This is the story as told to me by folks at the RMBS HQ.  The old maps,
before L & D 26 was rebuilt, had the state line running down the middle of
the river and that was correct.  When L & D 26 was moved five miles
downstream in the construction that was finished around 1992-3, that old
line actually ran onto land below the dam that is tied to the Missouri side.
If you drive to the dam you will see a sign that says Illinois State Line.
That is currently the boundary and will stay that way until an act of
Congress changes it.  This line then runs through Ellis Bay and crosses the
point near the end of Ellis Island where the shallow sandy part meets the
higher part that has trees on it.  This was determined by one of the RMBS
staff when we were putting the original Least Tern project in place that
utilized the end of Ellis Island.  The Corps dug a channel where the shallow
part meets the higher part and that, we were told, was right on top of the
state line.

Thus, all of the land around the base of the dam, including the parking lot,
is actually in Illinois.  Itıs not logical, and Iım not certain how the
policing of the area is divided up between Illinois and the St. Charles
County Sheriffıs Dept, but thatıs how it seems to be, legally.

I hope that this clears up some confusion among area birders.

John Solodar 
University City
St. Louis County, MO

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On 2/20/11 10:09 PM, "David Marjamaa" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I received a notice from the e-Bird verifier that the White-winged Scoter
> should be an Illinois bird.  I have read similar things in the past for other
> birder's reports dealing with the Melvin Price Dam.  I am a retired Air Force
> Navigator and a professional MLS librarian, and understand maps.  All of the
> maps I have dealing with the Missouri / Illinois state line show the state
> line running down the middle of the river, and the middle of the dam. "Google
> Maps" and the "Missouri Conservation Atlas" reflect the middle of the river
> and the middle of the dam as the dividing line (even my AAA road maps reflect
> the middle of the river as the dividing line).  If I plot the position of this
> bird on e-Bird maps, it shows St Charles County, Missouri.  Please inform me
> what maps we are using to make 10 feet northeast of the rip-rap wall to be in
> Illinois.
> I understand changes in river course to create different state or county
> lines, i.e., Kaskaskia Island is in Randolph County Illinois, but physically
> on the Missouri side.  Or, Howell Island is St Charles County, but sits pretty
> much on the St. Louis County side.
> Will an expert please educate me about where the state line falls in this
> situation, and inform me what reference map is used.
> Thank you sincerely,
>    David & Mary Anne Marjamaa
>    Manchester, MO
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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