MDC: Calling all kids to Maramec Spring Park for Kids Fishing Day May 20

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Saint Louis
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ST. JAMES, Mo. – Free trout fishing, a casting contest for prizes, and free hotdogs are enough to make any kid’s day. Those are exactly the makings of Kids’ Fishing Day, Saturday, May 20 at Maramec Spring Park, located near St. James.  The event is hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in cooperation with The James Foundation.  It offers free fishing and other fun activities for children 15 years of age and younger. 

The park will open at 5:30 a.m. and the Kids Fishing Day event will be happening from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.  The entire upper half of the spring branch will be reserved for kids 15 years of age and younger. Free daily fishing tags for children can be picked up at the Mill Field Shelter on May 20, or at the reception building on May 19. 

MDC will stock rainbow trout throughout the day to ensure plenty of action to keep kids engaged and excited.  Among them will be some lunkers and tagged fish that kids can redeem for prizes.  Volunteers, along with MDC staff, will be on hand all day to assist young anglers.  A limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available, but children are encouraged to bring their own fishing poles and equipment.

A casting contest will be held at 11 a.m. and prizes will be awarded.  Everyone can enjoy free hotdogs and soda.  Other attractions like fly tying demos, educational exhibits, games, and activities are planned from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Fish print t-shirts will also be on sale for $5.  Free parking will be available for cars with children 15 and under. 

The annual Kids’ Free Fishing Day event is an ideal opportunity to help kids discover fishing and enjoy a day out at beautiful Maramec Spring Park, which is home to Missouri’s fifth largest spring. 

The event will be held rain or shine and sponsored by Phelps County Bank, St. James Sport Club, St. James Chamber of Commerce, St. James Trout Fraternity, Gateway Trout Unlimited, Wal-Mart Distribution Center-St. James, and other community sponsors.

Maramec Spring Park, owned and operated by The James Foundation, is located on Highway 8 about six miles east of St. James, approximately and hour and a half from the St. Louis area.  The park’s hatchery is administered by MDC and produces about 100,000 trout each year.

For more information about the event, call the Maramec Spring Hatchery at 573-265-7801.  To learn more about fishing in Missouri, go to