MDC invites youth, families to free fishing classes in mid-Missouri

News from the region
Published Date

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites kids and families to attend a free series of fishing workshops in Columbia and Jefferson City this month.  The Discover Nature — Fishing (DNF) workshops will cover the basics of fishing, from tackle to knot-tying, and participants will gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own. 

Each of the four lessons will focus on a different topic:

  • Lesson 1 – Equipment, casting, and proper fish handling
  • Lesson 2 – How to tie a knot and bait a hook
  • Lesson 3 – Five common Missouri fish: anatomy, habitat, and lifecycle
  • Lesson 4 – Fishing with lures and fishing regulations

MDC will offer these classes at Bass Pro Shops, 3100 Vandiver Dr. in Columbia, on the following dates:

  • Lessons 1 & 2
    June 15, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Lessons 3 & 4
    June 17, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

MDC will offer these classes at MDC Headquarters, 2901 W. Truman Blvd. in Jefferson City, on the following dates:

  • Lessons 1 & 2
    June 28, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Lessons 3 & 4
    June 30, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

“This is a great way for kids and their parents to learn the basics of fishing,” said MDC Angler Education Assistant Ashley Edwards. “Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and have some fun! I encourage anyone who has enjoyed fishing but never really learned how to fish, and also people who have no idea what they are doing at all, to come join me for these fishing programs. We will have lots of fun, there will be lots of learning and fishing and even some prizes at the end.”

All DNF classes are free for registered participants and MDC will provide all needed fishing equipment and supplies.  Participants should bring their own drinking water, bug repellant, and sunscreen if they wish.

To help ensure public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, MDC asks all participants to observe current, local guidelines regarding physical distancing and masking. MDC encourages participants to bring and wear face coverings when appropriate.

DNF programs focus primarily on reaching kids 6–15 years of age and emphasize family involvement.  All children must be accompanied by an adult and all participants must preregister for each lesson by visiting

Families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own accounts which will streamline the program registration process.  Once a group account is setup parents will be able to register their children to an event without having to logoff and login for each individual.  This functionality will allow parents register their entire family or select family members to an event at the same time.  First, users will log into their account and click “My Group Profile,” then add family members to their account.  Setting up a group account today will make program registration quicker and easier for all MDC programs.

For more information about these classes, contact Edwards at, or (573) 815-7901, ext. 2968.