Missouri Department of Conservation staff hosted the first Conservation Youth Camp in Northwest Missouri with 32 area kids at Hartell Conservation Area in Clinton County.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer free classes as part of their Discover Nature—Fishing Program in Northwest Missouri this month with the goal of teaching new anglers the basics of fishing.

Brett Peukert, angler recruitment technician, said the agency will teach four fishing lessons in two evenings with the goal of introducing young people and their families to fishing.

The class is geared to families and individuals that are interested in fishing but have not had the opportunity.

MDC staff and volunteers will provide instruction about fishing equipment, bait, fish ecology, where to fish and how to prepare fish for cooking.

After each classroom session, there will be time for fishing outdoors. The department will provide the fishing equipment or attendees can bring their own.

The department has designed the fishing curriculum and the four classes are as follows:

Lesson One: Equipment, Casting, and Proper Fish Handling

Lesson Two: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook

Lesson Three: Five Common Missouri Fish — Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle

Lesson Four: Fishing with Lures and Fishing Regulations

He said the curriculum builds upon itself and it is encouraged that students attend the entire set of lessons, though it is not required. Participants must take Lesson One and Lesson Two to be eligible for Lesson Three and Lesson Four.

In addition, Bass Pro Shops will provide a $25 gift card to each individual that completes the four lessons.

Peukert said it is mandatory for each youth participant to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 will be offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 15, at the Krug Park Lagoon in St. Joseph, and Lesson 3 and Lesson 4 will be offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at the Krug Park Lagoon.

Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 will be held again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 22, at Hartell Conservation Area in Clinton County, and Lesson 3 and Lesson 4 will be offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at Hartell Conservation Area.

Pre-registration is required by the day of the event.

Peukert said the conservation department is accepting volunteers that would like to help participants during the classes.

To sign up for a Discover Nature—Fishing class, or to watch for other scheduled fishing classes and special events, visit For more information, call the MDC Northwest Regional Office at 816-271-3100.