MDC invites families to learn about fishing basics at April 23 program in Joplin

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JOPLIN, Mo. – If your desire to take your family fishing is strong, but your experience is weak, don’t be discouraged. You can have plenty of fishing fun by sticking to the basics.

Families can learn about the fundamentals of fishing at a free Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program that will be offered in two time slots on Saturday, April 23 at the Walter Woods Conservation Area in Newton County. The program, “Fishing Skills: Family Fishing” will be offered from 9-10:30 a.m. and will be repeated from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. These programs are open to all ages and are designed for families.

People can register for the 9-10:30 a.m. session at:

People can register for the 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. session at:

These programs will cover fishing fundamentals in regards to equipment, techniques, what species to fish for and where to find them, regulations, how to prepare fish if you plan to keep them or how to release fish if you don’t plan to keep them.

These programs will also feature a “hands-on” component for people will get to do some catch-and-release fishing at the pond at the Walter Woods Area. People should dress for the weather and bring their own snacks and drinks. People can bring their own fishing equipment or use basic equipment, tackle, and bait provided by MDC. All participants age 16 and older must have a valid Missouri license and all participants age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Family groups will be asked to social distance from other families.

The Walter Woods Conservation Area is located in Newton County on the southeast edge of Joplin at 7129 Dutch Elm Drive. To get to the area, take Newton County Highway NN south from Redings Mill for 1.25 miles, then turn west on Dutch Elm Drive, which leads to the area.

Though the April 23 event is free, registration is required to participate using the links above. People can stay informed about upcoming programs at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center and other MDC facilities by signing up for text alerts and e-mail bulletins. People who have questions about how to sign up for text alerts from the Shoal Creek Center can call 417-629-3434.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding in-person and virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at