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Family Events Highlight Free Fishing Day June 2
AUSTIN, Texas — A "Free Sportfishing Day" will highlight National Fishing and Boating Week, allowing anglers to fish any public waters in Texas without a fishing license on Saturday, June 2.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials said the special day in this state, authorized by the Texas Legislature, is intended to promote fishing and encourage people to enjoy the state’s fishing resources. Both resident and nonresident recreational anglers will be allowed to fish without a license and will not be required to have special stamps such as the saltwater or freshwater fishing stamps.
The seventh annual National Fishing and Boating Week is June 2-10 with thousands of local events in communities across the country. Events will provide hands-on opportunities for families and friends to share fun, quality time together while learning about two of our nation’s favorite pastimes — boating and fishing.
Numerous youth fishing activities are scheduled around the state during National Fishing and Boating Week, including special fishing events in state parks and fish stockings in community lakes. Park entry and facility use fees will still apply for those who wish to fish in state parks. Camping reservations are recommended.
National Fishing and Boating Week is a key component of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s national awareness campaign, Take Me Fishing. Funded by the federal government’s Sport Fish Restoration Program, the non-profit Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation was created to increase participation in fishing and boating and focus attention on the need to protect the nation’s aquatic resources.
Similarly, TPWD fisheries and state park officials began the Free Fishing in State Parks program a few years ago to encourage folks to fish and visit state parks. The program, which is currently set to run through August 2008 but may be extended for future years, allows anyone to fish inside a Texas state park without a fishing license.
Texas also offers a wide variety of urban fishing opportunities. Fun fishing can be found on the various lakes and along the banks around some of Texas' metropolitan areas — Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Shore and bank fishing sites can be found on many small urban lakes, as well as the bays and the Gulf of Mexico. Some sites have public piers and handicap access, and are set up to accommodate large groups, such as at state parks, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens and Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson.
Following is a calendar of special events coordinated by TPWD during Free Fishing Day on June 2:
Bastrop State Park — Jr. Angler Fishing Clinic — Let's go fishing! Instructors will be teaching the basics of freshwater fishing and giving out prizes. After new anglers complete all learning stations, the kids will become Certified Junior Anglers and we will all go fishing. Open to boys and girls ages 6-13. Fishing rods, reels and bait supplied; bring drinking water, hat, closed-toed shoes, insect repellent and sunblock. Kids should be accompanied by parent or guardian. 9 a.m.-noon (512) 321-2101.
Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway — Fishing Fun — Bring the family and cast your lines for largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie and sunfish in tranquil Lake Theo. There will be a fishing derby for kids 12 and under with prizes awarded in various categories. Fishing license requirements and park entry fees waived for participants. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; call for more information (806) 455-1492.
Cedar Hill State Park — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — Kids can test their fishing skills. Casting, reeling and hitting the target are all part of the fun. Lots of door prizes will be given away at the end of the event. Food and drinks are available for purchase. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (972) 291-3900 Ext. 232
Coastal Conservation Association/Central Power and Light Marine Development Center State Fish Hatchery — National Fishing Day — Come and enjoy an open house to celebrate National Fishing Day. Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art hatchery and learn about the marine stock enhancement program and are invited to participate in catch-and-release fishing in two stocked hatchery ponds. Bring fishing poles and bait due to the limited supply on-site. 8 a.m. noon (361) 939-7784.
Eisenhower State Park — 4-H Kids Fishing Derby — Come and fish beautiful Lake Texoma with the experts for fun, awards and prizes. This is a great way for families to take kids fishing for free with everything provided, including lots of help from expert anglers. Tackle available or bring your own. Fishing 8 a.m.-noon, prizes and activities noon-2 p.m. (903) 465-1956.
Fairfield Lake State Park — 5th Annual Kid's Fishing Derby — Kids ages 2-16 fish for lots of great prizes and enjoy free food and drinks. 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (903) 389-4514.
Lake Arrowhead State Park — 15th Annual Kid Fishing Tournament — Prizes, donated by local businesses, awarded in different age groups. For ages 3-16. A limited number of fishing poles and bait are available. Adults may assist, but not catch fish for kids. Sign up at the Group Dining Hall. 2-4 p.m. Annual Rough Fish Contest — Prizes, donated by local businesses, will be awarded in different categories. For ages 17 and older; sign up at the Group Dining Hall; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; sign up fee $2 per person (940) 528-2211.
Lake Livingston State Park — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — Kids of all ages, join us for some fishing fun and maybe win a prize! There will be prizes awarded in different age groups. Attendees should bring their own tackle. 7 a.m.-noon (936) 365-2201.
Lake Texana State Park — Fishing Fun Day — Celebrate National Free Fishing Day fishing at the Day Pier with a ranger. Bait and cane poles provided; no fishing license needed. Afterwards, come to the Nature Center for more fun with a clinic that includes fish printing, casting, knot tying and fish identification. Fishing 9 a.m.-noon, clinic 2-3:30 p.m. (361) 782-5718.
Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historical Site — Annual Fishing Day — Bring the children for a morning filled with fun, fishing and a fantastic fishing clinic held on the banks of the Pedernales River. Fishing equipment and worms provided or bring your own equipment and favorite bait. There will be drawings for door prizes. This event is co-sponsored with Fredericksburg Wal-Mart. 10 a.m.-noon (830) 644-2252.
Purtis Creek State Park — Adam Reilly's Take a Kid Fishing — Fishing is only half the fun! The day will also include a free hot dog lunch, door prizes, fishing clinics, kid fishing tournament, climbing wall, archery and paddle boats. 8 a.m.-noon (903) 425-2332.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park/Isle du Bois Unit — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — Bring the kids and your equipment, and go fishing at the pier! Enjoy free fishing with door prizes every 20 minutes, free kids goodie bags, angling advice and assistance, exhibits and more. 9 a.m.-noon (940) 686-2148.
Sea Center Texas — Youth Fishing — Be sure to pack sunscreen, hat, lawn chair and fishing gear for a couple of hours of catch-and-release fishing at the marine fish hatchery and visitor education center. This event is open to guests ages 16 and younger should accompanied by an adult. 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. 8-10 a.m. (979) 292-0100.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center — National Fishing Day — Celebrate National Fishing Week with a fun day filled with fishing contests, games, food and door prizes for kids. Regular admission for adults. Children 12 and under free. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. (903) 676-BASS.
On the Net:
- Free Fishing Photos for News Media: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=free_fishing_in_state_parks
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