The Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with The James Foundation is hosting Kids’ Fishing Day Saturday.
The event is a day of free fishing and other fun activities for children ages 15 years and younger at Maramec Spring Park, located near St. James. The park will open at 5:30 a.m. with fishing from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
The event is also a chance to see Missouri’s fifth largest spring, enjoy free trout fishing, participate in special drawings and a casting contest with prizes, enjoy free hotdogs and other activities designed to make it a full day of fun for young anglers.
A limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available. Chidlren are encouraged to bring their own fishing poles and equipment.
The entire upper half of the spring branch will be reserved for kids 15 years of age and younger. The Conservation Department will stock rainbow trout throughout the day, so the fish will be biting. Volunteers, along with MDC staff members, will be on hand throughout the event to assist young participants with fishing.
A casting contest will be held at 11 a.m. with prizes to be awarded.
Exhibits, games and activities will be offered from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the area around the registration tent, including fish print T-shirts, critter stamping, a scavenger hunt, a free tree-seedling giveaway, first-fish certificates, a fish cleaning and cooking demonstration and kid’s games. Fishing demonstrations and advice will also be available along the stream.
All cars with participating children can park for free. Kids who want to fish must pick up a free fishing tag at the Mill Field Shelter, located right next to the fishing area. Tag pickup will be available Friday and Saturday.
The event will be held rain or shine.
Kids’ Free Fishing Day is designed to help kids discover fishing and enjoy a day out while glimpsing the park’s spring, which puts out 100 million gallons of water per day.
Maramec Spring Park, owned and operated by The James Foundation, is located on Highway 8 about 6 miles east of St. James. The park’s hatchery is administered by MDC and produces about 100,000 trout each year.
For more information about the event, call the Maramec Spring Hatchery at 573.265.7801, or email Hatchery Manager Wes Swee at Wes.Swee@mdc.mo.gov.