Birding Site Guide to

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BISMARCK CONSERVATION AREA
Edge Wade, spring 2016
1,188 acres  Iron, Saint Francois, Washington Co.  DeLorme 56, A-4/5
GPS:  37.7249759,-90.6616509
Owned by MDC, for additional information call 57-290-5730 or see
http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaList.aspx?txtUserID=guest&txtAreaNm=s

Bismarck CADirections:  From the intersection of MO 32 and Rt. N in Bismarck, go south on Rt. N to a right turn onto Grider Rd. (a.k.a. CR 532), then left (south) onto a road that may be signed as Lakeview Rd. or Bismarck Lake Rd. into the area.

ADA Information:  The lake can be scanned from 2 parking lots, and much of the passerine supporting habitats may be birded from or near a vehicle along the road.
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  Anytime is good.  You can plan a 30 minute to one hour short round of checking the parking lots and vicinity, or hike down to the dam or along the trail north into the Washington County portion.
More than 100 species have been reported for the area.  Among them are 16 species of waterfowl (most in February/March), turkey and bobwhite, a Short-eared Owl (December), the full suite of Missouri woodpeckers, 12 warbler species (including Cape May, Chestnut-sided and Blackburnian), and Rusty Blackbird (late February).

Features of interest to birders:  The centerpiece of the area is 210-acre Carl DiSalvo Lake (formerly called Hemitite Lake). Formed by the damming the upper stretch of the St. Francis River by the Hanna Mining Company in 1944 as a reservoir for lead mining operations, it straddles the Iron/St. Francois county line.  MDC acquired it in 1981.
 
There are 3 parking lots.  The first is just beyond the entrance sign.  From it a foot trail leads down to the dam.  The second lot is at the privy and fishing jetty, and the third (largest) is at the end of the road at the boat ramp.
 
A 32-acre igneous glade and savanna area is reached by taking the trail heading north into Washington County from Bismarck Lake Rd. after passing the turn into the fishing jetty and privy.
 
The lush array of bottomland and glade wildflowers may divert a birder’s attention from feather-focus.
 
Toilets:  1 privy at the lakeside lot with the fishing jetty.
 
Camping:  To reach the primitive camping area, bear right off the road leading to the fishing jetty and privy.  Individual sites are spaced along a loop road.  A foot trail leads from the camping area to the lot with the privy.
 
Hazards/Limitations:  None noted.  The lake is popular with local anglers, so several boats may be on the lake and the campgroud active.
 
Nearby Birding sites:  Buford Mountain CA, Hughes Mountain CA, Elephant Rocks SP, St. Joe SP, Ketcherside Mountain CA, Taum Sauk Mountain SP, Johnson’s Shut-Ins SP, Lesterville Access, Millstream Gardens CA.
Bismarch CA Map