- Stream Team #: 702
- Date formed: 1995
- Location: Current and Jacks Fork rivers, Bryant, Noblett and Pine creeks
- For more info about Stream Teams: see the links listed below.
Mary Ann and Justin Mutrux’s Stream Team involvement spans more than a decade and six different teams. Along the way, they have trained thousands of budding stream conservationists. Mary Ann teaches science at Willow Springs Middle School. She also teaches “Ozarkology,” an elective that delves deep into stream ecology and conservation. She recently posted an Ozark hellbender lesson plan on the Stream Team Web site. Justin, a retired school teacher, took his students from Raymondville Elementary to testify for stream conservation before the Missouri Clean Water Commission. The couple is active in the Scenic Rivers Stream Team Association, and they still take part in the annual Jacks Fork Cleanup. Their passion for stream conservation is sustained by “the rare, precious, pristine scenic rivers” they work to conserve. You can find Mary Ann’s hellbender lesson plan and more information about Stream Teams listed below.
Exotics could wreck Missouri ecology.
By now you know Missouri is being invaded by plants and animals from abroad. You might not know why that is bad. One reason is loss of biological diversity. Invasive exotics can displace native species. An example is the rusty crayfish, which can multiply out of control, decimating aquatic plants and invertebrates that fish need for food and cover. The zebra mussel, which turned up in Lake of the Ozarks last year, destroys native mussel populations, clogs water intakes and damages docks, boats and motors. Invasive plants, such as Eurasian water milfoil, can form dense mats that interfere with boating, swimming and fishing. Imported carp threaten the ecology and safety of Missouri’s big rivers and lakes. Silver carp weighing 20 to 30 pounds rocket out of the water around motor boats, sometimes causing severe injury to pleasure boaters and water skiers. Asian carp also disrupt natural food chains to the detriment of catfish, bass and sunfish. For more information about aquatic invasives and what to do about them, visit .
Wooded strips protect stream life.
Maintaining wooded borders along streams is one of the best things you can do for fish and wildlife. A 100- to 200-foot strip of trees along each side of streams prevents soil erosion, protects water quality and multiplies wildlife habitat many times. Fence out livestock, which damage trees and stream banks. Provide access to water with fenced chutes if necessary. Make road crossings perpendicular to stream banks. Leave a variety of tree species when harvesting timber. These provide valuable wildlife habitat.