Free Fishing Days


Enjoy a great day of fishing on your local Missouri lake.
By: David Stonner

Try fishing without having to buy a permit

During the Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June, any person may fish state waters without an MDC fishing permit, trout permit, and prescribed area daily tag. However, user fees and permits may still be required at county, city, or private fishing areas.  Normal regulations, such as size and daily limits, still apply, too.

Find an area, use our gear

Many conservation areas that offer Free Fishing Days programs also have gear you can use at no charge. Area Free Fishing Days programs appear on this page from April until the opportunity ends in June. For more information about Free Fishing Days, call your regional office.

Check the events calendar below for Free Fishing Days events scheduled around the state.

Free Fishing Day Events

Location: MDC Central Office Jefferson City MO

Date: Aug 29, 2015 08:30 am - Aug 29, 2015 12:00 pm

Discover Nature Fishing Classes targeting youth ages 7 through 15 and families Lesson 4. Lesson 4 will cover fishing with lures and Fishing Regulations with actual hands on fishing in the available ponds. All fishing equipment will be provided.
To register go to

Reserve by Aug 27, 2015

Location: Maramec Spring Trout Park near St. James

Date: Sep 12, 2015 07:30 am - Sep 12, 2015 07:15 pm

Women of all ages will have a chance to trout fish for free at Maramec Spring Park on Saturday, September 12th. Fishing will start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 7:15 p.m. There is no fishing license or daily trout tag required for women during this free event. A special area of the spring branch will be roped off for use by female anglers only.

Not only is the event free, but there will be 100 tagged prize fish stocked into the fishing area.

To help newcomers discover the joys of trout fishing, there will be plenty of fishing instruction offered as well. Informal instruction will be offered including basic trout fishing tactics, casting, cleaning and cooking your catch.

Men are welcome to fish the rest of the park below the women’s fishing area, with the purchase of a daily tag. Bring the whole family to enjoy the day!

The Maramec Spring Hatchery is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Maramec Spring Park, which is owned and operated by The James Foundation, and can be reached by taking the I-44 “MO-8” exit at St. James, then travelling about six miles southeast on Highway 8.

For more information, call (573) 265-7801 or on the web at