Conservation employees assist with Combs Lake fishing clinic

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KENNETT, MO – Some of the key tasks assigned to employees with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) are to help people discover nature, to ensure Missouri remains a great place to hunt and fish and to demonstrate how conservation enriches Missourian’s quality of life. According to MDC Conservation Agent Eric Heuring, the Combs Lake fishing clinic on Aug. 17 fit right in with those assignments.

“This is an event where we get to help many parents go fishing with their children for the very first time,” Heuring said. “We teach them safety and conservation ethics. We teach them how to fish and what equipment they might need. And we encourage them to have a great time in the outdoors as a family.”

This was the fifteenth year for the free fishing clinic at the Jerry P. Combs Lake on Little River Conservation Area, sponsored by the Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium (MBRC), Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start, the Fathers First Program and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The MBRC served free food and drinks and had fishing tackle available for use. Items were donated to the event by various community businesses and organizations.

Heuring said fishing clinics are a great way to help children and adults discover nature in a fun new way.

“Some adults maybe didn’t fish with their own parents as children and although they’d like to teach their children to fish now, they might not feel comfortable doing so,” Heuring said. “This event enables parents with all levels of fishing skills to bring their children, grab some bait and work with experienced anglers to find what works for them.”

Heuring said this year the event was just as successful as previous years with near 500 people attending. The event grew this year with the addition of an archery clinic for children. The Quality Deer Management Association’s Delta Whitetails branch from Holcomb assisted MDC Conservation Agent Brian Shelton with the archery portion of the clinic.

“The archery addition was a huge success as we shuffled children in and out of the stations nonstop for three fast hours,” Heuring said.

He said the partnership with MBRC is one way MDC is working to enrich Missouri’s economy and quality of life.

“Especially in today’s economy, fishing is a great way to take the family out for a day of fun outdoors,” Heuring said.

The Jerry P. Combs Lake is located within the Little River Conservation Area, three miles east of Kennett at the junction of highways 412 and NN. For more information about fishing and other outdoor activities in your area go online to