MDC: Get hooked on Discover Nature – Fishing this fall with MDC Cape Nature Center

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature — Fishing offers families with children between the ages of 7 and 15 a hands-on introduction into angling, and you’re invited this fall!

Fishing is a great way for kids and families to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories. Our Discover Nature – Fishing program is a hands-on, four-part fishing instruction series that helps families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own.

This program will cover Lessons 1 and 2, which are best completed before Lessons 3 and 4 (hosted later). Participants will learn about fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and proper fish handling. Participants will not be required to have a valid fishing license for this program.

Ever wanted to walk down a creek or stand along the side of a meandering river and fish for a feisty, fast, and strong fish? This is your opportunity to learn about smallmouth bass fishing in southeast Missouri, fishing techniques, fish biology, hotspots in southeast Missouri, and much more! This program is intended for all ages with little to no fishing experience required.

Bass fishing is an excellent way to connect with nature and have fun in a more active way than bait fishing. You’ll learn about popular fishing holes in southeast Missouri, artificial lures, fish forecasting, and much more! Whether you are an experienced angler or new to fishing, largemouth bass make an interesting and fun target species, so join us and engage with nature. This virtual program is open to all ages and experience levels, but fishing experience is recommended to fully understand some concepts.

This program will cover Lessons 3 and 4 which are best completed after Lessons 1 and 2. Participants will learn about Missouri freshwater ecosystems, common fish, artificial lures, and the regulations regarding fishing in Missouri. Participants will not be required to have a valid fishing license, and those who have already completed Lessons 1 and 2 will receive fishing-related rewards.

Catch-and-release season for trout is coming up Nov. 10! That means your local pond may be stocked, so how can you get in on the trout fishing action? Join us to learn all about fishing rods, lures, bait, and conservation areas in the southeast region where trout will be stocked.

Wild About Water

Join us this year for a guided kayak or canoe experience, stomp through a stream looking for the critters that call creeks home or explore the mysteries of a southeast Missouri swamp. To whet your appetite even more, each program attended will enter you in a chance to win the “Wild About Water” grand prize drawn next December.  We can’t wait to see you all downstream!


Check out details for all of MDC’s free events online at

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed online at All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. First, create a profile. Once a profile is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218.

Stay Connected

Questions about events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

The Cape Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. An online subscription is also available to “sign up for updates” at A variety of updates are available at this option, but Cape Girardeau specific updates are available under facility updates and news for southeast region.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.