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MDC staff teach a family how to use a fishing pole.
The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Discover Nature Fishing program is designed to introduce families to fishing. Discover Nature Fishing classes are scheduled for Aug. 24 and Aug. 26 at MDC's Ozark Regional Office in West Plains and Sept. 3 and Sept. 5 at MDC's Bray Conservation Area in Phelps County.

MDC schedules Discover Nature fishing events in upcoming weeks

News from the region

Aug 18, 2020

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Fishing is a great way to strengthen family ties and it’s also a good activity for connecting family members of all ages with the outdoors. These are some of the many benefits of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature Fishing Program.

This program provides free lessons to help kids and families gain skills and confidence to enjoy fishing through a series of four instructional sessions:

  • Lesson 1: Equipment, casting, proper fish handling
  • Lesson 2: How to tie a knot and bait a hook
  • Lesson 3: Five common Missouri fish – their anatomy, habitats and life cycles
  • Lesson 4: Fishing with lures, fishing regulations

In the upcoming weeks, interested families will have a chance to take Discover Nature Fishing Classes at these locations:

Aug. 24: from 5:30-8:30 p.m., MDC Ozark Regional Office, 551 Joe Jones Blvd, West Plains, (Howell County) 417-256-7161, Lessons 1 and 2, register at:

Aug. 26: from 5:30-8:30 p.m., MDC Ozark Regional Office, Lessons 3 and 4 (participants must take Lesson 1 before they can sign up for this session), register at:

Sept. 3: from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Bray Conservation Area, 14220 CR 7000 (Bridge School Road), Rolla (Phelps County), Lessons 1 and 2, register at:

Sept. 5: from 9 a.m.-noon, Bray Conservation Area, Lessons 3 and 4 (participants must take Lesson 1 before they can attend this session), register at:

These events are open to participants age 7 and up. Entire families are encouraged to register and participate. Participants will be asked to maintain safe social distance space from staff and other participants who are not part of their family. Both events (MDC Ozark Regional Office, Bray Conservation Area) will feature hands-on fishing opportunities. Equipment and bait will be provided and participants will not need a fishing permit to fish during the programs. Adults who do not wish to fish must accompany their children at all times. Participants who complete all four lessons will receive a $25 Bass Pro gift card.

People can get more information about these programs by calling the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains (551 Joe Jones Blvd.), 417-256-7161. Information about other upcoming Discover Nature Fishing classes can be found at

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