MISSOURI -- For two days each year there is free fishing in Missouri. On June 12 and 13 anyone can fish in the Show-Me-State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout stamp or trout park daily tag.
Each year the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) designates the weekend after the first Monday in June for permit-optional fishing. An MDC spokesperson said the goal of Free Fishing Days is to encourage people to sample the state's abundant fishing opportunities.
Show-Me-State anglers can fish for stocked rainbow trout in state parks or catch bluegills and catfish at community lakes statewide. Those looking for a special challenge or for solitude can pursue wild trout in specially managed stretches of Ozark streams. The Missouri, Mississippi and Osage rivers harbor monster blue and flathead catfish, and largemouth bass are available at big lakes in every corner of the state. Hefty, torpedo-like muskellunge can be found in a handful of lakes scattered around the state.
Regulations are outlined in the 2004 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations.
The free booklets are available at bait shops and other stores where fishing equipment is sold. Some private fishing areas still require permits on free fishing days and trespass laws remain in effect on private property.