Info on Busch Wildlife Conservation Area

This area is located at Weldon Springs, Mo.

If you live in St. Louis and want a quick place to go fish, this is it. There is so much to offer here. There are about 37 lakes/ponds that are stocked on a regular basis. Some are catfish only lakes. A few are catch and release lakes. Most of the lakes offer boat rental for about $5.00/day. There are length limits on most lakes, so pay attention to the regulations. Wading is not allowed and personal boats are prohibited.

The wildlife here is really outstanding. This 6987-acre area is maintained by Missouri Department of Conservation. It is not uncommon to see deer early in the morning or at dusk. Beaver and turkey are pretty common. There are plenty of hiking trails, shooting range and archery range.

To get a full brochure on the area call 636-441-4554.

The largest lake is #33. This lake is big but it is also shallow in most places. You would think it would be fairly deep about 30 yards out. After taking a boat out I discovered it was 3 foot deep in most places. Due to the shallow waters most crappie do not get to be very large. Conservationists have radio tagged crappie. Tracing there paths lead to great distances covered in a short time frame. The fish are not looking for food, but deeper water. This happens in mid summer when there is less oxygen in the upper layers of water. The fish swim around exerting too much energy searching for deep water. In turn, they never get to be good size.

Even thou the panfish may be small at lake #33, the catfish and bass can get to be decent size. I've caught catfish that have been 19-24"long. Seen some bass caught that are good keeper size.

For a map of the area click here: bmap.bmp

Fishing Report:

Lake 34: 2/20/00 Nice sunny day. Fished from 2:00-5:00 and caught 3 bass. One was keeper size that I released for another day. Caught them all on a Rapala minnow crankbait.

Lake 31: 6/17/00 Sprinled often. Fished from 2:00-5:00 caught approx. 30 bluegill and some bass. All very large bluegill. Caught them all on a large dry fly called Stimulator.

Lake 34: 6/24/00 Overcast. Fished in afternoon. Caught nothing. The lake was very full due to the recent storms.

Lake 28: 2/24/02 Sunny day temp around 60. Fished from about 12:30-2:30. Caught 2 rainbows of average size. Caught about 5 bluegill some of decent size. They hit mostly on wet flys.