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Fishing can be fun and easy, but do you know how to clean that fish so you can cook it for dinner?

The Missouri Department of Conservation says the quality of cleaning and care of fresh-caught fish can determine how good they taste. MDC is offering a free fish cleaning clinic from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, at Mozingo Lake on the outskirts of Maryville.

Brandon Johnson, MDC community education assistant says “This fish cleaning clinic is for more experienced anglers because we will be covering things like prepping fish for cleaning, different types of ways to clean fish, and how to store fish after cleaning.”

Johnson says to clean a fish means to prepare the flesh for cooking. Sometimes the meat is filleted off the bones. Fish can also be cleaned whole. Bony filets from fish such as carp can be scored for cooking in hot oil, which softens or dissolves the bones. Keeping dressed fish cool and clean is important, too. This clinic will teach the safe and efficient ways to turn the catch into table fare.

The clinic is open to participants ages 7 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants ages 16 to 65 will need a valid Missouri fishing permit. COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed. Registration is required. To register, visit