Fishing

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Trout angler fishing in a stream
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Fishing is a great way to spend time with family and friends creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s a full-blown vacation or a quiet Saturday morning, fishing can get you away from it all. All you need is a pole, a line, a hook, some bait, and a permit.

No matter where you live in Missouri, a great fishing trip is close to home. Check Places to Go for conservation areas with fishing opportunities near you.

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Guidelines for Fishing on MDC Areas

Have the Right Equipment

Essential equipment includes a rod, reel, hook, line, and lure. Check the fishing gear page to see if you have the correct equipment.

Apply Bug Spray and Sunscreen

In addition to sunscreen, wearing a hat and/or sunglasses can protect you from too much sun and the glare reflecting off the water.

Bring a First Aid Kit

Put your kit in a waterproof case, especially if you are fishing from a boat. Be sure to include the basics in your kit: bandages, sterile pads, pain relievers, disinfectant, and an antibiotic cream.

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Before You Go

Get your fishing permit.

You can purchase permits online or in most Missouri sporting goods stores.

More information on fishing permits.

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Follow Fishing Etiquette

  • Some fishing locations are more popular than others, so when you find yourself sharing the space with fellow anglers, make sure you are respecting them and the outdoor area to ensure everyone has the best fishing experience.
  • Be aware of fishing seasons, area-specific regulations, and creel limits (the maximum amount of fish you can catch). Creel limits vary by conservation area and are posted on signs near conservation area parking lots.
  • Leave no trace. Properly dispose of your fishing line, lures, trash, and food waste in a trash receptacle. Littering can harm both land and aquatic wildlife and habitats.
  • Be a good steward and dispose of bait properly. Dumping bait can result in the introduction of an invasive animal. Invasive species can harm native wildlife and habitats and impact the ability humans have to do their favorite outdoor activities, such as fishing.

Great Places For Fishing

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Gravel access road to Mound View Access
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Mound View Access provides an area for bank fishing as well as river access by foot, but there

Events

Find events near you.
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 3:00 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 7:00 pm
Location: August A Busch Shooting Range
Come out and enjoy the day at our August A. Busch Shooting range open house. There will be loads of activities, some to include .22 call rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, atlatl, archery, 18 static displays, disc golf, fishing game, demonstrations by Agent Nick Bommarito with MDC's newest dog and much more! If it is hot dont worry we have free snow cones for everyone! This event is completely free and tons of family fun!
Registration period: June 4 - June 24
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 3:00 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Boone County Nature School

Discover Nature - Fishing Lessons 1 & 2:

Lesson 1: “Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling” combines instruction with hands-on --fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.

Lesson 2: “How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook” combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided.

Ages 6 and above. All children ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Participants DO NOT need a fishing permit to fish during this program.

Each participant will need to register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website.

Please contact the Community Education Assistant, Luke Noel with questions.

Luke.Noel@mdc.mo.gov

573-815-7900 ext. 2926

Registration period: April 30 - June 23
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1

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.

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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: June 4 - June 26
Date: Thursday, June 27, 2024 3:00 pm - Thursday, June 27, 2024 5:00 pm
Location: Boone County Nature School

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1&2 must be taken before any of other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 3-4.

Everyone who is attending must be registered. Prizes for completion of all four lessons will be available at the end of the night after lesson 4.

In this class, participants will learn basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will also learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, you will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.

Lesson 4:

In this final lesson you will learn how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions as well as hands-on fishing. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. 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 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration period: June 1 - June 28
Date: Friday, June 28, 2024 6:00 pm - Friday, June 28, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Whether you’re an avid backpacker or a backyard bonfire enthusiast, come join other women to learn more about the best part of any outdoor adventure – the food! Participants will learn the tips and tricks for making easy and delicious meals with just a campfire and have the chance to try some tasty treats! Registration required. Ages 16+
Registration period: April 30 - June 27
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024 9:00 am - Saturday, June 29, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 2

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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.

Registration period: May 23 - June 29
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024 10:00 am - Saturday, June 29, 2024 11:30 am
Location: Thousand Hills State Park

Join us for a family fishing at Thousand Hills Park Point! Fishing poles, tackle, bait, and instruction will be provided. This is a great opportunity for anyone you know who is interested in fishing but does not have the gear to do so. Anyone is welcome. Stop by to grab a fishing pole and start fishing!

Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult AT ALL TIMES.

Participants who are 15 years of age or older, will be required to have a valid fishing permit during this event.

Please email Nolan Partin, Community Education Assistant with questions.

nolan.partin@mdc.mo.gov

Date: Monday, July 1, 2024 5:00 pm - Monday, July 1, 2024 11:00 pm
Location: Maramec Spring Hatchery

Come learn about fisheries, wildlife, and protection management at Maramec Spring Park on July 1st. Experience trout fishing with MDC staff, learn how to clean your catch, & preparing a campfire foil wrap meal. Youth accompanied by parent or guardian will then enjoy an evening of frog gigging from shoreline / Jon boat after sunset with MDC staff. The program will start at 5 pm and conclude by 11 pm on July 1st. Parent / guardian must be present during the entire event. This opportunity is for ten youth between the ages of 8-15 years old with little or no experience trout fishing or frog gigging. Interested youth are asked to apply by submitting a short 100-word essay as to why they should be selected. Application essay should be submitted to: Dwight.Warnke@mdc.mo.gov by noon Monday, June 24th. The ten selected participants will be notified on afternoon of June 24th with full program details. Application essay must include:

- Full Name of Youth

- Date of Birth

- Gender

- Home Address

- Email Address of Parent / Guardian

- Phone contact number

- Essay of why you wish to participate

Registration period: May 30 - July 2
Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2024 9:30 am - Tuesday, July 2, 2024 10:30 am
Location: MDC Northeast Regional Office
Come to MDC Office in Kirksville and learn the basics of fishing in a classroom setting. Learn fish ID, tying on a hook, and much more!
Registration period: April 30 - July 1
Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2024 6:00 pm - Tuesday, July 2, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

*Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 1 is required before attending this program*

Discover Nature Fishing Lesson 2

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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

All participants who complete all 4 Discover Nature Fishing Lessons will go home with a free fishing reward to encourage fishing with the family.

To register your child, you may need to make a family account, or add them to an existing family account. You can also make you child their own, separate account.