Discover Nature Fishing

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Little girl holding a fish she caught.
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Discover Nature — Fishing offers families with children between the ages of 7 and 15 a hands-on introduction into angling.

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Missouri Department of Conservation fisheries biologists in Cape Girardeau are l
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It's more than breaking out the tackle box. That's why the department is looking for experienced anglers who are ready to lead the next generation of Missouri anglers.

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Program at a Glance
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  • Lesson one: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling
  • Lesson two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook
  • Lesson three: Five Common Missouri Fish - Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle
  • Lesson four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations
  • Classes are free
  • No permits or additional paperwork required
  • Bait and equipment provided

Enrollees must take lesson one to be eligible for later lessons. However, lessons two, three, and four may be taken in any order once lesson one has been completed.

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Basic Tackle

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Learn what you need for basic tackle before your next fishing trip in this episode of MDC’s Discover Nature-Fishing series.
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  • Each class is approximately two hours and will include indoor and outdoor segments.
  • Separate registration required for each participant
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • All registrants are expected to participate

Both the child and the accompanying adult(s) must be registered for classes in order to attend.

Due to limited space and seating, only those registered for a class may attend.

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All supplies and fishing equipment will be provided. However, you might want to bring the following:

  • Water bottle
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook and pencil
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Bad Weather:

In the event of class cancellation or rescheduling, registrants will be notified by either phone or email.

Withdraw from a Class:

To withdraw, navigate to My Events, log in, then select “cancel registration.” Remember that this will have to be done for every participant registered for the class.

Fishing Classes

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24
Registration period: June 14 - July 4
Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2022 5:00 pm - Wednesday, July 6, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

*This lesson is required for anyone wanting to take Lessons 2-4*

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.

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.

Please meet at Lake 15 at August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Registration period: May 12 - July 6
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022 10:00 am - Thursday, July 7, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Polk County Library
This class includes instruction to teach young anglers 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.
Registration period: April 5 - July 7
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022 5:00 pm - Thursday, July 7, 2022 7:00 pm
Location: Lake Jacomo Marina

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 7 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. Email instructor for assistance with registering for this program

Registration period: June 14 - July 5
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022 5:00 pm - Thursday, July 7, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*This lesson is required for anyone wanting to take Lessons 2-4*

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.

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.

Please meet at Forest Park Hatchery in Forest Park

Registration period: June 27 - July 7
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022 5:30 pm - Thursday, July 7, 2022 6:30 pm
Location: Mozingo Lake
This fish cleaning clinic is for more experience anglers because we will be covering things like prepping fish for cleaning, different types of ways to clean fish, and how to store fish after cleaning. Ages 7 and up are welcome and anyone 16 or older needs a fishing permit. Thanks for looking at what the Missouri Department of Conservation has to offer and we hope to see you there!
Registration period: June 21 - July 7
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 9, 2022 11:30 am
Location: Suson Park - Rearing Pond

*This lesson is required for anyone wanting to take Lessons 2-4*

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.

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.

Please meet at the Rearing Pond at Suson Park. To get to the Rearing Pond, you will enter the park, take a right onto the "service vehicles/park staff only" road that goes up the hill, and keep going straight across the parking lot to the gravel road and down to the pond.
Registration period: June 15 - July 9
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022 10:00 am - Saturday, July 9, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Perry County Community Lake

Fishing can be a relaxing day by the water with the quiet of nature all around or it can be an exciting competitive sport! Our Discover Nature - Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part, fishing instruction series to help families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own. This Discover Nature - Fishing program consists of Lessons 1& 2 out of four (hosted later). Here we teach you fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and fish handling. You'll learn plenty and even get to drop a line in!

We will be meeting at the Perry County Community Lake off of Pcr 700 at 10am.

The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up.

Participants of this program will not need to purchase a fishing permit.
Registration period: May 17 - July 4
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2022 9:00 am - Tuesday, July 12, 2022 11:00 am
Location: Shaw Nature Reserve

Come join us July 12th to learn fishing basics.

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 and bait/lures will be provided.

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.
Registration period: June 27 - July 13
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022 5:30 pm - Wednesday, July 13, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: NCMC Barton Campus
For this event we will be covering Discover Nature Fishing Lessons 1 & 2. The following day we will be covering lessons 3 & 4 at the same location and time. This will consist of learning in a classroom setting then going out and putting the skills to the test by going fishing at the same location. Upon completion of all four lessons each registered individual will get to take home one piece of fishing equipment which may include tackle box, fishing pole, fishing net, etc. Participants that are 16 and older must have a fishing permit. Hope to see you there!
Registration period: June 14 - July 12
Date: Thursday, July 14, 2022 5:00 pm - Thursday, July 14, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*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.

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.

