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

Private Event | My Events | My Profile

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9
Registration period: October 28 - January 28
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, January 29, 2022 5:00 pm
Location: Maramec Spring Hatchery
Ever been on the river and no one is catching except for that one lone fisherman? Participants will do macroinvertebrate sampling / comparison to standard flies during the morning and learn how to tie flies during the afternoon. This workshop helps you figure out what is going on in the water so you can match the lure to macroinvertebrates present in the environment. Participants will then be provided the tools and expert coaching to create up to three different flies to take home. Individuals wishing to try their new flies within a trout stream the final hour of the workshop must possess the required daily trout tag. Instruction and equipment are provided at no cost by Missouri Department of Conservation during the workshop; but individuals may bring their own fly fishing equipment if they wish. Space is limited to 10 participants and all participants must be 16 years or older. This workshop will be held at Maramec Spring Park located just six miles south of St. James, MO, on Hwy. 8, on January 29th from 9 AM – 5 PM.; participants will meet at the museum within the park. Participants should bring their own lunch, snacks, knee/hip boots, and be prepared to be outside from 10-11:30 am & 4-5 pm. We will follow any COVID-19 safety guidelines, so please bring a mask when within 6 feet of staff / participants.
Registration period: December 23 - January 27
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2022 9:00 am - Saturday, January 29, 2022 1:00 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to fly fish but just weren’t sure where to start, this is the program for you! We will begin in the classroom, for a 1–2-hour workshop on fly tying. When we’re done with fly tying, we will move out to the Lake for some hands-on Fly-Fishing experience! In this introductory class, participants will learn about basic fly-fishing concepts, equipment, rigging and casting. All equipment and materials will be provided at no cost, but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. This will be a catch-and-release program, and all participants age 16 or older will be required to have a standard fishing permit. As this is a 4 hour class, it is recommended that all participants and attendees bring water and a lunch or snack with you. Please be prepared to be outside for several hours in potentially cold weather.
Registration period: December 12 - January 29
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2022 2:00 pm - Saturday, January 29, 2022 4:00 pm
Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Get your trusty fishing reels in tip top shape before spring weather arrives.

Learn how to maintain and make minor but common repairs to spincasting, spinning and bait casting reels.

During this program we'll learn how to disassemble, clean, lubricate and make some common repairs on these three common types of fishing reels.

This program is appropriate for adults and children over the age of 11. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Each participant must register for this program.

Email the instructor for assistance with registration.

Registration period: December 12 - February 5
Date: Saturday, February 5, 2022 8:00 am - Saturday, February 5, 2022 12:00 pm
Location: MDC Kansas City Regional Office

Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy a winter day. Join us for an ice fishing lesson and a couple hours out on the ice catching fish.

We'll start the morning off at the Kansas City Regional Conservation Office with a short ice fishing lesson where we will learn about ice fishing equipment and techniques as well as ice fishing and winter fishing safety. Then we'll head out on the ice for a fishing opportunity.

Missouri Department of Conservation will provide equipment, bait, and fishing coaches. Dress warm and bring your own snacks and drinks to help you keep warm.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this program.

The fishing segment of this program will be outside so please dress appropriately for the weather.

Safe ice and weather conditions will be necessary for this program. In the event that weather or ice conditions are not acceptable for this program participant will be contacted with postponement dates.

Each participant must register for this clinic. Contact instructor for assistance with registration.

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022 1:00 pm - Saturday, February 12, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Spur Pond

Join us to discover nature as we

catch and release rainbow trout! This part of the clinic will be held at Spur Pond to give

everyone a chance to experience catching and releasing trout. Please dress accordingly. Registration is required. All supplies are provided.
Registration period: December 17 - February 16
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 12:00 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2022 1:00 pm
Location: Online only

When the going gets tough, tough anglers switch to a more delicate approach to landing bass. Cold and hot weather, the midday lull, and when the barometer isn’t cooperating are all wonderful times to downsize gear and lures and provide fish with a more subtle presentation. There are a wide array of techniques, both old and new, which will help you land fussy fish. Join us for a virtual look at how to go small to catch the big one. For those participating in our “A Year in Color” this program will earn a blue aquatics bead, and virtual participants are welcome to pick up their bead at the nature center after the program.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.
Registration period: January 21 - February 19
Date: Saturday, February 19, 2022 11:00 am - Saturday, February 26, 2022 11:00 am
Location: Liberty Community Center

Learn everything you need to know about catching winter trout during this two day clinic.

This is a two part clinic including a trout fishing orientation/ground school and a hands on trout fishing opportunity. Participants must attend the orientation/ground school to be included in the fishing opportunity.

Join us for a winter trout fishing orientation and ground school on Saturday, February 19th, 11:00am, at the Liberty Community Center 1600 S. Withers Rd, Liberty Missouri, where we'll learn how to catch and clean winter trout.

Then, we'll meet again on Saturday, February 26th at the Capitol Federal Sports Complex, 2200 Old 210 Hwy Liberty Mo, 64068, where we'll trying our luck at catching some hungry rainbow trout.

Dress for the weather and bring your own snacks and drinks. Missouri Department of Conservation will provide rods, equipment, tackle, bait and fishing coaches.

Fishing permits are not required to fish during this event as long as participants DO NOT plan to keep the trout that they catch. If participants would like to keep their trout they WILL need a trout permit.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The classroom portion of this clinic will happen regardless of conditions. However, acceptable weather and open water will be required for the fishing opportunity. Should we have bad weather or ice on the lake on February 26th we'll postpone the fishing opportunity pending better conditions. Participants will be contacted if changes are necessary.

Clinic is free but registration is required. Each participant must register separately. Please contact instructor if you need assistance with registration.
Registration period: April 10 - April 13
Date: Saturday, April 16, 2022 8:00 am - Saturday, April 16, 2022 1:00 pm
Location: Warsaw Community Building Harbor Room

Registration required. CALL 660-530-5500 TO REGISTER. REGISTRATION BEGINS MARCH 9 at 8:00am. Participants 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Only open to first time participants.

Participants will learn about conservation efforts with paddlefish, techniques for snagging and go out snagging on Lake of the Ozarks for 2-hours.

For more information email Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov
Registration period: April 10 - April 13
Date: Saturday, April 16, 2022 10:30 am - Saturday, April 16, 2022 3:00 pm
Location: Warsaw Community Building Harbor Room

Registration required. CALL 660-530-5500 TO REGISTER. REGISTRATION BEGINS MARCH 19at 8:00am. Participants 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Only open to first time participants.

Participants will learn about conservation efforts with paddlefish, techniques for snagging and go out snagging on Lake of the Ozarks for 2-hours.

For more information email Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov