Be smart while enjoying outdoors
Conservation issues outside guidelines
With many people in Missouri heading outside to enjoy the spring weather, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds people that it is still critical for everyone to continue to heed all recommendations for physical distancing, avoiding overcrowding, hand-washing, and other public-health measures during outdoor activities.
“The current public-health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has many Missourians and others looking for safe ways to get outside in nature,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “Visiting conservation areas, hiking area trails, fishing, and other outdoor activities are great ways for people to connect with nature while still complying with all health and safety recommendations. Outdoor activities are also great way to get some much needed physical and mental health benefits during this stressful time.”
MDC advises people to make outdoor activities as safe and enjoyable as possible by taking the following actions:
• If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home for your health and the safety of others.
• Travel in a small group of 10 people or fewer.
• If a conservation area looks crowded or an area parking lot is full, please do not stop and find another less-crowded location.
• Keep a proper physical distance of at least six feet while visiting areas and especially on trails.
• Avoid popular spots where people congregate, such as scenic overlooks, fishing docks, etc.
• Pack water, soap and/or hand sanitizer.
Get more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for keeping you and your family safe at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
MDC and the Missouri Conservation Commission have temporarily waived permit requirements for sport fishing and daily trout tags for Missouri residents and nonresidents whose fishing privileges are not otherwise suspended. The waiver of needing a permit or trout tag to fish will run through April 15. Seasons, methods, and limits still apply and will be enforced. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-temporarily-waive-fishing-permits-starting-friday.
MDC emphasizes that it is still critical for everyone to continue to heed all recommendations for physical distancing, avoiding overcrowding, hand-washing, and other public-health measures while fishing.
Spring turkey season in Missouri remains open and as scheduled. For more on spring turkey hunting in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-forecasts-challenging-spring-turkey-hunting-season-0.
Flood-prone areas in southeast Missouri will be closed to all hunting during spring turkey season when river levels exceed certain limits on local river gauges. To see if an area is closed for hunting, visit mdc.mo.gov/semofloods.