Major flooding this spring and summer along the Osage River has delayed a renovation of wetlands and a lake at the Schell-Osage Conservation Area in Vernon and St. Clair counties.

The project will move forward as weather and soil conditions permit, Chris Daniel, MDC wildlife management biologist, said in a statement that some waterfowl hunting will be available through self-registration at area headquarters. There will not be a morning drawing for hunting positions during the 2019-2020 duck season.

Hunters should expect limited water and habitat, as well as unprepared blinds until project completion. Portions may be closed to the public intermittently due to construction so please check for periodic updates at area headquarters.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has undertaken impovements at Schell Lake and water control structures such as levees and a water pump for wetlands adjacent to the lake. The project will improve fishing in the lake and provide better wetland habitat for a range of wetland species, including waterfowl and shorebirds.

The area was closed to waterfowl hunting during the 2018-2019 seasons so the project could begin. Schell Lake and wetlands were drained. But severe flooding starting last October and persisting through August in the Osage River basin has delayed construction work.

Renovation work will continue as weather allows. A project completion date has not been determined.

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