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Mark Twain Lake Corps campgrounds opening May 22

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Mark Twain Lake would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time as the campground opening schedule was developed. Due to COVID-19 concerns, Mark Twain Lake will need to implement changes to the camping policy to protect the health, safety and security of the public and USACE employees. 

All campground sites will change to 100% reservable in order to provide increased public access to Mark Twain Lake in a manner that is consistent with CDC guidelines and practices in fighting COVID-19.

1) May 22, 2020 – The Indian Creek and Ray Behrens campgrounds will open early at 8:00 a.m. for camping. Both campgrounds are being converted to 100% reservable campsites only, there will no longer be any first-come first-serve sites. This change to 100% reservable campground sites will provide increased public access to Mark Twain Lake in a manner that is consistent with CDC guidelines and recommended practices in fighting COVID-19. 

How to Reserve: You may begin making reservations on May 15, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. for sites that were previously first-come first-serve (sites 1A-47B at Ray Behrens and sites 1-95 at Indian Creek). Reservations cannot be made at the lake, they must be made through the reservation service listed below. Gate Attendants will not be available to make reservations on-site for campers. All reservations must be made prior to arrival. 

Reservations are accepted up to six months in advance on the internet at www.recreation.gov. Reservations must be made 2 days in advance for weekend stays (Friday-Sunday) and can be made the same day for weekday stays (Monday-Thursday). For same day reservations you must reserve your campsite through the reservation service prior to setting up on the site, Gate Attendants will not be available to make reservations.

Existing Reservations: Little Bluestem and Cedar Ridge in Ray Behrens as well as Fox Loop & Eagle Point in Indian Creek are already 100% reservable sites only, and are currently fully reserved for the Memorial Day weekend with no campsites available. Any existing campsite reservations that have been in place for these reservable site will be honored beginning on May 22, 2020 when the campground opens, unless cancelled by the camper. 

Visitor passes will not be issued during the holiday weekend to maximize social distancing. Please plan accordingly and remember that no more than 8 people are allowed on each campsite. 

2) May 22, 2020 – The Frank Russell Campground will open on May 22, 2020 early at 8:00 a.m. for camping. This campground is already 100% reservable only, and currently is fully reserved for the Memorial Day weekend with no campsites available. Any existing campsite reservations that have been in place for these reservable site will be honored beginning on May 22, 2020 when the campground opens, unless cancelled by the camper.

Visitor passes will not be issued during the holiday weekend to maximize social distancing. Please plan accordingly and remember that no more than 8 people are allowed on each campsite. 

3) May 22, 2020 – The David C. Berti Shooting Range and the Frank Russell Archery Park will open.

4) Closures: All playgrounds, picnic shelters, fish cleaning stations, Visitor Center, beaches, picnic facilities, group campgrounds and primitive camping will remain closed due to social distancing protocols.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation and commitment to maintaining social distancing protocols while enjoying Mark Twain Lake as we work through these unprecedented issues together. Additional information on modifications, closures, openings or other restrictions related to USACE facilities at Mark Twain Lake will be announced as these situations are reevaluated.

For more information, call the Mark Twain Lake Project Office at 573-735-4097, or email us at MarkTwainInfo@usace.army.mil. The established dates are subject to change based upon overcrowding that prevents social distancing and any applicable federal, state and county advisories and guidance.


Free mentored hunt at Mark Twain Lake

Youth ages 7-15 who have never Telechecked a deer may register to attend this hunt.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites new youth deer hunters to register for a free, mentored deer hunt at the Indian Creek Recreation Area at Mark Twain Lake Nov. 27–29.

Participants will learn from experienced instructors about wildlife identification, habits and habitats, regulations, safety, hunting strategies, equipment and game care, and how to increase success in the field.

MDC will provide mentors for each youth participant, and firearms and ammunition will be available if needed.

Friday evening, hunters will meet their mentors and make a hunting plan for the weekend. Lodging and meals are not included, so participants should pack a cooler with food and drinks. Nearby accommodations are available at Monroe City.

Participants must purchase a Resident or Nonresident Youth Deer Hunting Permit to be eligible for this hunt. Participation in the hunt is limited to youths age 7-15 years old at the time of the hunt, who have never Telechecked a deer.

Space is limited for this mentored hunting opportunity. To attend, participants must register no later than Nov. 20 at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175068

Scheduled plans are subject to change according to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. To ensure public safety, all participants must practice physical distancing of at least six feet from anyone who does not live in the same household, and wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when maintaining six-foot distancing is not possible.

MDC Discover Nature programs, such as this clinic, aim to help Missourians explore nature and master outdoor skills together.  To learn more about other Discover Nature programs, visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/. For more information about this youth deer clinic and mentored hunt, contact MDC Conservation Educator Rob Garver at (660) 785-2420.

MDC invites youth deer hunters ages 7-15 who have never Telechecked a deer to a free mentored deer hunt at Mark Twain Lake Nov. 27–29.

Robert Hemmelgarn
Media Specialist
573-815-7900 x2919
Robert.Hemmelgarn@mdc.mo.gov