The Missouri Department of Conservation has announced a resumption of in-person, outdoor programs in the metro area in July as well as continued virtual programs. Conservation Department facilities have been closed since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in the centers that will resume programming are Burr Oak Woods in Blue Springs, the Lake City shooting range and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City.
Those participating in the events are asked to maintain social distancing from persons not in their family and to wear a mask for the protection of all.
The buildings at the MDC facilities will remain closed, but temporary toilet facilities will be provided. Persons visiting the centers will need to bring their own drinking water and hand sanitizer.
A full listing of events is at https://mdc.mo.gov/regions/kansas-city.
• Shotgun – 5-Stand: Noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Lake City Shooting Range, 28505 E. Truman Road. The department says this "combination of trap, skeet, and sporting clays affords the challenge of all three games but with less walking." Bring your own shotgun. No registration required. Weather permitting.
• Aquatics: Pond Life virtual program, 2 to 3 p.m. July 14 at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center; register by July 9. A virtual exploration of the pond at Burr Oak Woods.
• Virtual Fishing Basics (Webex virtual program): 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July 18; register by July 16. Learn about what to consider before your first fishing outing. A discussion of gear, regulations, permits and more.
• Catching Catfish with Rod and Reel, 6 to 10 p.m. July 18 at the W. Robert Aylward Education Pond at Burr Oak Woods. Register by July 17. The pond and pavilion are south of the nature center. For ages 7 and older; those under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Learn how to catch channel, flathead and blue catfish. Then try your luck with a fishing opportunity. Afterward, learn how to clean a catfish and sample a couple of catfish recipes during a cooking demonstration. No fishing permit required to fish at this event.
• Effective Wingshooting, 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 1, Lake City Shooting Range. Improve your wing shooting skills using non-toxic shot. Learn the proper way to select the best ammunition and choke combination for different migratory and upland game bird hunting.
Learn to fish
The Conservation Department also is offering a four-part, in-person course on the basics of fishing. They are at Prairie Hollow Lake at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area, 12405 S.E. Ranson Road, Lee’s Summit.
This is for ages 5 and up; those 5 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please observe social distancing. Fishing equipment, bait and lures will be provided. No fishing license required.
• Lesson 1: 9:30 a.m. to noon, July 18; register by July 17. Lesson 1 covers equipment, casting and proper fish handling, and it includes hands-on fishing.
• Lesson 2: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 22. "How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook" combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks. Fishing equipment, bait and lures will be provided.
• Lessons 3 and 4: 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 29; register by July 28. Lesson 3 is on the anatomy, habitat and life cycles of largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Lesson 4 is on fishing with lures and fishing regulations.