Now is time to sign up for MDC's Discover Nature Fishing

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Fishing is a great way to connect families with the outdoors, it’s a great tool to introduce children to healthier lifestyles and it’s a good activity for strengthening family bonds.

These are a few of many benefits families can gain by participating in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature Fishing Program. This state-wide program provides a series of four instructional clinics to help kids and families gain skills and confidence to enjoy fishing. All classes are free. They are for youths ages 7-15, but the focus isn’t solely on kids. To be eligible to participate, youths must be accompanied by an adult or people can register and participate as entire families.

Each class is two hours long. Participants don’t have to take all four classes, but must take the first lesson before registering for any of the other three. The topics of the four clinics are:

  • Lesson One: Equipment, casting, proper fish handling
  • Lesson Two: How to tie a knot and bait a hook
  • Lesson Three: Five common Missouri fish – their anatomy, habitats and life cycles
  • Lesson Four: Fishing with lures, fishing regulations

In southwest Missouri, classes will be taught from May through August in Springfield, Branson, Joplin and Mount Vernon. People can get information on the dates and locations of upcoming Discover Nature Fishing classes by going to and entering “Discover Nature Fishing” in the SEARCH box. People in the southwest part of the state can register for classes by calling MDC's Southwest Regional Office in Springfield, 417-895-6880.