MDC and local mid-Missouri libraries offer fishing rod and reel loaner program

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Do you like to fish, but don't own a pole? Don't worry, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has you covered. As part of the Discover Nature: Fishing Rod and Reel loaner program, seven libraries in mid-Missouri now have fishing equipment available for use by the public. They include Boonslick Public Library (Boonville), Mexico Audrain Public Library (Mexico), Marshall Public Library (Marshall), Centralia Public Library (Centralia), Sweet Springs Library (Sweet Springs), Woodplace Library (California), and Price James Library (Tipton).

According to MDC Angler Education Assistant Don Rahm, the rod and reel loaner program provides an opportunity for youth, novice anglers, or anyone who doesn't own fishing equipment to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

"This equipment is available to the public to borrow and is as simple as checking out a book," Rahm said. "We are working with these libraries, specifically, because of the availability of close public access waters that are managed and stocked by the Conservation Department."

In addition to receiving a rod, a small tackle box with terminal tackle is also provided, according to Rahm. Terminal tackle includes essential hooks, split-shot sinkers, bobbers, and a stringer to hold the catch.

For more than a million anglers, conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish. Across Missouri, fishing generates $665 million dollars in local economic benefit each year.

"Fishing is a great way to spend family time, relieve stress, and enjoy the outdoors," Rahm said. "This program allows someone to try fishing first before making an investment in equipment."

For more information on fishing opportunities in Missouri, visit . For a list of all the rod-and-reel loaner locations in Missouri, visit