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West Plains Public Library

Rod and Reel Loan Program

For more information on this program, please visit or call the library.


Started in memory of local rural firefighter Jeff Thompson, who was killed in the line of duty in October 1999; West Plains Public Library was the first library in the state of Missouri to participate in the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program. West Plains Public Library, the Thompson Family, Sunrise Rotary and Mary Scott, of the Missouri Department of Conservation, have partnered to bring this amazing program to the public. 

     Everyone can have access to fishing! First time borrowers will receive a small tackle box with basic fishing gear, the box is theirs to keep. This national program began in 1992 and became an instant success throughout the country.


“Fishing was a cheap way to spend time with family and enjoy the outdoors, and with any luck net a meal for our efforts. Whether it was a pond, creek, stream, or a lake, Jeff always enjoyed wetting a hook. Any species was fair game, whether it was bass, trout, catfish or panfish.  The end result was almost always the same…an ear-to-ear grin. Our family learned of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s loaner tackle program sometime after Jeff’s death, and we jumped at the chance to help with it.  We figured there was no better way to honor Jeff than to help promote fishing, hoping others could enjoy the same quality time we did.”  -Jim & Sarah Thompson

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