Lake stocked, volunteers ready for 17th annual Kids Fishing Day

An improved Kellogg Lake will be waiting for the upwards of 2,000 young people at the 17th Annual Kids Fishing Day on Saturday, June 9.
Volunteers with the Kellogg Lake Board have been working hard over the past year to clear some of the overgrown areas along the banks of the lake and create new areas for people to set up to fish.
October 2017 was a big month for the Board and volunteers.
The Board worked with Schrader Excavating to break open the banks to the long-isolated rearing pond at the northeast corner of Kellogg Lake to try to refresh the water that tends to stagnate in that little pond.
They also cleared and leveled the banks of the rearing pond so people can fish more easily in both directions.
On a separate work day, the Kellogg Lake Board members and volunteers with the Leggett & Platt wire mill worked to clear brush and trees from the fishing jetty on the north side of the lake, making that more accessible as well.
A $2,500 grant from the Carthage Community Foundation helped pay for all those improvements.
All these changes mean more room for the 1,000 to 2,000 young people and their families that will come to Kellogg Lake Saturday morning to stretch out and get their hooks in the water.
Kevin Badgley, with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said Kids Fishing Day is a chance for young people to catch a big one in the lake or learn about the lake, the water in it, the fish, the forests and the other resources in Kellogg Lake and around Carthage.
Badgley said tables and exhibits will be set up through the park with lessons about everything from fur-bearing animals to fly-tying.
Children can register at the pavilion on the west bank of the lake. They'll receive a piece of paper and they can go to the different booths and get that paper stamped.
When they return the sheet proving they've been to most of the booths, they'll be eligible for a drawing for a prize to he held at noon.
“They can learn what a true gem Kellogg Lake Nature Park really is,” Badgley said. “It's got great support from the city, also businesses and different groups that have given their heart and soul to this, including the volunteers here with the Kellogg Lake Committee.”
Residents should know that Kellogg Lake is closed to fishing by the public this week in advance of the big day on Saturday.
But Badgley said after noon on Saturday and for the rest of the weekend, anyone can come out and fish, even if they do not have a fishing license.
“Everyone can come and enjoy the day, and as long as the families are there fishing with the children, they can enjoy a free weekend of fishing not only on that Saturday, but all day on Sunday,” Badgley said. “It's free fishing weekend throughout the entire state of Missouri. Not only can you fish the river, but also the lake and all the ponds all through the area.”
The Department of Conservation and the Carthage Rotary Club have combined to stock the lake with more than 1,000 new catfish for the event.
Jackie Boyer, a member of the Kellogg Lake Board and the Rotary Club, said club will also be serving a free lunch to all participants.
“Rotary volunteers do the cooking of the hot dogs for the refreshment area, so we usually have a large contingent, usually somewhere between 13 and 18 Rotarians show up and do the cooking that day,” Boyer said. “It's something our club enjoys doing.”
Weather permitting, parking will be available in the grass west of the lake. Many of the roads in the park will be closed to allow the crowd to move freely.