MDC offers opportunity for youth to discover boat fishing, frog gigging this summer in Rolla

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ROLLA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is granting 16 enthusiastic youth the opportunity to participate in boat fishing and frog gigging clinics this summer, following a 100-word essay competition on why they should be selected.

“Many of the Ozark region staff and I have a personal interest in frog gigging,” said MDC Conservation Educator Dwight Warnke, organizer of the two clinics. “I want to share that and the love of fishing with kids who maybe would not get the opportunity to learn how to frog gig or fish anywhere else. I also wanted to add just a bit of competitiveness to this clinic with the essay contest.” 

Both days, MDC staff will assist the young hunters in cleaning their catches. There will also be a demonstration on how to properly skin out a frog and prepare it for cooking. 

And finally, everyone will get to taste a sample of frog legs and fish.

This opportunity is for 16 youth between the ages of 8-15 years old (eight will be selected for each event). Those interested are asked to apply by submitting a 100-word essay as to why they should be selected. Application essay should be submitted to by June 21 for consideration. The selected participants will be notified by June 23 with full program details. The application essay must include:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Email address of parent or guardian
  • Phone number
  • 100-word essay including why you wish to participate

“I hope this experience helps the kids discover really cool components of nature, such as frog gigging and boat fishing, and will stimulate them to go on their own in the future,” Warnke said.

MDC provides all the basics and equipment for the event. Attendees should bring their own knee boots, hip boots, chest waders, or wading shoes/old tennis shoes suitable for walking in water. A headlamp and bug spray are also recommended. A parent or guardian must be present during the entire event.

Frogging season is open in Missouri from June 30 until Oct. 31 for both bullfrogs and green frogs. The daily limit is eight frogs, with a total possession limit of 16. They may be taken with either a valid hunting or fishing permit by a variety of methods. More details about frog hunting can be found online at Fishing season information can be found online at

Directions to Little Prairie Conservation Area (CA): From Rolla, take the north outer road of I-44 east about 5 miles, then Route RA north to the area.

Directions to Shawnee Mac Lakes Conservation Area (CA): From Salem, take 10th Street, which becomes County Road 4110, east 2 miles to the area.

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