Please meet at Forest Park Hatchery in Forest Park
Registration period: June 27 - July 14
Date: Thursday, July 14, 2022 5:30 pm - Thursday, July 14, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: NCMC Barton Campus
For this event we will be covering Discover Nature Fishing Lessons 3 & 4.This will consist of learning in a classroom setting then going out and putting the skills to the test by going fishing at the same location. Upon completion of all four lessons each registered individual will get to take home one piece of fishing equipment which may include tackle box, fishing pole, fishing net, etc. Participants that are 16 and older must have a fishing permit. Hope to see you there!
Registration period: June 14 - July 14
Date: Saturday, July 16, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 16, 2022 11:30 am
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

*This lesson is required for anyone wanting to take Lessons 2-4*

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.

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.

Please meet at Lake 1 at August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area
Registration period: June 8 - July 14
Date: Saturday, July 16, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 16, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Participants will complete a Discover Nature Fishing Lesson , fish and learn to shoot a bow and arrow. For more information or help with registration call Kara at 660-438-4465
Registration period: June 15 - July 16
Date: Saturday, July 16, 2022 10:00 am - Saturday, July 16, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Lake Girardeau Conservation Area

Fishing can be a relaxing day by the water with the quiet of nature all around or it can be an exciting competitive sport! Our Discover Nature - Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part, fishing instruction series to help families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own. This Discover Nature - Fishing program consists of Lessons 1& 2 out of four (hosted later). Here we teach you fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and fish handling. You'll learn plenty and even get to drop a line in!

We will be meeting at the Lake Girardeau Conservation Area off of county road 383 at 10am.

The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up.

Participants of this program will not need to purchase a fishing permit.
Registration period: April 5 - July 20
Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2022 5:00 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2022 7:00 pm
Location: Lake Jacomo Marina

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish-Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Participants will learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, participants will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.

Lesson 4: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families how to properly select a fishing lure based on desired fish species, weather and water conditions. In addition, participants will learn how to identify and understand fishing regulations. Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided. All children ages 7 -15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Participants must have completed Lessons 1 and 2 prior to attending Lesson 3 & 4.

Equipment, bait and fishing coaches will be provided.

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

Each participant must register for this program individually on the Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Fishing website. For assistance with registration please email the program instructor.

Lesson 3 & 4 are part of the Discover Nature-Fishing Lesson series. Lesson 3 & 4 are appropriate for adults and families with children ages 7 and older.

Registration period: June 14 - July 18
Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2022 5:00 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2022 7:30 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.

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.

Please meet at Lake 15 at August A Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Registration period: June 8 - July 21
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 23, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Participants will receive a Discover Nature Fishing Lesson, fish, and be introduced to Shooting a Crossbow. For more information or help with registration call Kara at 660-438-4465 or Mark @660- 530-5500
Registration period: June 14 - July 21
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 23, 2022 11:30 am
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

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

Lesson 3: Participants will learn about aquatic habitats, food webs, and the basic biology of common Missouri fish species.

Lesson 4: Participants will learn about various fishing lures techniques, as well as identify and understand Missouri 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 and Families of all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

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.

Please meet at Forest Park Hatchery in Forest Park
Registration period: June 15 - July 23
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022 10:00 am - Saturday, July 23, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Dexter City Lake

Fishing can be a relaxing day by the water with the quiet of nature all around or it can be an exciting competitive sport! Our Discover Nature - Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part, fishing instruction series to help families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own. This Discover Nature - Fishing program consists of Lessons 1& 2 out of four (hosted later). Here we teach you fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and fish handling. You'll learn plenty and even get to drop a line in!

The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up.

We will be meeting at the Dexter City Lake behind the Dexter Police Department at 10am.

Participants of this program will not need to purchase a fishing permit.
Registration period: June 14 - July 26
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2022 5:00 pm - Thursday, July 28, 2022 7:30 pm
Location: Forest Park Hatchery

*This lesson is required for anyone wanting to take Lessons 2-4*

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.

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.

Please meet at Forest Park Hatchery in Forest Park
Registration period: June 21 - July 28
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, July 30, 2022 11:30 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.

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.

Please meet at the Rearing Pond at Suson Park. To get to the Rearing Pond, you will enter the park, take a right onto the "service vehicles/park staff only" road that goes up the hill, and keep going straight across the parking lot to the gravel road and down to the pond.

Registration period: June 15 - July 30
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022 10:00 am - Saturday, July 30, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Tywappity Community Lake

Fishing can be a relaxing day by the water with the quiet of nature all around or it can be an exciting competitive sport! Our Discover Nature - Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part, fishing instruction series to help families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own. This Discover Nature - Fishing program consists of Lessons 1& 2 out of four (hosted later). Here we teach you fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and fish handling. You'll learn plenty and even get to drop a line in!

The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up.

Participants of this program will not need to purchase a fishing permit.
Registration period: June 8 - August 10
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, August 13, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Participants will complete a Discover Nature Fishing Lesson , fish and learn to shoot air rifles For more information or help with registration call Kara at 660-438-4465 or Mark @ 660-530-5500
Registration period: June 8 - August 17
Date: Saturday, August 20, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, August 20, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: Lost Valley Hatchery
Participants will receive a Discover Nature Fishing Lesson, fish, and be introduced to Shooting a Shotgun. For more information or help with registration call Kara at 660-438-4465 or Mark @660- 530-5500