season.  This is not true.  Spring turkey season is open April 20 through May 10; all season, methods, limits and permit requirements apply.  If you are a landowner with 20 acres or more and you have not yet acquired your no-cost landowner permits, you must complete the landowner registry on our website to obtain the landowner permits for you and immediate household members.     

Spring is also a great time of year to go on a hike.  Fresh air and exercise will do your body good and there are many opportunities to go explore new trails.  All MDC conservation areas and trails are open.  Look for spring flowers, migrating songbirds, mushrooms and much more.  Bring a snack or lunch and have a picnic but be sure to leave the area better than you found it.

Regardless of where the community goes to relax during what has been an unusual and stressful period, Eilerman offers one piece of advice.

“Two words sum it up: be safe,” he said. 

Just use common sense and due diligence. Most people will.

“Now kids will ask their parents what ‘due diligence’ is, and that’s where they come in. They need to take proper precautions when they’re out hiking, hunting, fishing - or whatever they’re doing.”