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Local Partners Boost Tarrant County Fishing
Additional partners sought for similar projects statewide
ATHENS—Thanks to the Sportmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust, fishing will be better than ever in Tarrant County this year.
The two organizations recently became partners with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program, which stocks fish into small urban lakes located in residential areas.
“Neighborhood Fishin’ aims to give Texas families a good place to fish close to where they live,” said Dave Terre, TPWD’s director of research and management for Inland Fisheries. “We estimate that more than 50,000 people a year participate in the program, and more than half of those are children. Connecting kids to the outdoors through fishing makes them happier and healthier, and they do better in school. Outdoor lifestyles also strengthen families.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) began stocking channel catfish the week of April 23 into several DFW-area lakes that are part of the Neighborhood Fishin’ program.
Stocking is a key component of Neighborhood Fishin’, which encourages people to harvest fish and take them home to eat. Channel catfish are stocked from April through October, and rainbow trout are stocked in winter months.
“The financial support from the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust, combined with funds from the Texas Bass Classic Foundation and from local cities and counties, allows us to supplement fish raised at TPWD hatcheries with fish from commercial suppliers,” said Terre. “Having local partners makes the program stronger and larger and allows us to bring more people into fishing.”
“The Neighborhood Fishin’ Program is vital to introducing people to fishing in the DFW area,” said Rafe Brock, TPWD’s Inland Fisheries biologist for the area. “Since DFW is the largest metropolitan area in the state, this program has the potential to create thousands of new anglers who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to have a successful fishing experience. This may spark a curiosity about fishing that will lead them to explore the other great fishing opportunities in the DFW area and throughout the state. Thanks to the generous support of the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust, the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program will continue to create these successful fishing experiences.”
DFW has five Neighborhood Fishin’ sites: South Lakes Park in Denton, City Lake Park in Mesquite, Greenbriar Park in Fort Worth, Chisholm Park in Hurst, and Lakeside Park in Duncanville.
Anyone 17 years or older needs a fishing license to fish at the Neighborhood Fishin’ locations, and anglers can use no more than two poles while fishing. The bag limit for channel catfish is five fish per day with no minimum length limit. Exact dates for stocking may vary and are not announced in advance in order to spread fishing pressure over the entire week.
“We are grateful to the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust for helping us to provide quality fishing opportunities to the millions of people who live in the DFW area,” said Terre. “We would welcome similar partnerships in other areas of the state served by the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program—Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Amarillo, Bryan-College Station, Waco and Wichita Falls.”
Any organization interested in partnering with TPWD on the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program should contact Terre at (512) 389-4855.
The Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to outdoor and wildlife charitable and educational activities with an emphasis on serving area youth. For more information visit http://www.sportsmensclub.org/.
The Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust is a private foundation that concentrates its giving on Fort Worth area youth programs for arts, sports and music.
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