Mark Twain Lake Links


What We Do!

Natural Resource Management Tour

Approximately 55,000 acres of land and water are available for public enjoyment of wildlife and other natural resources. At normal pool, Mark Twain Lake encompasses 18,600 acres, providing a variety of fishing opportunities for large and small mouth bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, bluegill and others.

Approximately 45,000 acres of land and water are available for hunting. Species available for hunting include dove, quail, squirrel, deer, wild turkey, rabbits, and waterfowl.

Natural resource management objectives at Mark Twain Lake are based on a stewardship concept of conservation and protection of natural resources for present and future generations. It focuses on sustaining or enhancing ecosystems in order to maximize their potential.

Click on the various habitat types to learn more about how they are managed at Mark Twain Lake.
 Forest and Woodland Management
Forest management at Mark Twain Lake focuses on developing, maintaining, protecting, and/or improving vegetative conditions for timber, fish, wildlife, soils, recreation, water quality, and other beneficial uses. Current management focuses on the reforestation of many bottomland areas that were formerly in agricultural production or were damaged during past high water events.
 Openland and Grassland Management
Natural resource professionals conduct activities at Mark Twain Lake which seek to maintain or enhance wildlife habitats through the management openland or grassland vegetative communities. These habitats include vegetative cover such as cool season/forbs grasslands, warm season grass prairies, and open lands with different ages of woody cover.

Management techniques are implemented to promote or improve vegetative conditions for soil conservation, watershed protection, or fish and wildlife management objectives. Prescribed burning, mechanical manipulation (mowing/disking), and the planting of supplemental food resources are some tools that are applied in the management of openlands and grasslands.
 Wetland Management
Wetlands are those areas inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. On moist soils and bottomland areas, consideration and management is focused on restoring and operating wetlands for wetland plants, wildlife, and waterfowl.

Mark Twain Lake manages nine wetland units to provide nesting, cover, and feeding habitat for all forms of wildlife and waterfowl.
 Old Field Management
Mark Twain Lake sustains different stages of brushy cover in old fields to sustain an improved wildlife habitat. The aim is to control undesirable plant species and reduce density of field and vegetation. Prescribed burning, mechanical manipulation (mowing/disking), and the planting of supplemental food resources are some tools that are applied in the management of old fields.
 Public Land Management
It is the policy of the St. Louis District to permanently mark and maintain project land boundaries. Permanent survey markers are placed at all property corners of project lands with boundary signs placed between these corners. Inspection and maintenance of the project boundary is performed on an annual schedule to insure that unauthorized usage or encroachments are not occurring and that the boundary line is adequately marked.

The project boundary is clearly marked so that the recreational uses and adjacent private landowners are well aware as to where private land ends and public land begins, by signs and posts, undergrowth cleared, and trees marked with blue tree paint. The essential point is the protection of public lands from degradation, and assuring that public lands remain open to the general public.
 Fishery Management
Mark Twain Lake focuses on sustaining or enhancing aquatic ecosystems in order to maximize their potential and to enhance recreational fishing opportunities. This is accomplished through regulating water levels, providing additional habitat through an annual Christmas tree program, and by supplementing sportfish by means of nursery ponds and monitoring water quality.

All fishery activities are in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation.