CASSVILLE, Mo. — Kids Fishing Day and Nature Festival — the last one of the year — returns to Roaring River State Park on Saturday.

If you have never been to one of these days, it’s a lot of fun; I took my kids when they were first learning to fish. I don’t know how much learning they did, but they had a great time. This year, we plan to be there with our granddaughter. She and I worked together to catch, reel in and net her first fish during a trip to the park this spring.

While it’s not as intense as Opening Day, it can get pretty hectic, and it not a day to go fishing if you hope to escape crowds.

At Kids Fishing Day, part of Roaring River is set aside just for kids ages 15 and younger from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Adults are not allowed to fish in the designated areas by themselves, but they can help a child, as long as they have just one pole between them. Volunteers also are available to assist kids.

Children younger than 15 also get free trout tags any time on Friday or all day Saturday.

Free hot dogs, chips and soda will be available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

During the day, there also are seminars on fish cleaning, fish cooking, Dutch oven cooking and many other education and conservation programs, ranging from outdoor survival to knot tying, fly tying and fly casting, lessons on how to fish Roaring River, stream biology and other subjects.

There also will a program on Missouri snakes with live specimens on hand.

Any child who attends three education programs will be entered into a drawing for prizes 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.

Volunteers are still needed to help out with this event. If you would like to help, call MDC’s Roaring River Hatchery at 417-342-9242 or email

This event is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, which manages the hatchery, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which manages Roaring River State Park.


There are some other fishing events to put on your calendar:

Catfish methods

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. (This is a two-day event.)

Where: Ruark Bluff Boat Launch, Stockton Lake. This boat launch is located on Route H near Greenfield.

Details: MDC staff will cover catfish biology and habitats, fishing rules and regulations, alternative fishing methods (trot line or some other type of set-line) and fish cleaning and preparation. A portion of the program will involve setting the lines on Friday night and checking them on Saturday, and participants will go out on MDC boats. Everyone older than 16 must have a valid Missouri fishing license. Personal floatation devices will be provided and must be worn while on the boats. The program is free. If multiple members of a family are registering, both adults and children must register. To learn more and to register, go to

Pond Fishing

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.

Where: Chesapeake Fish Hatchery, 21186 Highway 174, east of Mount Vernon.

Details: This is a beginners clinic to show people how to fish for lots of different species commonly found in farm ponds. Worms and equipment will be provided, and fishing will take place at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Aquatic Education Pond at the hatchery. Anyone 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.

For more information or to register, call the hatchery at 417-895-6880.

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is

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