JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation has designated the weekend of June 8-9 as Free Fishing Days.
During that Saturday and Sunday, anyone can fish in most of Missouri's lakes, rivers, ponds and streams without having to buy a fishing permit, trout stamp or trout park daily tag.
Other regulations, such as limits on fish size and possession, remain in effect, as do trespassing laws. In addition, some private fishing areas may still require permits.
MDC officials are hoping Free Fishing Days will encourage more people to sample the state's abundant fishing opportunities offered by over a million acres of surface water.
According to the department, more than 200 different fish species are found in Missouri, 40 of which are considered game fish.
The agency claims that recreational fishing provides a billion-dollar economic boost to the state's economy and supports thousands of jobs.
Public fishing areas are available in every county in Missouri, and many state-managed fisheries, including Mozingo Lake near Maryville, have special facilities for anglers with disabilities.
For information on Missouri fishing regulations, permit requirements and fish identification, get a copy of MDC's 2013 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, which is available wherever fishing permits are sold, at all MDC offices and online at mdc.mo.gov/node/11414.
MDC also offers a weekly report from April through September at fishing.mdc.mo.gov that summarizes fishing conditions at selected lakes, rivers and trout parks across Missouri.
Find MOFish is a free mobile phone app from MDC that shows locations of public boat ramps along with locations of underwater fish structures. The utility can be downloaded at mdc.mo.gov/node/15421.