AUSTIN – With spring underway and summer break on the horizon, many Texas families are looking for ways to get outside and connect with nature. In an effort to bring new fishing experiences to families in urban centers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will begin stocking thousands of catfish at 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes and ponds across the state starting April 17-20.
Each of the lakes will receive continuous stockings of channel catfish every few weeks through early November – with a brief pause during the heat of August – to ensure there is plenty of time for families looking to spend quality time together outdoors.
“A recent study in Texas shows that children like nature and overwhelmingly prefer to play outside compared to inside,” said Jennifer Bristol, Texas Children in Nature Coordinator. “The kids interviewed in the Nature of Americans study said they felt happier when they are outside and feel more connected with friends and family. Taking your family fishing at a Neighborhood Fishin’ lake is an easy and fun way to get kids exploring in nature and to make memories with family and friends.”
Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes are located in well-lit, easy-to-access parks near large urban centers such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and eight other well-populated areas of Texas.
“Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Texas,” said Dave Terre, Inland Fisheries Management and Research Chief. “We want to make sure everyone has access, so we are bringing the fish to the people in the places where they largely reside.”
All anglers can keep up to five fish per day without a minimum length limit, and additional amenities are available nearby such as bathrooms, picnic tables and car parking to help families to enjoy their time by the water.
Children under 17 fish for free, but a fishing license is required for all adults who fish. Fishing licenses can be purchased for as little as $11 for “one-day, all-water” access. All proceeds go toward management and conservation of the fish and their habitats.
Neighborhood Fishin’ is supported by donations from the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest and local partners throughout the state.
To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ lake near you, see stocking dates for each location or to sign up to receive updates by text or email, visit www.neighborhoodfishing.org.