TFFC Outdoor Expo Set for Sept. 24

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ATHENS—The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center(TFFC) is offering visitors on Sept. 24 opportunities to learn about a wide range of outdoor skills and participate in family fun events during its annual Outdoor Expo and Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament. The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Highlighting the event is the Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament, held on the TFFC’s free fishing ponds. Visitors may sign up for the tournament in Anglers Pavilion when they arrive and registration is free. Weigh-in and the awarding of prizes will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the Anglers Pavilion.

Among the many exhibits and activities include: live animal displays featuring reptiles and raptors. The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will present a raptor show at noon and will be conducting walk-around displays on the grounds. Wildlife on the Move will present a variety of interesting creatures at 1 p.m. followed by a see-and-touch session at 3 p.m.

Other exhibits include Dutch oven cooking demonstrations and sampling, hands-on displays featuring skins, tracks and skulls of predator and prey animals and marine life in touch tanks presented by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department coastal fisheries staff.

Visitors can view fish up close in their natural habitats along glass bottom stream aquaria and watch a diver hand-feed fish in the TFFC’s 26,000-gallon dive tank aquarium during shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Purtis Creek State Park staff will teach kayaking skills and water safety, volunteers will teach the basics of fly fishing and fly tying and the Henderson County 4H Club will offer instruction in archery skills.

The event is sponsored by Walmart Supercenter — Athens, Holiday Inn Express-Athens, Aaron’s Sales and Lease, First State Bank, Morrison Supply Co., Friends of TFFC and Friends of Purtis Creek State Park.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, about four miles east of Athens. All expo events are included with paid admission, which is $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors. Children 12 and under will be admitted free to the EXPO and must be accompanied by an adult. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit