If spring weather and the prospect of a fresh-fish dinner are not enough to convince state residents to go fishing, the Missouri Department of Conservation has an added incentive -- Free Fishing Days June 9 and 10.
The weekend after the first Monday in June is always Free Fishing Days.
In conjunction with Free Fishing Days in Missouri, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a Kid's Fishing Derby for children 12 years old and younger at the Commission's Jim Hinkle/Spring River State Fish Hatchery June 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Jim Hinkle/Spring River State Fish Hatchery is located 2.5 miles south of Mammoth Spring at the end of State Highway 342.
Children will be fishing in the hatchery's stocked ponds for rainbow trout.
Anglers must bring their own bait and tackle. Derby Rules are: free fishing for kids 12 years old and under; limit three fish per child; no culling; only one rod and reel per child; and adults cannot fish. Adult supervision is required.
For more information contact the hatchery toll free at 877-625-7521.
Free Fishing Days is the Missouri Department of Conservation's way of thanking citizens for their support and encouraging people to get out and enjoy some of the nation's best and most abundant fishing opportunities.
Through the purchase of hunting and fishing permits and the one-eighth of 1 percent conservation sales tax, Missourians support a network of lake and stream fishing access areas and community lakes statewide.
On Free Fishing Days, all anglers need to enjoy fishing on state waters is a fishing pole and bait.
Do remember, however, that requirements for special permits still apply at some county, city or private fishing areas.
Areas open to free fishing June 9 and 10 include Missouri's four trout parks, Conservation Department-managed community lakes, Lake of the Ozarks, Thomas Hill Reservoir and reservoirs operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Don't forget Missouri's superb trout streams, including the Current, Eleven Point and North Fork rivers.
If the possibility of landing an enormous catfish appeals to you, consider the Missouri, Mississippi and Osage rivers.
Missouri residents and nonresidents alike can fish without state permits on Free Fishing Days.
However, normal regulations, such as limits on the size and number of fish that can be kept, remain in effect, and Free Fishing Days is no excuse for unauthorized trespassing.
Regulations are outlined in the 2007 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations. The free booklets are available at bait shops and other places where fishing equipment is sold.
Some private fishing areas still require permits on Free Fishing Days.
Many state-owned fishing areas have special facilities for anglers with handicaps.