Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed
Missouri Department of Conservation crews have been dredging gravel from the Roaring River State Park stream all summer. Last week, crews began removing excess rock from Dry Hollow near the fish cleaning station in the park. The Dry Hollow waterway serves as a catch or containment basis for gravel that comes downstream during floods, preventing excess gravel from flowing into the Roaring River Stream. According to Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager, MDC crews usually complete gravel dredging projects during the winter season, but extreme flooding in the spring followed by hot, dry weather this summer allowed some of the work to be completed earlier in the year. "We are in good shape for another rain event," said Spurgeon. The hatchery staff is hoping more rain comes to Barry County soon. Not only does the hot weather make it difficult to complete physical work outdoors, but the dry conditions have caused the Roaring River Spring level to drop drastically this summer. Staff members are currently completing contingency plans for around 400,000 fish that will need to be transported to Montauk State Park or Bennett Springs State Park if the spring level drops much lower. "We have turned on our recirculating pumps to help bide us some time over the next couple of weeks," said Spurgeon. "We are hoping for more rain."