Fishing Close to Home

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

full use of the area by the general public.

This last was a departure from established tradition, for until this time, Moberly had charged people $1.50 a day to fish the lake and had charged for boat launching.

"We gave up our fishing and boat launching permits," Calvin said, "and created a free fishing opportunity that wasn't there before. In return, we were given great technical assistance. If we have a dead fish floating in the lake, we can find out why and take care of things."

The city also has to maintain the new facilities, provide law enforcement for the area and give proper recognition to the Conservation Department in all publications concerning fishing at the lake.

Calvin said that was no problem, crediting the Conservation Deportment's Community Assistance Program. "I drive through the area often and there's no doubt that more people fish the lake now. The nursing homes are now having outings at the park and their residents are going fishing while they are there. The ramp and the fishing dock make it great for disabled visitors.

"It's a great program," he said. "It allows both of us to provide more services to our citizens by combining resources."

Washington's Rennick Park

The city of Washington, in Franklin County, was born of the river. Formed in 1839 at the site of a ferry across the Missouri River, the town grew into a prominent port and a thriving industrial community, known for its zither factory. Washington still boasts the world's only corn cob pipe factory.

The Washington Bridge, which spanned the river in 1936, links this highly visitable and livable town to Interstate 70. Today the community remains vitally connected to the water. The Washington area boasts the highest recreational use of the Missouri River in the state.

To help people enjoy the river, the city established the James W. Rennick Riverfront Park in the early 1980s. The one-acre park, adjacent the downtown area, provided a few picnic tables and pavilions.

Rennick Park couldn't accommodate all those who wanted to enjoy the river. A waste area filled with old concrete served as a rough, inaccessible barrier between the park and the water. Pleasure boaters and anglers would clog the small launch ramp near the park, and their vehicles and trailers would jam the streets near the river.

The city wanted to expand the park and improve its facilities, and in 1987 city officials sent a letter to the Conservation Department,

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