MDC offers fishing equipment through loaner program

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Organizations in several communities in southwest Missouri have partnered with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to make fishing more accessible through MDC's Rod and Reel Loaner Program.

Through this program, which is available in select communities across the state, individuals can check out fishing poles and tackle boxes for free at participating sites. The fishing poles are equipped with standard spin-cast reels. The tackle boxes are supplied with hooks, sinkers and bobbers for basic fishing opportunities. People need to bring their own live bait or desired lures to bait the hook.

In Springfield, loaner fishing equipment is available at the MDC Southwest Regional Office, MDC's Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Valley Water Mill Park and Fellows Lake Marina. Other MDC Rod and Reel Loaner Program locations in southwest Missouri are the Branson Taneyhills Community Library in Branson, the Carthage Public Library, the Geneva Sharp Library in Stockton, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson, Christian County Library in Ozark, Dade County Library in Greenfield, Hickory County Library in Hermitage, Joplin Carnegie Library in Joplin, Sarcoxie Library in Sarcoxie, McDonald County Library in Pineville, Neosho Newton County Library in Neosho, Baxter Boat Dock in Lampe, and the Seymour Community Library in Seymour. Check at each site for information on check-out procedures and rules specific to that location.

This program is an effort by MDC to increase fishing opportunities for all Missouri citizens.

To also help people get hooked on fishing, the Department offers its Discover Nature Fishing program. This program is a four-lesson series geared towards families and youths ages 7-15. From May into September, lessons are offered at select sites across Missouri. These lessons cover casting, proper fish handling, tying on hooks, stocking a tackle box, fish identification, how to release a fish, regulations and other topics. Find out more about the Discover Nature Fishing Program by calling the MDC Southwest Regional Office in Springfield, 417-895-6880, or by going online to