Roaring River State Park will host its annual spring Kids Fishing Day from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. The event is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
"Preparation for Kids Fishing Day has been underway for some time now," said Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager. "We are adding some new classes this year that will pertain to watershed education.
"We have set aside quite a few larger fish for the kids to catch," said Spurgeon. "We have obtained some good prizes and are looking forward to a great day."
Children, who are 15 and younger, will have the opportunity to obtain free trout fishing tags any time on Friday, May 13. Youngsters participating in the event will also receive a goody bag with educational materials and coloring books.
A large portion of the park will be reserved for young anglers during the event. Volunteers will be available to help string lines, bait hooks and assist youngsters throughout the day.
"As always, this event would not exist without the dedication of the volunteers who man the booths, bait stations and help teach the kids to fish," said Spurgeon.
Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment to Kids Fishing Day. Parents are allowed to assist youngsters, but only one pole may be used between the parent and the child.
Free hotdogs, chips and soda will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition to fishing, youngsters will have the opportunity to take part in an assortment of educational classes. Topics will include fish cleaning, fish cooking, knife sharpening, knot tying, fly tying and casting, jig tying and how to fish Roaring River.
Children will also be able to participate in hatchery tours or make their own critter stamp head bands during the event.
Young anglers who participate in two classes will receive a choice of prizes. Kids who take part in three or more classes will be entered into a drawing for larger prizes. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m.
Random tag numbers will also be drawn throughout the day. If a youngster's tag number is drawn or if a child reels in a tagged trout, they will also be eligible for prizes.
"My goal for this event is simple," said Spurgeon. "I would like for as many families as possible to enjoy a quality outdoor experience at Roaring River State Park. Come out to the park and let the kids catch a fish."
Volunteers and sponsors are still needed for the spring Kids Fishing Day. Volunteers do not need to be experienced anglers.
Individuals interested in assisting with the event should call the Roaring River Hatchery at 847-2430, extension 1931, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.