Missouri offers a wealth of more than a million acres of surface water through rivers, streams, lakes and ponds that attract more than a million anglers in pursuit of the Show-Me-State’s numerous species of game fish. Fishing in Missouri also generates more than a billion dollars for local communities and the state’s economy.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages people to discover nature through fishing, and offers a wealth of opportunities and information to help. They include free Kids Fishing Days in April and May, Free Fishing Days for everyone in June, a weekly fishing report and fishing prospect info, a free fishing phone app, and more.
Free Kids Fishing Days in April and May
Help kids get hooked on the thrill of fishing with free Kids Fishing Days at MDC fish hatcheries and other participating locations. Kids Fishing Days events are designed to help families and youth groups learn about fish, fish habitat and fishing techniques. Each event provides fishing equipment and instruction, and most also provide prizes, gifts and lunch. Events locations include MDC Lost Valley Fish Hatchery northeast of Warsaw on April 27 (660-438-4465), MDC Fish Hatchery at Montauk State Park southwest of Salem on May 4 (573-548-2585), MDC Fish Hatchery at Bennett Spring State Park west of Lebanon on May 4, (417-532-4418), MDC Hatchery at Maramec Spring State Park east of St. James on May 18 (573-265-7801), and Roaring River Hatchery and Trout Park south of Cassville on May 18 (417-847-2430). For details on these and other Kids Fishing Days events, contact locations, local MDC offices, or go online to mdc.mo.gov/node/16243.
Free Fishing Days June 8-9
Free Fishing Days June 8-9
Each year MDC designates the weekend after the first Monday in June as Free Fishing Days in Missouri to encourage people to sample the state’s abundant fishing opportunities. During Free Fishing Days, June 8-9, anyone can fish in the Show-me State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout stamp or trout park daily tag. Normal regulations, such as limits on size and number of fish an angler can keep, remain in effect during Free Fishing Days. Some private fishing areas still require permits on free fishing days, and trespass laws remain in effect on private property. Public fishing areas are available in every county in Missouri. Many state-owned fishing areas also have special facilities for anglers with disabilities. Contact your local MDC office for Free Fishing Days near you, or go online to mdc.mo.gov/node/3675.
Get Info on Fishing Regs and More
For information on Missouri fishing regulations, permit requirements, fish identification and more, get a copy of MDC’s “2013 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations” where permits are sold, at MDC offices and online at http://mdc.mo.gov/node/11414.
Get Weekly Fishing Reports and Annual Prospects
MDC offers a weekly fishing report from the first Thursday in April through September that provides general fishing conditions at selected lakes, rivers, and trout parks across Missouri. Get the report online at fishing.mdc.mo.gov and sign up to have it emailed to you each week. Use this link to also see MDC’s Fishing Prospects. This annual information is based on fish population sampling, creel surveys and other research conducted on numerous lakes, rivers and trout parks.
Find MOFish with Free MDC App
MDC’s free mobile-device application, Find MO Fish, shows locations of public boat ramps to major lakes, rivers and streams of Missouri. The map also shows locations of underwater fish structures MDC has created as habitat for fish. The geo-location feature lets anglers guide their boats right up to these fish attractors. Download the free app at
For more info on fishing in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov.
Image courtesy Missouri DNR