Over 1,000 young anglers expected

Friday, August 17, 2007

On Saturday, hundreds of youngsters will flock to Roaring River State Park to participate in fishing and other outdoor activities. Roaring River hosts free Kids Fishing Day events, for youngsters, age 15 and younger, each May and August.

Roaring River's Kids Fishing Day will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 18. Kids can pick up their free trout fishing tags at the hatchery office any time on Friday, Aug. 17 or Saturday, Aug. 18. With free fishing tags, youngsters will receive free stringers, posters, activity coloring books and other educational materials.

A free lunch of hotdogs, chips and sodas will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Youngsters are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. Parents may assist their children during the event but only one pole may be used between the child and parent. Adults are not allowed to fish alone in designated Kids Fishing Day areas.

In addition to fishing, youngsters can participate in outdoor-related educational classes that are offered throughout the day. Kids who attend three or more classes are entered in a prize drawing that includes fishing gear and other prizes donated by Wal-Mart. Youngsters who attend fly casting classes will also be entered into a drawing for fly fishing rods and reels.

Kids Fishing Day outdoor conservation classes and activities are listed below.

•?Fly Casting, 9 a.m. Instructor David Waugh is certified by the national Fly Fishing Federation (FFF) as a fly fishing instructor and manages the Roaring River CCC Lodge and Roaring River Inn. Waugh will teach basic casting techniques.

• Learn to Cast, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students will learn the proper ways to handle a rod and improve casting skills.

• Fish Cleaning, 9:30 a.m. Instructor Charles Knapp, a long-time Roaring River fisherman, will provide students with a hands-on demonstration on preparing trout for cooking.

• Ozark Cave Fish, 9:30 a.m. Instructor Tyler Green, who works for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in Neosho, will teach students about the habitat of and threats to the endangered Ozark Cave Fish.

•?Backyard Birding, 9:30 a.m. Instructor Brad Russell, who works for MDC at Chesapeake Hatchery and is an avid birder, will teach students how to identify birds by sight and sound.

•?Air Rifle Target Shooting, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Instructor Chris Landstad, who works for MDC at the Roaring River Hatchery, will give students instruction on rifle safety. Students will also have an opportunity to sharpen their shooting skills with clay targets.

• Archery, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Instructor Chris the Berry, who works for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, is a hunting guide and world class competitor. Berry is sponsored by Alpine Bows. Students will receive hands-on basic archery training.

•?Arrowhead Knapp-ing, 10 a.m. Instructor Leon Perry, who is a retired school administrator and avid archer, will teach students the art of knapping to make an arrowhead out of obsidian rock. Perry will also demonstrate how to mount an arrowhead on a cedar arrow and attach turkey feathers for fletching.

•?Snakes Alive, 10 a.m. Instructor Cheyne Matzenbacher, Roaring River naturalist, will teach kids the natural history of snakes. Live specimens will be available.

• The Fishing Magicians, 10 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 3:30 p.m. Steve Craig and Amy Short combine magic, comedy and fishing in their performance.

• Fly Tying and Fly Casting, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Instructors from the MAKO?Fly Fishing Club will perform fly tying demonstrations and give individual fly casting instruction.

• Critter Stamp Headbands, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Instructors Char Pipolo and Kelly Asbury will help children make and decorate personalized headbands.

•?Introduction to Taxidermy, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Instructor Russ Pendergraft, who owns Visions of Wildlife Taxidermy Studio in Cassville, will demonstrate various steps used to mount a fish and other taxidermy techniques.

• Aquatic Entomology, 10:30 a.m. Instructor Rick Horton, who works as a fishery biologist in Neosho, will help students identify types of insects in the stream and how they relate to fish as food. Horton will also demonstrate which flies imitate the insects.

• Jig Tying, 10:30 a.m. Instructor Jerry Dudley, an experienced jig maker, will give kids a hands on opportunity to learn to tie jigs. Dudley will also demonstrate jig fishing methods.

• Tree Identification, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Instructor Josh Roller, who works for MDC at the Roaring River Hatchery, will teach the differences between trees that are located in the park.

• Fish Cleaning, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Instructor John White, who works for MDC at Roaring River, will give a hands-on demonstration on preparing trout, bluegill and catfish for cooking.

•?Fisheries Biology, 11:30 a.m. Instructor Ron Bullard, who works as a fisheries biologist in Springfield, will cover the unique characteristics of many different species of Missouri fish, their habitats and their physiology.

• Fish Cooking, 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Instructor Rod May, Neosho Fish Hatchery assistant manager, will demonstrate frying and grilling methods for cooking catfish and trout.

• How to Fish Roaring River, 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Instructor Marvin Farwell, who works for MDC at the Roaring River Hatchery, will instruct kids on types of bait that are legal for each fishing zone in the park. Farwell will also demonstrate what type of knot to use to tie a hook on, how to rig a pole and how to fish with various types of bait and lures.

•?Make Your Own T Shirt, 1 to 3 p.m. Instructor Rebecca Bishop will help kids decorate an iron-on "Hooked on Fishing at Roaring River" transfer. Volunteers will be on hand to apply the finished transfer to a free T shirt.

• Fly Tying, 2 to 3 p.m. Instructor Charlie Stock, who owns Mid-West Flies in Lebanon, will work with kids one on one to teach fly tying.

•?Knot Tying, 2:30 p.m. Instructor Kevin Asbury, Roaring River Hatchery assistant manager, will have a hands-on class to teach two easy, fast and strong knots to tie a hook on a line.

• Hatchery Tour, 2:30 p.m. Instructor Tim Smith, Roaring River naturalist, will teach kids about the geology of Missouri's 20th largest spring and the history of Roaring River State Park and hatchery. Students will also learn about the life cycle of the trout, how trout are raised and how the fish are stocked in the stream.

• Knife Sharpening, 2:30 p.m. Instructor Jay D. Browning, a long-time Roaring River fisherman, will show kids the right way to sharpen a knife. Students are asked to bring their own pocket knives to the class.

• Fly Casting, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Stock will teach students basic casting techniques.

Kids' Fishing Day is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources, the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center, Jim Rogers, the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce, Mid-West Flies, Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, Wal-Mart, Able 2 Products, Luck-E-Strike, Freedom Bank, Commerce Bank, Security Bank, Bank of America, Tim's Fly Shop and other local businesses.

For more information on Kids Fishing Day, call the Roaring River Hatchery at 847-2430.

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