St. Joseph, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is making progress repairing flood damage at the Bob Brown Conservation Area in Holt County. Flood waters rose, fell, and rose again in record levels during 2019 in the Missouri River bottoms north of St. Joseph. Flooding lasted from March into December. Levees were breached, roads and wetland pools scoured, and buildings damaged.
Bob Brown is open to hunting this autumn, but only on a walk-in basis. Visitors must park in a camping area near the entrance gate to walk in. The area’s interior roads remain damaged. Wetland pools are dry due to water pump issues and a droughty late summer and autumn. Waterfowl use is unlikely. Pumping water from the Missouri River maintains water levels in normal years, and pumps are not yet functional.
But MDC and local entities such as the levee and road districts are making progress, said Marty Marks, MDC wildlife biologist.
“The Canon Levee District contracted for Missouri River levee repairs along the river frontage of Bob Brown, and those repairs were finally completed last month,” Marks said. “Currently, repairs are being done on the interior of the area by our Design and Development branch of MDC.”
Unusually dry weather has helped efforts to move dirt and make repairs at the area. MDC crews are currently rebuilding interior levees. When those repairs are completed, crews will begin repairing the area’s interior roads that wind through the wetland pools. Crews will eventually rebuild the waterfowl hunting draw room within the shop.
“We hope to start working on getting the pump motors, electrical boxes, and electrical service completed sometime in the next couple months,” Marks said. “Currently there is no electrical service to the pump station. The electrical poles were destroyed east of the area. These repairs are going to take some time to complete.”
Hunters may use the area this autumn on a walk-in basis. They are asked to self-register at a station at the parking area near main gate entrance.
“Hopefully things will be back to normal by spring,” Marks said.
For information about other MDC wetlands open to waterfowl hunting in northwest Missouri and across the state, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZQg.