Bowfishing class for youths, beginners June 14, 16 in Missouri

SPANISH LAKE, Mo. – There’s more than one way to catch a fish. How about trading a rod and reel for a bow and arrow?

The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering a two-day bowfishing basics class June 14 and 16 at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake for ages 11 and up. This introductory program is for beginners who want to learn how to get started in the sport. By using archery equipment and methods, bowfishing merges aspects of both fishing and hunting.

Day one will take place at Columbia Bottom on Thursday, June 14 from 6-8 p.m. The class will cover topics that include safety, proper gear, fish ID, regulations, and ethics. All participants who attend the first day will have the opportunity to use MDC-provided gear, with guidance from staff naturalists the second day. Participants are welcome to use their own equipment, too.

Day two will be Saturday, June 16 from 8 a.m.-noon. It will offer a field experience in which the new bowfishers can put into practice techniques learned in the classroom. Location will depend on weather, water levels and accessibility.

All participants must attend day one to take part in day two. A valid fishing or hunting permit is also required, although those 15 years of age or younger, or 65 years of age or older, are exempt.

The program is free but advanced registration is required by going online at

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in north St. Louis County. The area can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive Exit from I-270 and travelling north approximately 3 miles.

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