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Trout Parks Plan Youth Fishing Events In May

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  • Root Admin

Four events in May offer children age 15 and younger a chance to learn about trout fishing, enjoy beautiful spring weather and spend quality time with family and friends.

Each year the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and The James Foundation organize Kids Fishing Day events in cooperation with local sponsors. The DNR owns and operates Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Salem and Roaring River State Park near Cassville. The James Foundation owns and operates Maramec Spring Park near St. James. The Conservation Department operates trout hatcheries at each facility, supplying the raw material for fun and lasting memories.

Kids Fishing Day runs from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. May 17 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 16 at Roaring River. Youth participants can pick up free trout tags at the hatchery office any time the day before each event or on the day of the events. They also will receive stringers, fish posters, fishing activity coloring books and other educational material.

The area from the first low-water bridge upstream to the hatchery will be reserved for youths. This area will also be stocked through out the day. Volunteers will be available to help young anglers. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. However, some equipment will be available for kids to borrow. Parents are welcome to help kids, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child. Adults are not allowed to fish by themselves. Free hotdogs, chips and soda will be available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Seminars on fish cleaning, fish cooking, archery, knife sharpening, knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, jig tying, how to fish Roaring River and other subjects will be offered throughout the day. The Conservation Department’s mobile shooting range will be on hand, too, or participants can take hatchery tours to see how trout are raised. Other activities will include a live snake program, a make-your-own trout fishing T-shirt station and critter-stamp headband making. The nationally known “Fishin’ Magicians” will also present two programs.

Kids who attend two classes will receive prizes. Those who attend fly casting classes will be entered in a drawing for complete fly-fishing outfits. Those who attend an archery class will be entered in a drawing for a bow. In addition, trophies will be awarded to boys and girls with the biggest fish and the biggest stringer. There will also be a drawing for free taxidermy mounts among youngsters who catch trout weighing over 3 pounds.

Volunteers at Roaring River Kids Fishing Day events need not be experienced anglers. To volunteer, call 417/847-2430 or email jerry.dean@mdc.mo.gov.

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