Web caters to outdoors

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Web caters to outdoors

By Andy Ostmeyer, Joplin Globe Staff Writer

Despite puffing themselves up with tales of rugged self-reliance, many outdoorsmen are gadget junkies, spending large sums of money on gear hawked to make life easier on the trail, in the blind, on the river.

Solar showers. Backpacking ovens that make pizza in the wilderness. Watches with all sorts of doodads and doohickeys, some of which even tell time. Oh yeah, don’t forget global positioning systems.

Our pioneering ancestors who could tell time at night by the movement of the Big Dipper, or live for months off huckleberries and squirrel and who, frankly, weren’t fastidious about bathing, might look askance at all this technogear, but there is one piece of technology no respectable outdoorsperson should overlook: The Internet.

What follows is a Globe compilation of some of the more helpful state and federal Web sites for information on hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and paddling in the Four-State Area.

Public land/regulation issues

Begin in Missouri with the Missouri Department of Conservation, at: http://www.conservation.state.mo.us.

This Web site has an atlas of state-owned land open to hunting and fishing, information on regulations, state records, advice, and much more.

It also offers the “Conservation Cafe,” where people log on to ask all manner of questions, ranging from “How are the fish biting?” to detailed searches such as this one, left recently:

“What is the proper length of tipet plus leader for flyfishing a 9-foot 5-weight flyrod with bass bugs? I changed leaders (7.5-feet tapered; 8-pound test, I think) and added a 3-foot tipet (3X, I believe) … Opinions on what is optimal?”

For information on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, go to ww.dnr.state.mo.us.

This agency oversees state parks as well as environmental issues. The Web site also contains details on the state’s impaired lakes and streams.

Here are the comparable hunting, fishing and wildlife agencies for respective bordering states:

• Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us.

• Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at http://www.agfc.com.

• The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation can be found at http://www.wildlifedepartment.com.

On May 30 the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will unveil a new and improved Web site.

The federal government actually owns more land in the Ozarks than the states, and Web sites for the two largest landowners are:

• Mark Twain National Forest, at http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/marktwain.

• Ozark National Forest at http://www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark.

Water

There are a number of great river and lake sites, but one place to begin in Missouri is at the following location: mo.water.usgs.gov.

This site links readers to Missouri information from the U.S. Geological Survey, including water levels for many streams and rivers, including Shoal Creek and Spring River, Big Sugar and Elk River, the Current, the Jack’s Fork, the Gasconade, Eleven Point and many others.

Comparable sites for nearby states are:

• Arkansas: ar.water.usgs.gov. This site links readers to water gauge information for the Buffalo River.

• Kansas: ks.water.usgs.gov.

• In Oklahoma, go to the Web site: csdokokl.cr.usgs.gov.

Lake information is available from the following sites.

• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City district, can be found at http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil.

That district has jurisdiction over Stockton and Pomme de Terre in Missouri and over Milford, Wilson, Perry, Kanopolis and Tuttle Creek, among others, in Kansas.

• For the Little Rock district, go to http://www.swl.usace.army.mil. They have jurisdiction over White River lakes, including Beaver, Table Rock and Bull Shoals.

http://www.grda.com is the Web site of the Grand River Dam Authority, which oversees Grand Lake and other lakes in northeast Oklahoma.

Some federal sites that might be worth a look include:

• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is at http://www.fws.gov.

• The National Park Service is at http://www.nps.gov. From here, readers can head to sites on specific parks, such as the Buffalo National River, which also will link them to current information on river levels, rainfall reports and floating conditions.

This, of course, is just the tip of the action — state and federal sites, but the number of private Web sites offering outdoor advice must surely be in the megagillions.

If you know of a site that is useful, send an e-mail to esimpson@joplinglobe.com.

We’ll begin listing the better ones in the paper for readers.
 

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