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Free Family Fishing Continues in Texas With Special Events in State Parks June 5
AUSTIN, Texas — Today’s tech-savvy kids may know how to tie up the line between cell phones and Instant Messenger, but can they cast a line? A fishing line, that is.
As part of National Fishing and Boating Week June 5 -13, the Texas Parks and Wildlife department is gearing up for family fishing events across Texas. This year, the annual free fishing day and national weekly observance coincide with TPWD’s Family Fishing Celebration, designed to encourage folks to try out fishing.
Several State Parks will offer fishing tournaments, contests and prizes for children and adults. Many events are free, and no fishing license is required within more than 70 Texas State Parks as part of the Family Fishing Celebration, which lasts all summer long. June 5 is also Free Fishing Day in Texas, when anyone can fish with no fishing license required anywhere in Texas, not just in state parks.
Free Fishing Day falls within the national weeklong family celebration of fishing and boating observed by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization to increase awareness about recreational boating and angling as well as protect water resources to make these activities available in the future.
Even though a fishing license is not required, state park entrance and camping fees still apply at each of the state parks listed below which events are being held.
- Inks Lake State Park — Go Fishing with a Ranger — May 22, 29; June 5, 12, 19, 26 — After a brief safety and basic skills instruction, children will get a chance to go fishing with park rangers and camp hosts. A limited amount of fishing equipment is provided, or you can bring your own. Adults are requested to attend with small children or with large groups. Space is limited; meet at the park store. 6-7 p.m. (512) 793-2223.
- Cooper Lake State Park/South Sulphur Unit — Kids Fishing Day — June 5 — Bring your fishing equipment and join in the fun. Open to kids 12 and younger. There will be drawings for prizes. 9-11 a.m. (903) 395-3100. (903) 945-5256.
- Fairfield Lake State Park — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — June 5 — Open to kids 15 and younger with prizes and awards given. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the day-use/swimming area; derby from 8 a.m.-noon. (903) 389-4514.
- Lake Arrowhead State Park — 12th Annual Kids Fishing Tournament — June 5 — Kids ages 3-16 are eligible to enter. Bring your own fishing pole. A limited number of fishing poles will be available to those who do not have one. Bait will also be available while supplies last. Prizes, donated by local businesses, awarded in different age groups. Sign up at the Group Dining Hall; 2-4 p.m. (940) 528-2211.
- Lake Arrowhead State Park — Annual Rough Fish Contest — June 5 — Prizes, donated by local businesses, will be awarded for the biggest fish caught in this event. Fees collected will benefit our Lone Star Legacy Endowment. For ages 17 and older; sign up at the Group Dining Hall; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; fee $2 per person. (940) 528-2211.
- Lake Livingston State Park — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — June 5 — This is a fishing event for children up to age 16 featuring a fishing contest with prizes for the biggest fish and a casting contest for the best and most accurate cast. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (936) 365-2201.
- Martin Dies, Jr. State Park — 14th Annual Kids Fish Flop Tournament — June 5 — Open to kids 16 years and younger. Prizes in three age categories: 6 and younger, 7-11, and 12-16. Tournament desk located at the Walnut ridge boat ramp. 8 a.m.-noon; reservations required (409) 384-5231.
- McKinney Falls State Park — TPWD Kids Fishing Derby — June 5 — Bring your kids to learn new fishing skills. Earn a Junior Angler pin and compete for prizes. Bait and some loaner equipment provided. Park entrance fee waived for adults bringing children to event. 8 a.m.-noon (512) 243-1643.
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park/Isle du Bois Unit — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — June 5 — Open to kids 15 and younger with goodie bags, door prizes, casting contest, and "Big Fish" Contest. Participants should bring their own fishing gear. Event is free; park entry fees apply. 9 a.m.-noon (940) 686-2148.
- Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center — Junior Angler Adventure — June 5 — In celebration of National Fishing Week, urban kids are invited to a fun-filled day of fishing and learning about the wonders of aquatic habitat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; children’s admission fee waived for this event (903) 676-BASS.
- Sea Center Texas — Free Fishing Day Youth Fishing — June 5 — This event is open to guests 16 years old and younger accompanied by an adult. Pack your sunscreen, hat, lawn chair and fishing gear for a morning of catch and release fishing at our marine fish hatchery and visitor education center on Free Fishing Day. Anglers must bring their own gear and bait with barb-less hooks. No artificial bait or treble hooks. Volunteers and staff will be on-hand to assist first-time anglers. 8 a.m. — 10 a.m. (979) 292-0100.
- Landmark Inn State Historic Site — 2nd Annual Catfish Kid Fish — July 17 — A free fishing event for children ages 4-16, with all tackle supplied by park staff. Adults must accompany children; no license required but catch limits enforced. 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.; fee $2 adults, children free; reservations for optional fishing sessions to guarantee entry may be made by calling before 5 p.m. July 15. (830) 931-2133.
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