Respect Wildlife and Residents During Flooding

Published on: May. 5, 2011

Past flooding at Duck Creek C.A.

With the recent and current flooding in southern Missouri, we have received several questions about the stressful effects of flooding on wildlife. Certainly there will be some wildlife lost to the flooding. Spring is a time of reproduction and a time when many eggs and young animals are vulnerable to disturbances. It is also a time for planting crops and food plots from which wildlife can benefit in the fall and winter. Flooding is sure to have immediate and long-term effects on wildlife.

There is a provision in the Missouri Wildlife Code that is designed to help protect vulnerable wildlife during flooding:

Wildlife, except waterfowl, may not be pursued or taken while trapped or surrounded by floodwaters or while fleeing from floodwaters or fire.

With the spring turkey season ending this Sunday, May 8, there won’t be many hunting opportunities until fall, although coyote, groundhog and squirrel hunting seasons will be open soon.

Questions also arise regarding fishing in floodwaters when many streams and rivers are out of their banks. Game fish may be taken by the same methods allowed for taking fish in the stream or river before it flooded. Non-game fish and species not considered endangered may also be taken from overflow waters by gig, atlatl, underwater spearfishing, bow, crossbow, snagging or grabbing between sunrise and sunset throughout the year. Anglers and boaters should keep in mind that just because floodwaters allow you to reach an area by boat, that doesn’t mean that you are not trespassing if you are on private property without permission. Please respect landowners’ rights during this time of crisis in the flooded areas.


On May 16th, 2011 at 6:58pm Anonymous said: these deers.

On May 13th, 2011 at 2:34pm smitht2 said:

Dept. staff have been feeding deer stranded on some mounds in southeast Missouri. They are too far from other dry ground to swim and don't have the long levees to search for food. Our staff are stretched thin at this time and saving individual racoons is not likely to happen. If you have time-sensitive questions, contacting our nearest regional office is more likely to receive a rapid response than posting blog comments.

On May 12th, 2011 at 12:07pm Beverly Long said:

Well, Nature certainly is taking back her earth, and rightfully sure! I am sure you will do your best to help feed the wildlife from the flood, that really we, Humans, really caused from all of the building we have done, and trying to take control than takeing care of the earth! Is help needed to feed from the boats and other means? Other animals are smart, too!

On May 10th, 2011 at 10:16pm Julie Capps said:

Please assist the deer stranded from flooding by dropping some sort of food supply for them. Thank you. Please do not let them suffer and starve to death.

On May 10th, 2011 at 8:54pm Jack Forster Jr said:

Please don't let these sensative animals stay trapped while staving to death.

On May 7th, 2011 at 12:24pm Linda said:

I'm @ Harbor Point Yacht Club & there's a small Raccoon that's been trapped since the flood. We've tried giving it food but it's getting very weak. Is there something the Conservation Dept. can do?
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