Rainbow trout swim in a rearing pond at Montauk State Park's hatchery facility. 

A statewide program from the Missouri Department of Conversation is providing a series of free instructional fishing clinics this month in south-central Missouri.

The sessions are aimed at children ages 7-15 but aren’t solely for children. Entire families may register for the two-hour clinics.

Participants don’t have to take all four classes, but must take the first lesson before registering for any of the other three. The topics of the four clinics are:

•Lesson one: Equipment, casting, proper fish handling.

•Lesson two: How to tie a knot and bait a hook.

•Lesson three: Five common Missouri fish – their anatomy, habitats and life cycles.

•Lesson four: Fishing with lures, fishing regulation.

Upcoming classes in the region are:

•Aug. 8 –– Bray Conservation Area, Rolla (Lessons 1 and 2), 6-8 p.m.

•Aug. 9 –– MDC Ozark Regional Office, West Plains (Lessons 3 and 4), 5:30-7:30 p.m.

•Aug. 12 –– MDC Ozark Regional Office (Lessons 1 and 2), 6-8 p.m.

•Aug. 15 –– Bray Conservation Area (Lessons 3 and 4), 6-8 p.m.

•Aug. 17 –– MDC Ozark Regional Office (Lessons 3 and 4), 6-8 p.m.

•Aug. 22 –– Fort Leonard Wood Outdoor Adventure Center (Lessons 1 and 2), 5-7 p.m.

•Aug. 24 –– MDC Twin Pines Education Center, Winona (Lessons 1 and 2), 10 a.m. – noon.

Register for the classes by calling 417-256-7161. Information about other upcoming classes can be found at mdc.mo.gov.

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