On Aug. 16, youngsters will have one more chance to enjoy a free day of fishing before the 2008-09 school year begins. Roaring River State Park's annual fall Kids' Fishing Day will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
"What else can you do that is a lot of fun, has a lot of activities and is 100 percent free?" asked Jerry Dean Roaring River Hatchery manager. "This event will give kids one last chance to get out and fish before school starts."
Children who are 15 years of age or younger can pick up free trout tags at the hatchery office any time on Friday, Aug. 15 or Saturday, Aug. 16. Youngsters participating in the event will also receive free stringers, fishing posters, activity coloring books and other educational materials.
"We will have over 1,300 Kids' Fishing Day bags available," said Dean. "We plan to stock 5,000 fish in the stream for the event and we will also add some lunkers to the water.
"Fish are stocked at least four times during the day so fishing stays good," said Dean. "Parents and adults can help kids as long as there is only one pole between the helper and the child participates in reeling the fish in."
A portion of the park will be reserved for youth fishing only. Kids are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment to the fishing event, but a limited number of fishing rods and reels will be offered for loan and volunteers will be available to help youngsters on the banks.
Trophies and other prizes will be awarded to the boys and girls who weigh in the biggest fish and the biggest stringers. Each kid who catches a fish that weighs over three pounds will be entered into a drawing for a free taxidermy mount, provided by Mark Jones' Vision Taxidermy and Russ Pendergraft's Visions of Wildlife Taxidermy.
Kids' Fishing Day volunteers will be taking photos of youngsters who catch their first fish or reel in a trout that weighs over 1.75 pounds. Parents will be able to pick up a free copy of the photo at the Cassville Wal-Mart Supercenter on Sunday, Aug. 17.
A free lunch of hotdogs, chips and soda will be provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We will have a small mobile aquarium with five, 30-gallon tanks that contain a variety of native fish," said Dean. "A volunteer will be available to tell kids about the fish on display."
Young anglers who attend two Kids' Fishing Day classes will receive a prize and a free trout tag for their next visit to the park. Children who attend more than than two classes will be entered into a drawing for a variety of larger prizes, and youngsters who attend a fly tying or casting class could win a free fly rod or reel. Archery students will be entered into a drawing for a free Alpine bow.
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 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Lodge and Roaring River Inn. Waugh will teach basic casting techniques.
* 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.
* Tree Identification, 9:30 a.m. Instructor Josh Roller, who works for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) at the Roaring River Hatchery, will teach the differences between trees that are located in the park.
* Ozark Cave Fish, 9:30 a.m. Instructor Blake Stephens, who works for MDC in Neosho, will teach students about the habitat of and threats to the endangered Ozark Cave Fish.
* 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 teach students how to handle a rifle. Students will also have a chance to sharpen their shooting skills on clay targets.
* Archery, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Instructor Chris 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. and 1 p.m. Instructor Cheyne Matzenbacher, Roaring River naturalist, will teach kids the natural history of snakes. Live specimens will be on display.
* 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 Peggy Dittmar and Char Pipolo will help children make and decorate personalized headbands.
* Stream Table Display, 10 a.m. to noon. Instructor Tyler Green, who works for MDC in Neosho, will illustrate the hydraulics of a stream and the effects of channeling and digging. Bank stabilization methods will also be demonstrated.
*Introduction to Taxidermy, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Instructor Russ Pendergraft, who owns Visions of Wildlife Taxidermy Studio in Cassville, will demonstrate various steps used to mount a rainbow trout. Children can visit the demonstration throughout the day to see Pendergraft's progress.
* Becoming a Conservation Agent, 10:30 a.m. Instructor Travis McLain, who has been a MDC agent for nine years, will talk about agent requirements and some of the equipment he uses as a conservation agent.
* Aquatic Entomology, 10:30 a.m. Instructor Rick Horton, who works as a MDC 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, 11 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.
* Fish Cleaning, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Instructors Josh Roller and Brad Farwell, who work for MDC at Roaring River, will give a hands-on demonstration on preparing trout for cooking.
* Fish Cooking, 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. An instructor will demonstrate frying and grilling methods for cooking 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 iron-on "Trout Day" transfers that were designed by Kendra Gardner and Tyler Long. Volunteers will be on hand to apply the finished transfer to a free T-shirt.
*Fisheries Biology, 1:30 p.m. Instructor Rick Horton, who works as a fisheries biologist for MDC in Neosho, will cover the unique characteristics of many different species of Missouri fish, their habitats and their physiology.
* 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. Students will learn to tie the Fisherman's and Palomar knots.
* Hatchery Tour, 2:30 p.m. Matzenbacher 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, and his son, Dennis, who works for MDC wildlife management, 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.
Last year, 1,070 kids attended the fall event. Over 1,500 youngsters attended the fishing day event that was held in May.
The event is sponsored by the following businesses and organizations: MDC; the Department of Natural Resources; Academy Sports in Joplin; Jim Rogers, Dave Waugh and Roaring River Concessions; Charlie Stock, of Mid West Flies; Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury; Able 2 Products; Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce; Luck-E-Strike USA; Mark Jones' Vision Taxidermy; Russ Pendergraft's Vision of Wildlife Taxidermy; Tim's Fly Shop; Wal-Mart, of Bentonville and Cassville; Havenar's Fisherman's Inn; Cassville Ramey; Commerce Bank; Bank of America; Security Bank; Freedom Bank; and MAKO Fly Fishing Club.
For more information on the event, call the Roaring River Hatchery at 847-2430.