GOMO calendar returns with events for birders, fly fishermen in January

Jan. 5—The days are getting longer, but ever so slightly. The dark and cold are no reason not enjoy the outdoors, however.

Our GOMO (Get Out More Often) calendar returns, with a birder's bonanza of events for January.

Roaring River offers a fly fishing class, and Hobbs State Park brings back its astronomy night.


Intro to Fly Tying

A class on tying flies will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin's Wildcat Park.

It will be led by Shoal Creek staff and MAKO fly fishers who will continue a fly-tying series designed for the beginner and expert alike. They will be going over equipment and supplies needed to tie an elk-hair caddis. All materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own vice and tools. Register at

For information, call 417-629-3434.

Project Feeder Watch

The Missouri Department of Conservation's Project FeederWatch will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and again Jan. 24-25 at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center.

There's no registration for the two-day event.

Department staff and program participants will record bird sightings at feeders at the Shoal Creek area on both days, and people will get information on how they can watch for and record birds they see around their homes and in their neighborhoods. These citizen sightings are the foundation of Project FeederWatch.

Project FeederWatch is joint effort of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada. The project's name describes the primary way data is collected from across the U.S. and from much of Canada from people who watch birds that come to their feeders and record the various species they see. This data is sent to ornithologists and biologists across the continent.

Bring binoculars for bird identification. To find out more about this event, call 417-629-3434.

Astronomy Night

Hobbs State Park east of Rogers, Arkansas, offers night-sky viewing with the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13.

It begins with an indoor program and moves outdoors at 5:30 p.m. Participants will be observing the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, the winter constellations Orion and Taurus, and the stars of the Pleiades. Organizers suggest participants bring a flashlight covered with a red cloth or red balloon, a folding chair, binoculars and a star chart if they have one. Club members will bring telescopes to share with the public, or help participants set theirs up.

Intro to fly fishing

The Missouri Department of Conservation hold a class on fly fishing for trout from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Roaring River Hatchery in Roaring River State Park.

The class will be led by Shoal Creek staff and MAKO fly fishers; the program is designed for the beginner and expert alike. The class will cover basic fly-casting skills, simple fly-tying patterns, what flies and lures to use, and other strategies to catch more fish species, including trout. Participants will have the opportunity to practice their skills and try out that new fly as Roaring River is open that Saturday to catch-and-release fishing.

Register at

Birds and breakfast

Ornithologists will be capturing and banding songbirds from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the education pavilion near the visitor center at Hobbs State Park, east of Rogers, Arkansas.

Breakfast snacks and hot beverages will be provided.

Winter Bird Walk

There will be a bird walk from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Cardinal Valley Wetland in Webb City, 2100 N. Madison St.

People can join Missouri Department of Conservation staff for World Wetland Day to learn about winter waterfowl and the importance of wetlands in Missouri. This is an easy walk with flat natural surfaces and is less than 1 mile. Bring binoculars to see waterfowl and other birds up close. Dress for the weather.

Andy Ostmeyer is the editor at The Joplin Globe. His email address is