Get kids hooked through Kids Free Fishing Days at trout parks

Apr 08, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) -- in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and The James Foundation -- will again offer the annual Kids Free Fishing Days for youth ages 15 years and younger at Missouri's four trout parks: April 30 at Montauk State Park, May 7 at Bennett Spring State Park, May 14 at Maramec Spring Park, and May 14 at Roaring River State Park.

Montauk State Park on April 30

MDC and DNR will offer free fishing and other fun activities for kids ages 15 years and younger at Montauk State Park, located southeast of Licking, on Saturday, April 30, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Young anglers can get their free trout tags at the registration booth from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 29, and all day Saturday.

The Spring Branch will be reserved for young anglers and will be stocked with trout all day. Volunteers will be on hand to help out. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. Parents are welcome to help kids, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child and adults are not allowed to fish by themselves in the special area.

Kids and adults are also invited to presentations and exhibits on various topics related to trout fishing such as fly tying and casting. There will also be drawings for door prizes throughout the day. Kids must be present to win. Volunteers are also needed and do not need to be experienced anglers.

For more information, contact MDC's Montauk Hatchery at 573-548-2585.

Bennett Spring State Park on May 7

MDC and DNR will offer free fishing and other fun activities for kids ages 15 years and younger on Saturday, May 7, at Bennett Spring State Park, located near Lebanon. Fishing starts at 6:30 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. Young anglers can get free tags and packets starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 6, at the hatchery and on Saturday at a large tent set up below the hatchery. Parking is free.

The free fishing area will be from the hatchery outlet in Zone 2 above the whistle bridge to the last set of concrete stairs in Zone 3 and will be marked with yellow signs. Adults may help kids in this special fishing area, but may not fish themselves. This area will be specially stocked and volunteers will be on hand to assist kids and offer advice on fishing.

Free lunch for kids will be provided at Shelter House B located in Zone 2 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Free educational events will also take place around Shelter House B in Zone 2 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For more information, call MDC's Bennett Spring Hatchery at 417-532-4418 or 417-532-7612.

Maramec Spring Park on May 14

MDC and The James Foundation will offer free fishing and other fun activities for kids ages 15 years and younger on Saturday, May 14, at Maramec Spring Park, located on Highway 8 about six miles east of St. James. Maramec Spring Park is owned and operated by The James Foundation. The park will open at 5:30 a.m. with fishing from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.

There will be free parking for cars with kids ages 15 and under. Kids who want to fish must pick up a free fishing tag at the Mill Field Shelter, located next to the fishing area. Tag pickup will be available the Friday before and all day Saturday.

The entire upper half of the spring branch will be reserved for kids ages 15 years and younger. Rainbow trout will be stocked throughout the day. Volunteers and MDC staff will be on hand to assist kids with fishing. Fishing demonstrations and advice will also be available along the stream. A limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available so kids are encouraged to bring their own poles and equipment.

A casting contest with prizes will be held at 11 a.m. Free hotdogs and soda will be provided courtesy of Phelps County Bank, St. James Sports Club, and the St. James Chamber of Commerce. Drawings for other prizes will be held throughout the day and will include fishing rod and reels, fishing equipment, and more.

Exhibits, games, and activities will be offered from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. around the registration tent, including fish-print t-shirts, critter stamping, a scavenger hunt, free tree seedling, first-fish photographs, fish cleaning and cooking, and more.

For more information, call MDC's Maramec Hatchery at 573-265-7801.

Roaring River State Park on May 14

MDC and DNR will offer free fishing and other fun activities for kids ages 15 years and younger on Saturday, May 14, at Roaring River State Park, located on Highway 112 about seven miles south of Cassville. Fishing starts at 6:30 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. Kids can get free trout tags at the hatchery office any time on the Friday before the event or all day on Saturday.

A portion of the fishing area of the park will be reserved for kids' fishing. Volunteers will be on hand to help out. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. Parents are welcome to help kids, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child and adults are not allowed to fish by themselves in the special area.

Free hotdogs, chips, and soda will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Programs will be held throughout the day on fish cleaning, fish cooking, Dutch-oven cooking, taxidermy, watersheds, knife sharpening, knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, how to fish Roaring River, stream biology, and other subjects. Kids who attend three programs will be entered into a drawing for prizes at 5 p.m. Kids must be present to win. Seminars are open to all, but only kids may enter the drawings.

Hatchery tours will be held to show how trout are raised. A program on Missouri snakes will be given using live specimens. Activities will also be available. Bluegrass music will be onstage so bring lawn chairs. Volunteers are also needed and interested individuals do not need to be experienced anglers.

For more information, call MDC's Roaring River Hatchery at 417-847-2430.

Free Fishing Days for Everyone June 11 and 12

Mark calendars now for MDC's annual Free Fishing Days -- coming up this year on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12. During Free Fishing Days, anyone may fish in the Show-Me State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout permit, or trout park daily tag. Normal regulations remain in effect and special permits may still be required at some county, city, or private fishing areas.

Find MO Fish

Anglers can find more fish, key fishing spots, and much more through MDC's free mobile app, Find MO Fish. Learn more and download the app for both Android and Apple devices at mdc.mo.gov/mobile/mobile-apps/find-mo-fish.

 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish for more than 1 million anglers. Learn more about fishing in the Show-Me State at http://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing.

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