WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Whether you enjoy fishing area streams or you simply like to relax by spending a day paddling a local waterway, kayaks are increasing in popularity as a way to connect with the outdoors.
People who want to learn more about kayaking and also enjoy an afternoon float should sign up for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free program “Intro to Kayaking/Float on the Current River.” This program will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on May 15. This program is open to ages 16 and up. People can register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/177514
Participants in this program will need to bring a sack lunch and will need to wear close-toed shoes and clothing that is OK to get wet. The instructional portion of the event will start at 9 a.m. at Current River State Park. The address is 11053 CR 19D in Shannon County. There, participants will be introduced to the parts of a kayak, basic paddling instruction, and the basic rules of the river. COVID procedures will be in effect for this portion of the program, which means participants will be asked to socially distance.
After a two-hour instruction, participants will eat lunch and the program will then shift to the Current River for a four-mile float. Staff at Current River State Park will provide kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices (PFDs), but participants may bring their own PFDs if they wish. People who wish to fish the Current should bring their own bait and fishing equipment. People ages 16-64 will need a fishing license if they want to fish.
People should be off the water by 3 p.m. and they will be shuttled back to their vehicles. Camping information at the state park and in the surrounding area can be found at https://mostateparks.com/park/current-river-state-park
This May 15 event is an example of the in-person and virtual programs MDC staff are putting on across the state. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.