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Roaring River park prepares to host Kids Fishing Day

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

By LINDSAY REED

Roaring River State Park is gearing up to serve around 1,700 young anglers on Kids Fishing Day, which is scheduled to be held Saturday, May 16.

"We have 1,700 Kids Fishing Day bags prepared for this year's events," said Jerry Dean, Roaring River hatchery manager. "Our record is 1,750 kids, so we are prepared to make more bags if we need to."

Around 4,500 fish will be stocked in the Roaring River stream for this year's kids event. Dean also plans to add around 50 lunkers to the water for the young anglers.

The 2009 Kids Fishing Day event will run from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. A section of the steam from the hatchery to the first low water bridge at the entrance of the park will be reserved for kids fishing during the day.

Free trout tags and other gifts will be available for kids, 15 and younger. Children should bring their own fishing equipment to the event.

A lunch of hotdogs, chips and sodas will be provided by Roaring River Concessions, at no cost, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Volunteers from the Cassville Walmart Supercenter will take photos of children with their catch in two locations on the stream. Free photo prints will be available at Walmart on Sunday, May 17.

During fishing breaks, kids can also enjoy hatchery tours and fishing seminars with their parents. Kids Fishing Day classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outdoor conservation classes are listed below.

* Fly Casting, 9 a.m. David Waugh, who is certified by the national Fly Fishing Federation as a fly fishing instructor and manages the Roaring River CCC Lodge and Roaring River Inn, will teach basic casting techniques.

* Fish Cleaning, 9:30 a.m. Ron Moffett, a long-time fisherman, will give a hands-on demonstration on preparing trout for cooking.

* Ozark Cave Fish, 9:30 a.m. Blake Stephens, who works for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in Neosho, will teach students about the habitat and threats to the endangered Ozark Cave Fish.

* How to Build a Campfire, 9:30 a.m. Brad Russell, who works for MDC at Chesapeake Hatchery, will teach students how to safely build and maintain a campfire.

* Air Rifle Target Shooting, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mike Peterson, of MDC, and Chris Landstad, of the Roaring River Hatchery, will give students instruction on safely handling a rifle. Students will also have an opportunity to practice their shooting skills.

* Archery, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Chris Berry, who works for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and is a hunting guide and world class competitor, will teach basic archery skills.

* Snakes Alive, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Roaring River Assistant Naturalist Cheyne Matzenbacher will teach students about the natural history of snakes. Live specimens will be available.

* Fly Tying and Casting, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. MAKO Fly Fishing Club members will perform fly-tying demonstrations and work with kids one on one to teach fly casting.

* Critter Stamp Headbands, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Peggy Dittmar and Char Pipolo will help children make and decorate their own headbands.

* Stream Table Display, 10 a.m. to noon. Ron Bullard, who works for MDC in Springfield, will conduct an ongoing display to illustrate the hydraulics of a stream. The effects of channeling and digging will be shown and bank stabilization methods will be demonstrated.

* An Introduction to Missouri's Amphibians, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sarah Havens, who is working on her master's degree at the University of Missouri, will show students some of the common amphibians that are found in Roaring River State Park. The class will also provide information on the adversity amphibians are facing in Missouri and around the world.

* Aquatic Entomology, 10:30 a.m. Rick Horton, who works for MDC as a fishery biologist in Neosho, will help students identify the types of insects that live in the stream and how the insects relate to fish as food organisms. He will also share information on which flies are tied to imitate the stream insects.

* Jig Tying, 11 a.m. Jerry Dudley, an experienced fisherman and jig maker, will teach students to tie their own jigs and demonstrate jig fishing methods using an aquarium.

* Fish Cleaning, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Brad Farwell, who works for MDC at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in Branson, will hold hands-on demonstrations on preparing trout, bluegill and catfish for cooking.

* Fish Cooking, 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Rod May, Neosho National Fish Hatchery assistant manager, will demonstrate frying and grilling methods for cooking catfish and trout.

* Project ID For Kids, 11:30 a.m. Tammy Callahan, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police in Southwest Missouri, will fingerprint children in a Project ID Handbook that parents can keep or send in to be registered with the FBI. She will be assisted by Missy and Tim Morris.

* How to Fish Roaring River, 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Marvin Farwell, who works for MDC at the Roaring River Hatchery and is an experienced fisherman, will teach students about baits that are legal for each fishing zone in Roaring River. He will also show kids what type of knot to use to tie on a hook, how to rig a pole and how to fish with various types of bait and lures.

* Make Your Own T-Shirt, 1 to 3 p.m. Rebecca Bishop will help kids color iron on "Trout Day" transfers created by Cassville Middle School students Skyler Branham and Chantel Martin, who won this year's youth art contest. Volunteers will be available to apply the finished transfer to a free T-shirt. Only 300 transfers and T-shirts will be available.

* Fisheries Biology, 1:30 p.m. Rick Horton, who works as a fisheries biologist for MDC in Neosho, will share information on the unique characteristics of many different species of Missouri fish, their habits, where they live and their physiology.

* Fly Tying, 2 to 3 p.m. Charlie Stock, who is a professional fly tier and owner of Mid-West Flies, will work with kids one on one to help them tie their own fly.

* Knot Tying, 2:30 p.m. Kevin Asbury, Roaring River Hatchery assistant manager, will teach students how to tie the Fisherman's knot and the Palomar knot.

* Hatchery Tour, 2:30 p.m. Matzenbacher will teach students about the geology of Missouri's 20th largest spring, the history of Roaring River State Park and hatchery, the life cycle of the trout and how the fish are raised and stocked in the stream.

* Knife Sharpening, 2:30 p.m. Jay D. Browning, a long-time Roaring River angler, and Dennis Browning, MDC Pony Express District wildlife management biologist, will show kids the right way to sharpen a knife. Students should bring their own pocket knife to sharpen.

* Fly Casting, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Charlie Stock will



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