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Kids invited to free fishing day at Roaring River State Park

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

Aug. 19 fishing event co-sponsored by MDC and DNR open to anglers age 15 and under.

CASSVILLE, Mo. – Young anglers will have opportunities to catch fish, connect with nature and have fun participating in the many activities offered to parents and children at Kids’ Fishing Day and Nature Festival on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Roaring River State Park. The event is co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Kids’ Fishing Day and Nature Festival runs from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. At 5 p.m., there will be drawings for a variety prizes with kids in mind.

An area of Roaring River State Park will be designated for ages 15 and under to try out their fishing skills. Children can pick up free trout tags at the hatchery office any time on Aug. 18 or all day on the day of the event.

Volunteers will be available to assist young anglers, who are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. Parents are welcome to assist kids as well but are limited to only one pole. Adults are not allowed to fish by themselves. Free hotdogs, chips and soda will be available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Education is also part of this event.

Throughout the day, seminars will be held on fish cleaning, fish cooking, Dutch oven cooking, Mexican cuisine, outdoor survival, target shooting, taxidermy, watersheds, knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, how to fish Roaring River, stream biology and other subjects.

A hatchery tour will show how trout are raised. A program on Missouri snakes will be given using live specimens. If kids attend three classes, they will be entered into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m.

Children must be present to win. Classes are also open to the whole family, but only children may enter these drawings. There will also be a parent-appreciation drawing.

More volunteers are needed to help out with this event. Individuals who want volunteer do not need to be experienced anglers. If you would like to help out with Kids’ Fishing Day or you want to get more information, call MDC’s Roaring River Hatchery at 417-847-2430 or e-mail paul.spurgeon@mdc.mo.gov.

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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