MDC celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day with special river event

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Saint Louis
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St. Louis, Mo.—If you've ever wanted to explore North America's largest rivers up close and personal, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is giving you the chance.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 26. Missouri is a great place to hunt and fish, so there's plenty to celebrate. MDC is holding a special event to commemorate the occasion—A Day at the Confluence, on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake.

This free family event will take place at the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. These two rivers, the largest in North America, offer world-class fishing and hunting opportunities. Visitors can join MDC and its conservation partners for a day of fun and educational activities to celebrate the outdoors that will include guided river boat rides to experience these majestic bodies of water first hand.

Many other outdoor happenings will offer something for participants of all ages, including:

Archery and air rifle shootingDiscover Nature Fishing programsFish ID and animal skull mazesAsian carp fileting demos and tastingFried catfish samplingLaser Shot shooting simulatorSpecial activities for young children

Visitors will also be free to explore the sprawling 4,318-acre conservation area on their own, with its mosaic of habitats that include prairie, bottomland woods, wetlands and cropland and the area's visitor center. Food will also be available for purchase during the event.

All fishing-related activities will center on the boat ramp area at parking lot G. Hunting-themed activities will take place at the Confluence area, parking lot N.

Partners joining MDC at a Day at the Confluence are Ducks Unlimited, Boy Scouts of America, St. Louis Audubon Society, Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Association, Quality Deer Management Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Water Patrol, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Spanish Lake Fire Protection District.

The event is free and open to the general public; no reservations are required. To reach Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, take the I-270 Riverview Drive exit and go 3 miles north. For more information, call 314-877-6014.

The roots of National Hunting and Fishing Day go back to the turn of the 20th century, when hunters and anglers became the most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to call public attention to the fact that rapid development and unregulated hunting were threatening wildlife and natural habitats. Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first hunting and wildlife laws.

In early 1972, Congress unanimously authorized a day to commemorate conservation successes past and future, and to honor those sportsmen who began the modern conservation movement. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created and designated as the fourth Saturday of every September.

President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day on May 2, 1972. He wrote, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."

National Hunting and Fishing Day remains an ideal opportunity to celebrate our country's outdoor heritage and introduce children to the wonders of nature.