Learn about fishing through MDC's Discover Nature - Fishing

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WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Fishing is a great way to connect families with the outdoors. It’s a great tool to introduce children to healthier lifestyles and it’s a good activity for strengthening family bonds. These are some of the many benefits of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature - Fishing Program.

This state-wide program provides a series of four instructional clinics to help kids and families gain skills and confidence to enjoy fishing. All classes are free. They are for youths ages 7-15, but the focus isn’t solely on children. To be eligible to participate, youths must be accompanied by an adult or people can register and participate as entire families.

Each class is two hours long. Participants don’t have to take all four classes, but must take the first lesson before registering for any of the other three. The topics of the four clinics are:

  • Lesson One: Equipment, casting, proper fish handling
  • Lesson Two: How to tie a knot and bait a hook
  • Lesson Three: Five common Missouri fish – their anatomy, habitats and life cycles
  • Lesson Four: Fishing with lures, fishing regulation

Here’s is a schedule of upcoming classes in south-central Missouri: 

  • Aug. 8, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Rolla, Bray Conservation Area (Lessons 1 and 2)
  • Aug. 9, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., MDC Ozark Regional Office, 551 Joe Jones Blvd, West Plains (Lessons 3 and 4)
  • Aug. 12, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; MDC Ozark Regional Office (Lessons 1 and 2)
  • Aug. 15, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Bray Conservation Area (Lessons 3 and 4)
  • Aug. 17, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; MDC Ozark Regional Office (Lessons 3 and 4)
  • Aug. 22, 5 p.m. – 7 pm.; Fort Leonard Wood Outdoor Adventure Center, Building 2290, First Street (Lessons 1 and 2)

Aug. 24, 10 a.m. – noon; MDC Twin Pines Education Center, U.S. Highway 60, Winona (Lessons 1 and 2) People can register for these classes by calling the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains, 417-256-7161. Information about other upcoming Discover Nature - Fishing classes can be found at mdc.mo.gov