Kids Fishing Days

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A young girl and her dad show off a great catch.
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish for more than 1.1 million anglers and is a fun family activity and tradition for many.

Fishing helps kids discover nature and conserve it, too. Help the kids (up to age 15) in your life get hooked on the thrill of fishing. Bring them to a Kids Fishing Days program scheduled at a conservation area or participating location near you.

Kids Fishing Days events are designed to help families and youth groups learn about fish, fish habitat, and fishing techniques. Each program event provides fishing equipment and instruction. All you have to do is bring your kids and plenty of energy!

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

Kids Fishing Day Events

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 8:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Lost Valley Hatchery

Fun-filled day of activities for families. Fishing for those 15 and younger, archery, casting area, fish cleaning demonstration, craft area, and first fish photos. A gift bag will be provided while supplies last and lunch will be served. Door prizes every half-hour. Help will be available to those who need to brush up on fishing skills. Tackle, poles, and bait are provided or children may bring their own. Only those baits not held in water may be used. Two fish per child may be taken home: bring a bucket or cooler as no cleaning station is available. The visitor center will be open during the event. On-site registration day of the event.

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 6:30am to 8:15pm

Location: Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery

Our Kid’s free fishing event would be a perfect opportunity for kids to learn how to fish. Fishing hours that day are from 6:30 in the morning until 8:15 that night. We have a designated area for kids only that we stock heavily the night before which gives the kids a better opportunity to catch fish. We will also have several volunteers that will be walking the stream assisting those that need help learning to fish. We do have a number of fishing poles that we loan out on a first come first serve basis, and most of the time there are some poles available, but always recommend if kids have their own fishing equipment to bring it just in case all are loaned out.

We will have a number of other educational activities that will be available to the kids, including fish cooking and cleaning, a touch tank, fish maze, fly tying, World bird sanctuary with live birds to look at and a table set up with the different pelts of stream mammals. All the activities will start at 9 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. Lunch will also be provided to the kids free of charge, at Shelter house B across the Whistle Bridge, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Children will need to check in at the big tent adjacent to the playground near the park store to get their free tag, goodie bag with lots of educational information and a bag of fish food to feed the fish.
For Additional Information please contact Ben Havens at Ben.Havens@mdc.mo.gov or call the hatchery at 417-532-4418

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 6:30am to 8:30pm

Location: Roaring River Hatchery

The Missouri Department of Conservation and The Department of Natural Resources proudly present Kids Fishing Day and Nature Festival, May 19th, at Roaring River State Park. Young anglers will have opportunities to catch fish, connect with nature and have fun participating in the many activities offered to parents and children. At 5:00 pm, a large drawing will be held and many prizes will be given away!

Kids’ Fishing Day will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.

At Kids’ Fishing Day, an area of the park will be designated as a fishing area for youths age 15 and under. Children in that age range can pick up free trout tags at the hatchery office any time on May 19 or all day on the day of the event. Volunteers will be available to assist the young anglers. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. Parents are welcome to assist kids, too, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child. Adults are not allowed to fish by themselves. Free hotdogs, chips and soda will be available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Education is also part of Kids’ Fishing Day. Throughout the day, seminars will be held on fish cleaning, fish cooking, Dutch oven cooking, Mexican cuisine, outdoor survival, target shooting, taxidermy, watersheds, knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, how to fish Roaring River, stream biology and other subjects. A hatchery tour will show how trout are raised. A program on Missouri snakes will be given using live specimens. If kids attend three classes, they will be entered into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m. Children must be present to win. Classes are also open to the whole family, but only children may enter the drawings.

Volunteers are needed to help out with this event. Individuals wishing to volunteer do not need to be experienced anglers. If you would like to help out with Kids’ Fishing Day or you want to get more information, call MDC’s Roaring River Hatchery at 417-847-2430 or e-mail paul.spurgeon@mdc.mo.gov

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 6:30am to 8:15am

Location: Maramec Spring Hatchery

Register by June 20

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: MDC Headquarters

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites kids (up to age 15) and their families to a day of free fishing 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at MDC headquarters in Jefferson City, 2901 West Truman Blvd. near the intersection of Truman Boulevard and Hwy 179.

