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Ozark Critters! The Wildest Nature Stories From Lake Of The Ozarks In 2020

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Collage - Ozarks Creatures

Ok just one last list, but this one's too good to skip.

LakeExpo wraps up our 2020 Top Ten(ish) lists with our favorite stories from the great outdoors. From abundant critters to caves and gemstones, here are the top stories from LakeExpo last year about our wild Ozarks.

#1. Angler Catches $100,000 Fish

Cole Anderson is a 22-year-old electrician's apprentice, former state mountain-biking champ, and avid fisherman obsessed with catching big bass on big swim-baits. One October weekend on Lake of the Ozarks, Cole reeled in a $100,000 fish...

#2. Is This Brown Trout A Frankenfish?

The record 40-lb, 6-oz trout caught in September at Lake Taneycomo was a "triploid" brown trout, a fish that was artificially made sterile at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery so it could grow fast and get really big...

#3. Catfisherman Reels In 60-Pounder

Jack Tyler knew he had a big 'un on the line. It took him over an hour, but he finally reeled the hefty blue catfish to his dock at the 3.5 Mile Marker, and pulled it out. It was a whopper.

#4. The 4-Oz Fish That Set A State Record

A St. Louis man caught a 4-ounce lunker in July, setting a state record for a particularly diminutive species of sunfish.

#5. Bruno, The Famous Black Bear Whose Journey Ended In Missouri

The adult male bear who attracted public attention and was christened “Bruno” by social media was suspected to have traveled from Wisconsin, through Illinois, and into Missouri. Once in the St. Louis area, he was in danger of being trapped by a network of highways, so conservationists sedated and transported Bruno to suitable habitat outside the urban area.

#6. Albino Deer Spotted

Only one in every 30,000 deer is an albino. But this year at Lake of the Ozarks, LakeExpo readers spotted at least two different deer who were white as snow.

#7. Rare Brown Booby Spotted

A tropical seabird made a quick detour north! Conservationists say it's extremely rare to see a Brown Booby this far north, and the clownish-looking bird caused quite a stir during his brief time in Missouri's Ozarks. This picture was taken on the Current River.

#8. Multiple Black Bears Spotted

Missouri's black bear population is likely over 1,000, according to the state's conservation department, and that means these once-native mammals are gaining a stronger foothold in our state—mostly in the southern half. Lake area residents are seeing them more and more...

#9. The Strange Gem Called Mozarkite

Did you know the Ozarks region has its own gemstone, and that it can only be found near Lake of the Ozarks?

#10. The Lake Area's Must-See Caves

Missouri's cave and karst system is vast, and many of the state's most spectacular caves are in the Lake area or just a short jaunt away. We can't call this a definitive list, but whether you're a spelunking enthusiast or just a casual explorer, the list we published in 2020 is a good place to start:

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