First Hole Program


The First Hole program offers groups of children, veterans, nursing home residents, and special needs groups a safe place to fish.

We provide poles, lines, bait and nets. Your group can work on casting, line tying, baiting, and safe fish handling. Each member of the group can keep the fish they catch (limit 4).

Permits and trout tags are waived for the group.

How do I reserve the First Hole?

Contact the Roaring River hatchery office at 417-847-2430.

The First Hole is only available for reservations until noon.

Who's eligible?

Supervised groups of 10 or more:

  • children (age 15 or younger)
  • people in rehabilitation programs
  • hospital patients
  • nursing home residents
  • people with disabilities in a therapy program

Helpers, parents, and volunteers are not included in the group total and may not possess fish while fishing at First Hole.

Why First Hole?

It's the first of 33 fishing holes that comprise Roaring River State Parks’ trout fishing area. This area has land on three sides, making it a safe place for fishing instruction. The area also has an accessible fishing pier and a picnic area.

What else do I need to know?

  • You'll need to contact the hatchery a week before your scheduled visit to arrange for permit waivers and a group fishing permit. A group supervisor will need to have the group fishing permit while at the First Hole.
  • Anglers must stop fishing after four fish are kept.
  • Each angler must have a separate stringer or creel.
  • Artificial lures, soft plastic bait, or flies only.