The Bourbeuse River may have gotten its name from the French word for muddy, but that certainly doesn’t stop floaters and anglers from enjoying this 154-mile river.

The Bourbeuse follows a crooked path through five counties until it meets the Meramec in Franklin County near Moselle, just south of Union. 

Gary Rice, of Astral Glass Studio in New Haven, has been exploring the Bourbeuse for the past eight years.

“Though I’ve paddled both a kayak and a canoe, for the most part the Bourbeuse is a friendly river for either type of boat. It offers great opportunities for family outings where kids of all ages can enjoy being out in nature,” Rice said.

“Because of the slow meandering nature of the river, you can paddle a short distance from your put-in and feel like you’re in total wilderness.”

Rice isn’t the only individual who shares a love for the Bourbeuse. Glenda Schroeder, a retired teacher from Washington, has enjoyed over 35 years on the river with her family at their clubhouses near Union. 

From family float trips to Fourth of July gatherings, her connections to the Bourbeuse are strong and date back to the fishing stories told by her father.

“My husband’s father and my father both fished the Bourbeuse a lot in years past. Both would go rod fishing. They also did a lot of limb-line and trot-line fishing. They would pull out huge catfish! They had numerous fish stories to tell,” Schroeder shared.

Rice also has some fish stories about the Bourbeuse, and highly recommends anglers come give the river a try.

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