FARMINGTON, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces the addition of two new libraries into the Discover Nature: Fishing Rod and Reel Loaner Program. The Bonne Terre Memorial Library and the Farmington Public Library now have fishing equipment available for use by the public. According to Salvador Mondragon, a fisheries management biologist with the MDC, the Rod and Reel Loaner Program provides an opportunity for youth, novice anglers, or anyone who does not own a rod and reel to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
“This equipment is available to the public to borrow and is as simple as checking out a book,” Mondragon said.
Karen Roman, the director of the Farmington Public Library said the fishing equipment loaner program will be a positive resource for the community.
“I was surprised that the MDC would supply libraries with fishing equipment,” Roman said. “Libraries are becoming about much more than books these days and this is a wonderful idea and opportunity for someone who wants to try fishing first before making an investment in equipment.”
Amanda Carron is the Special Services Coordinator at the Bonne Terre Memorial Library. Carron said she and other employees at the library are looking forward to getting feedback from the community once they begin checking out the equipment.
“The fishing equipment program is a really good idea and I think it will have a good impact on our community, especially with the Bonne Terre pond being right up the street from us at the city park,” Carron said.
“We have added this program at these libraries, specifically, because of the availability of close public access waters that are managed and stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation,” Mondragon said.
“We have many nice places in our area where people can fish, so I think it will work out wonderfully,” Roman said.
Public fishing areas nearby include Hager Lake, Thomas Lake, Giessing Lake, the Mineral Area College Quarry Pond, Bonne Terre City DiSalvo Lake, St. Francois River and Leadwood Access on Big River. Mondragon said all of these areas offer opportunities to catch catfish, bass, crappie and sunfish with great bank fishing access.
In addition to receiving a rod, a small tackle box with terminal tackle will be provided, according to Mondragon. Terminal tackle will include essential hooks, split-shot sinkers, bobbers and a stringer to hold the catch.
For more information on fishing opportunities in Missouri, go to mdc.mo.gov or call the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573) 290-5730.