MDC offers free fishing and nature classes at St. Joseph

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St. JOSEPH, Mo. – Summer may be moving toward autumn, but there’s still time to go fishing and learn about the outdoors. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer several free programs in St. Joseph during August and September. MDC’s Discover Nature—Fishing program teaches newcomers the basics about how to catch fish, handle tackle, and where to go fishing. MDC is also offering free nature programs in partnership with St. Joseph Parks, Recreation & Civic Facilities.

For Discover Nature—Fishing lessons, MDC staff and volunteers will provide hands-on instruction about rods, reels, lures, bait, fish ecology, and how to prepare the fish you catch for cooking. Discover Nature — Fishing sessions are held at Krug Park Lagoon, 3500 St. Joseph Ave. Participants will go fishing in the lagoon after each classroom session. MDC provides all equipment and bait. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

A free fly fishing basics clinic will be offered from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at Krug Park Lagoon. This is a chance for participants to learn how to use fly fishing gear and lures to catch trout and panfish. Trout are stocked by MDC in cold, clear Ozark streams. But MDC also provides a winter trout fishing program at selected waters in St. Joseph.

MDC will offer a free aquatic insects nature program from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Krug Park Amphitheater. Aquatic insects often have fascinating life cycles and adaptations. They play a key role as predator and prey in lakes and rivers.

Also, a free nature program on bats will be offered from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Krug Park Amphitheater. Several species of bats are found in northwest Missouri. These flying mammals occupy unusual ecological niches. They benefit people by consuming insects.

The Discover Nature—Fishing classes will be offered on a variety of dates in August. To look at schedules or to register for a lesson, visit On MDC’s Discover Nature—Fishing web page you can select a county, such as Buchanan County, and it will give you a list of upcoming programs and lessons.

Registration is not required for the nature programs at Krug Park. For more information about MDC education programs and conservation in northwest Missouri, call 816-271-3100.