Ozark Outdoors

Free Kids Fishing Fun Day Sat., June 4, at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

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The Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the Missouri Department of Conservation host the 35th Annual Kids Fishing Fun Day, Saturday, June 4, at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146, Springfield.

A bluegill in the hand is worth a celebration for a young fisherwoman. Note the life preserver for safety's sake.

A bluegill in the hand is worth a celebration for a young fisherwoman. Note the life preserver for safety’s sake.

This free event is designed to teach kids how to fish and encourage them to put their new skills to work throughout the summer. The Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park pond will be fully stocked with Channel Catfish and Bluegill, and each child may catch and keep up to three fish. MDC staff will clean one fish per child, and teach kids how to clean their other fish.

This event is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Kids age 3-13 may register to fish at 8, 9:15, 10:30 or 11:45 a.m. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and must supply their own rod and reel, bait and stringer for the fish.

Fishing is fun for all ages, whether its for catch and release or taking home.

Fishing is fun for all ages, whether its for catch and release or taking home.

Pre-registration is required for this event. No on-site registration is available. Space is limited and sessions may fill up and close, so register early at parkboard.org, or call 417-864-1332. Registration deadline is Friday, May 27, 5 p.m.

Kids Fishing Fun Day activities include:

  • First fish photos
  • Fish weigh-in
  • Instructional fish cleaning
  • Free drinks provided by Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company
  • Participants will also take home with simple recipes for frying, baking or grilling their catch.

In case of inclement weather, Kids Fishing Fun Day will be rescheduled for the following day, Sunday, June 5, same times and location.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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