Area children will have the opportunity to enjoy a free day of fishing during Roaring River State Park's annual fall Kids' Fishing Day on Saturday, Aug. 20. The event, which will also offer an assortment of outdoor education classes, will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Children who are 15 years of age or younger are invited to take part in Kids' Fishing Day. Participants will receive free daily trout fishing tags, stringers, fish posters, fishing activity coloring books and an assortment of educational materials. Fishing tags and gift bags can be picked up at the Roaring River Hatchery on Friday or during the event.
A portion of the stream will be reserved for youth participating in Kids' Fishing Day. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment.
Parents are invited to help kids, but only one pole may be used between the helper and the child. Adults will not be allowed to fish in the reserved area by themselves.
Free hotdogs, chips and soda, provided by Jim Rogers and Roaring River Concessions, will be served to children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition to enjoying a free day of fishing, kids and their parents are invited to participate in a variety of outdoor education classes that will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Youngsters who attend at least two classes will have the opportunity to choose from among a variety of prizes. Kids who attend more than two classes will be entered into a drawing for an assortment of larger prizes.
The drawing will be held during closing ceremonies, which are scheduled to begin around 5 p.m. Kids must be present to win a prize.
A prize package that includes a one-night stay at the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center and dinner at the Roaring River Restaurant will also be awarded to a parent attending the event with their child.
Outdoor conservation classes, which will be offered in conjunction with Kids' Fishing Day, are listed below.
* Fly Casting, 9 a.m. David Waugh, who is certified by the national Fly Fishing Federation as a fly fishing instructor and serves as Roaring River Concessions manager, will teach basic casting techniques.
* Fish Cleaning, 9:30 a.m. Instructors Ron Moffet and Chuck Knapp will give a hands-on demonstration on preparing trout for cooking.
* Macroinvertebrates, 9:30 a.m. Rick Horton, of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), will teach students about the function and importance of macroinvertebrates in the Roaring River stream.
*Air Rifle Target Shooting, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Instructors Dan Nelson, David Callahan and James Lea will give students instruction on safely handling a rifle. Youngsters will also have the opportunity to sharpen their shooting skills during the class.
* Archery, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Chris Berry, who works for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, serves as a hunting guide and is known as a world class competitor, will offer a hands-on lesson in basic archery. Berry is sponsored by Alpine Bows.
* MDC Mobile Aquarium, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Instructors Wes Swee and Ben Havens will be available to answer questions about the aquarium.
* Dutch Oven Cooking, 9 a.m. to noon. Instructor Greg Collier will explain how cowboys and campers use Dutch Ovens.
* Furs and Skulls, 10 to 11 a.m. Shannon Ostertag, a taxidermist from Monett, will share his fur and skull collection with youngsters attending the workshop.
* Tree identification, 10 to 11 a.m. Instructor Julie Fraley will teach children how to identify different Missouri trees.
* Your Watershed, 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. Instructor Tammy Yelden will share information on how people impact surface water and the watershed. A model will be available that displays how point source and non-point source pollution affects water bodies.
* Snakes Alive, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Roaring River Assistant Naturalist Cheyne Matzenbacher will teach students about the natural history of snakes. Live specimens will be available.
* Fly Tying and Casting, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. MAKO Fly Fishing Club members will perform fly-tying demonstrations and work with kids one on one to teach fly casting.
* Critter Stamp Headbands, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to make and decorate their own headbands.
* Stream Table Display, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Rick Horton will conduct an ongoing display to illustrate the hydraulics of a stream. The effects of channeling and digging will be shown, and bank stabilization methods will be demonstrated.
* Fisheries Biology, 10:30 a.m. Rick Horton, who works as a fisheries biologist for MDC in Neosho, will share information on the unique characteristics of many different species of Missouri fish, their habits, where they live and their physiology.
* Fish Cleaning, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Ron Moffet and Charles Knapp will hold hands-on demonstrations on preparing trout, bluegill and catfish for cooking.
* Fish Cooking, 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Instructor Rod May, Neosho National Fish Hatchery assistant manager, will demonstrate frying and grilling methods for cooking trout and catfish.
* How to Fish Roaring River, 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Instructor Marvin Farwell, who is an experienced fisherman, will teach students about baits that are legal for each fishing zone in Roaring River. He will also show kids what type of knot to use to tie on a hook, how to rig a pole and how to fish with various types of bait and lures.
* Fly Tying, 2 to 3 p.m. Charlie Stock, who is a professional fly tyer and owner of Mid-West Flies, will work with kids one on one to help them tie their own flies.
* Hatchery Tour, 2 p.m. Cheyne Matzenbacher will teach students about the geology of Missouri's 20th largest spring, the history of Roaring River State Park and hatchery, the life cycle of the trout and how the fish are raised and stocked in the stream.
* Knot Tying, 2:30 p.m. Instructor Caleb Beuterbaugh will teach students how to tie the fisherman's knot and the Palomar knot.
* Fly Casting, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Charlie Stock will teach basic casting techniques.
Volunteers are needed for the fall Kids' Fishing Day. Volunteers do not need to be experienced anglers.
For more information or to volunteer, call the Roaring River Hatchery at 847-2430.