TFFC Hosts First Deaf Day and Picnic Event April 15

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ATHENS — The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) is pleased to announce a brand-new, daylong event on Saturday, April 15. The first-ever Deaf Day and Picnic at the TFFC will run during the center’s regular hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with a variety of family-friendly activities. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnic, try their hand at fishing with loaner gear provided by TFFC and enjoy a fun spring day.

"The outdoors are for everyone,” said Tom Lang, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center director.  “We’re excited to be able to offer this enhanced opportunity and further welcome and include members of the Deaf community.”

Families attending the event pay the group all-access admission rate of $2.50. Tyler Junior College (TJC) will provide American Sign Language Interpreters on site and stationed at all TFFC’s regular programs, including the dive show, tram tour and at the angler’s pavilion at Lake Zebco.

“These [TJC] students and their committed leader are a wonderful representation of our community,” said Kate Barkalow, TFFC education coordinator. “TFFC is proud to be a part of their efforts. We’re excited to find new opportunities for more people to discover that life is better outside, especially when fishing!”

Located in Athens, TFFC includes a working fish hatchery, 300,000 gallons of aquaria focusing on underwater wildlife in the state, recreational fishing ponds and fisheries science exhibits. It is home to the Toyota ShareLunker program, which invites anglers to donate 13-pound-plus-sized largemouth bass for research and breeding purposes. TFFC also houses the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, which honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to freshwater fishing in Texas.

The Texas Game Warden Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of the organization and current TPWD game warden operations, is also located at the TFFC. In addition, TFFC facilitates the annual Fish Art Contest in Texas, which is part of a conservation education program designed to spark the imaginations of students while providing valuable lessons about fish and the importance of conserving Texas’ aquatic resources.

The center operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For additional information about TFFC and to plan your visit, check out the TFFC website and Facebook page.