MDC staff and volunteers will teach participants about fish, fish habitat, and fishing techniques. The free event will include plenty of catch and release fishing at MDC fishing ponds. Fishing gear and bait will be available, or bring your own fishing equipment. A free hot dog lunch will be provided for all participants.
For more information call 573-522-4115 ext. 3501.

Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 7:00am to 8:00pm

Location: Roaring River Hatchery

The Missouri Department of Conservation and The Department of Natural Resources proudly present Kids Fishing Day and Nature Festival, August 19th, at Roaring River State Park. Young anglers will have opportunities to catch fish, connect with nature and have fun participating in the many activities offered to parents and children. At 5:00 pm, a large drawing will be held and many prizes will be given away!

Kids’ Fishing Day will be held from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

At Kids’ Fishing Day, an area of the park will be designated as a fishing area for youths age 15 and under. Children in that age range can pick up free trout tags at the hatchery office any time on May 19 or all day on the day of the event. Volunteers will be available to assist the young anglers. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. Parents are welcome to assist kids, too, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child. Adults are not allowed to fish by themselves. Free hotdogs, chips and soda will be available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Education is also part of Kids’ Fishing Day. Throughout the day, seminars will be held on fish cleaning, fish cooking, Dutch oven cooking, Mexican cuisine, outdoor survival, target shooting, taxidermy, watersheds, knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, how to fish Roaring River, stream biology and other subjects. A hatchery tour will show how trout are raised. A program on Missouri snakes will be given using live specimens. If kids attend three classes, they will be entered into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m. Children must be present to win. Classes are also open to the whole family, but only children may enter the drawings.

Volunteers are needed to help out with this event. Individuals wishing to volunteer do not need to be experienced anglers. If you would like to help out with Kids’ Fishing Day or you want to get more information, call MDC’s Roaring River Hatchery at 417-847-2430 or e-mail paul.spurgeon@mdc.mo.gov

Fishing Classes

Enter part of the location name (e.g., "Runge")

Register by April 26

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 6:00pm

Location: Bass Pro Shops

DNF Lesson 2. this class covers learning how to tie a hook on the line, baiting a hook and basic tackle. This lesson will include hands on fishing.

Register by April 26

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 15

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish. This lesson must be taken before registering for any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances. You will be notified of any cancellations at least an hour ahead of time, assuming you have provided both forms of contact information.

Register by April 26

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish. This lesson must be taken before registering for any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances. You will be notified of any cancellations at least an hour ahead of time, assuming you have provided both forms of contact information.

Register by May 1

Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Osage Beach City Park

Lesson 1 covers fishing equipment and casting. This is a hands on session with hands on fishing during the class. For additional information contact Don Rahm at don.rahm@mdc.mo.gov

Register by May 3

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:00pm

Location: Bass Pro Shops

DNF Lesson 3 Learning about common fish of Missouri, anatomy, habitat, and life cycle. Hands on fishing is part of this lesson

Register by May 3

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: August A Busch Conservation Area

Location: Lake 15

Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various types of hooks. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances. You will be notified of any cancellations at least an hour ahead of time, assuming you have provided both forms of contact information.

*Prerequisite: Lesson 1

Register by May 3

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

This first class includes instruction as well as hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish. This lesson must be taken before registering for any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4. All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and close-toed shoes suitable for outdoor and water activities. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

This class is for children ages 7-15 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for Saturday morning classes closes the Thursday before at 4:00pm. Both your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER are REQUIRED during registration, so that we may contact you in the event of cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances. You will be notified of any cancellations at least an hour ahead of time, assuming you have provided both forms of contact information.

Register by May 8

Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Osage Beach City Park

Lesson 2 covers knot tying rigging a fishing pole, baiting a hook, basic fishing tackle

Register by May 10

Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Bass Pro Shops

Lesson 4 of 4 covers fishing with lures and Missouri Fishing Rules and Regulations. Students will have the opportunity to try fishing with lures.

Date: Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 8:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Sedalia Rod & Gun Club

Registration Required. TO REGISETER CALL 660-530-5500 BY 3 May. Participants 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
Join us for a fun family event where participants will complete Discover Nature Fishing Lessons 3 and 4 and participate in archery and rifle shooting. Optional sessions include shotgun shooting and fish cleaning. Participants wanting to keep fish will need to bring a cooler with ice.
Participants 16 and older will need a valid fishing license to fish. For more information contact Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov