Missouri Offering Free Kayak Clinic in July!

Kayaks are becoming popular boats for people who enjoy fishing area streams and those who simply like to relax by spending a day paddling a local waterway.

People who want to learn more about kayaking and also enjoy an afternoon float will have opportunities at two Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) free programs in July.

On July 20, people can learn more about kayaking and fishing on lakes at “Kayaking: Introduction to Flatwater Kayaking.” This event, which will be from 3:30-6 p.m., will be at Rinquelin Trail Lake Conservation Area in Maries County. Participants will meet at the Joe Hanauer Lake Boat Ramp. During the on-shore portion of this program, MDC Conservation Educator Dwight Warnke discuss kayak basics and paddling techniques. Then participants can take to the water of Hanauer Lake, a 29-acre reservoir on the Rinquelin Area, to test their paddling skills. Fishing poles and bait will be provided to those who wish to experience fishing from a kayak. People can also bring their own fishing equipment. Participants age 16-64 must possess a valid fishing permit if they choose to fish. COVID procedures will be practiced for the on-shore portion of this event. People can register at:


Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided. Closed-toed shoes are required and social distancing will be practiced. This program is for ages 13 and up. Those younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

More information about this program can be obtained by e-mailing Dwight.Warnke@mdc.mo.gov.

On July 22, people can learn the basics of kayaking and enjoy a float on a beautiful southern Missouri stream at MDC program “Kayaking: Kayaking and Fishing on the Big Piney River.” This program will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is open to ages 12 and up. It will begin at MDC’s Boiling Springs Access (Texas County). Participants younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult that is also registered for the event. People can register at:


Participants in this program will need to bring a sack lunch, wear close-toed shoes, and clothing that is okay to get wet. The instructional portion of the event will start at 9 a.m. at Boiling Springs Access (15268 Highway BB, Licking). At this location, participants will receive instructions on kayaking basics from MDC Conservation Educator Travis Mills. COVID procedures will be in effect for this portion of the program.

After the instructional portion is finished, people can get in a kayak and enjoy a six-mile float on the Big Piney. (The float will go from Boiling Springs Access to MDC’s Mason Bridge Access.) Kayaks, lifejackets, and paddles will be provided. Some fishing gear will be available for those wishing to fish, but people can also bring their own fishing equipment. Participants should wear closed-toed shoes and bring sunscreen, lunch, snacks and plenty of drinking water.

People should be off the water by approximately 5 p.m. and they will be shuttled back to their vehicles. More information about this program can be obtained by e-mailing William.Mills@mdc.mo.gov.

These July kayaking programs are examples of the in-person and virtual programs MDC staff are putting on across the state. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/events.