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Troutdude

Greer Spring Branch

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A close friend of mine was recently told by his MDC agent friend that Greer Spring branch is now owned in its entirety by the MDC. The transfer of which was completed within the last couple of months. I would appreciate it if someone could shed some light on this subject as the prospect of fishing the branch has always appealed to me. Not to mention running it with my whitewater kayak.

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I understand your desire to fish the spring branch, I would love to as well. The branch was owned by a family in St. Louis and they have a couple of cabins on it. The USDA Forest Service bought it off them sometime in the 90s, but they retain exclusive rights to the land and spring branch until 2013, at which point the forest service gets total control. Having dealings with the forest service a lot, I have asked about it a lot. No one I have talked to seems to know if the cabins will remain in the family on a lifetime lease or what and that is frankly not my concern, it is between the family and the feds. As for fishing the spring branch, that is a matter for debate, there is a strong possibility it will remain closed to fishing and kayaking, I know no drive up access is planned with a boat launch, and I would have no problem with that, even though that would benefit my business to be able to put people in up there. I would like it to stay remote and untouched by development. It is a treasure. As for fishing, I would like to see it opened as a catch and release fishery, but one you would have to hike into. And yes that would probably help the fishing side of my business. These are just my positions and you should contact the district rangers office in Doniphan to express your views, whatever they are, before the transfer to have your voice heard before 2013. I have talked to people who have fished the branch (a couple of floaters who told me they were friends of the family and a couple of locals who got permission after doing some work on the cabins years ago to fish for a few hours) who said there is a good population of fish.

If the MDC got control of the spring branch, it is news to me. Maybe the forest service sold it to them as they lose money in the budget every year it seems. I might call the West Plains office and ask and I'll report back what I find out.

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That didn't take long, just got off the phone with the MDC and they confirmed that the rumor is false, it is maintained will continue to be maintained by by the forest service after the transfer in 2013. The phone number in Doniphan for the forest service is 573-996-2153 if you have any questions you want answered. The West Plains office number for the MDC is 417-255-9561.

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I would like to see the forest service hold a lottery for a one day fishing permit to fish the spring branch. Maybe something like a 100 permits a year. One permit would entile you to one guest or a guide. Close the branch in the spawning season. No boats in the branch. Just some of my thought on the subject. Superfly

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I spoke with Tom at the Montauk hatchery today, he states the same thing as Brian did. MDC does not have much to do with 11 pt except for the fisheries management in conjunction with the Feds. The land is Scenic Riverways and controlled by the Federal Forestry Service.

The spring branch is a pretty fragile ecosystem that has been kept pretty pristine over the years. I would not like to see it trampled to death.

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I agree completely with jd. C'mon, guys, you haven't ever been able to fish the spring branch before, so it ain't like you'd be losing anything. The fragility of both the banks and the bottom of the spring branch is such that it would be entirely ruined by allowing fishing either by wading or bank fishing. This is the only really pristine spring branch in the Ozarks, and is a treasure of international significance. Let those spring branch trout live in peace and let that gorgeous canyon remain as is.

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Thank you for the detailed response fellas. I will have to let my friend know what the REAL DEAL is with the branch.

As with most everyone, I would also hate to see the branch over run with people. Leaving the branch as a hike in only access if it is ever opened to the public would be the ideal situation in my humble opinion.

I have no doubt that yes, a very limited number would actually make the effort to hike a kayak and gear to the spring to make the run if permitted. However, the skill set required to make the run is held by so few I would not see this being a problem. Furthermore, most floaters would rather make a longer run on say the St. Francis, Mulberry or other similar whitewater river/creek as they offer considerably more bang for your buck in overall distance.

As far as the prospect of someday fly fishing the branch... I will, like so many others, remain patient until that glorious day arrives.

Thanks again!

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Fellas, I have to agree with J.D. and Al on this one. Greer Spring branch's value is far greater than the challenges it poses for kayakers or anglers whom are willing to hike a little. Like it or not, all of God's creation isn't here as our playground and we should be satisfied that some places are left relatively untouched when we can keep them that way. I too would hate to see the branch trampled because it really is a jewel.

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