MDC and partners work to provide outdoor recreation opportunities in the central region

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SWEET SPRINGS, Mo. -- Fishing is a great way to connect with nature, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) can connect people with fishing. Even if you’ve never gone fishing before and have no gear, MDC can help. For one, MDC partners with public entities such as libraries to provide loaner fishing gear that people can check out and use. For places to fish, MDC conservation areas have lakes and ponds, and many community lakes have good fishing. Also, the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP) allows people to fish for free on private ponds and lakes that are enrolled in the program.

For example, in Saline County, a landowner signed up to open his lake for fishing in the MRAP program. Under MRAP, property owners voluntarily enroll their lands and are paid to provide access to the public for designated activities such as fishing, hunting, and birding. Also in Saline County, the Sweet Springs Public Library participates in the loaner fishing gear program. Through these programs, people can try out fishing without making a major investment in gear or travel.

People can check out MRAP locations that offer access to private land for activities such as fishing at To find locations that provide loaner fishing gear to be checked out, visit For extensive information on fishing in Missouri, including where to find MDC’s free Discover Nature — Fishing lessons in your community, visit Fishing | Missouri Department of Conservation (