AUSTIN, Texas — Free Sportfishing Day events around the state will highlight National Fishing and Boating Week, allowing anglers to fish any public waters in Texas without a fishing license on Saturday, June 6.
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.
Events in Texas State Parks and on community lakes around the state 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.
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.
Texas also offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities through TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ Program. Looking for a place to fish (or try fishing) on Free Fishing Day, there’s probably no better place than at a neighborhood fishing lake. Also, no fishing license is required to fish at any time within all Texas State Parks, and state parks across Texas are offering fishing workshops with gear and guidance provided as part of the Free Fishing in State Parks Program. And, in some cases, local parks and recreation departments will be holding special Free Fishing Day events in cooperation with TPWD.
Newcomers to angling can find out details on a variety of fishing topics, including the basics of how to fish, through a series of short videos produced by TPWD and available for viewing on the department’s Web site.
Here's a calendar of major special events coordinated by TPWD during Free Fishing Day on June 6:
Eisenhower SP — Texoma Fun Fish for Kids — Come fish for the many types of fish that lurk in deep in the cool blue waters of Lake Texoma. Bring your favorite pole or use one provided by the park. All bait is provided. Fishing will be from an enclosed floating boathouse where the fish are hungry and waiting to be caught. Educational games and fishing-related activities will he held immediately after the fishing derby. Accessible for the mobility, visually and hearing impaired. 8 a.m.-noon (903) 465-1956.
Galveston Island SP — Family Fishing Clinic — Join in the fun at this free fishing clinic for parents and children 6 and older. It will provide the opportunity for families to spend time together in the outdoors while learning the basics of fishing through hands-on instruction. Prizes will be awarded and upon completion, receive an Angler Education Certificate and Pin. Bring your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, shoes and rod and reel or borrow one of ours. Registration 8:30 -9 a.m., clinic 9 a.m. -noon. For more information, contact David Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (409) 682-2290. (409) 737-1222.
Lake Livingston SP — Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby — Kids up to age 16 can enter this fishing contest with prizes for biggest fish and a casting contest with prizes for most accurate cast. Accessible for the mobility impaired. Registration 7-8 a.m., derby 8 a.m.-noon (936) 365-2201.
Lyndon B. Johnson SP&HS — Annual Free Fishing Day — Bring the family 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. This event is co-sponsored by Fredericksburg Wal-Mart and is held in conjunction with the National Fishing and Boating Week's Free Fishing Day. We hope you get lucky and catch a "BIG ONE" or get drawn for door prizes. 10 a.m.-noon (830) 644-2252.
Martin Dies, Jr. SP — 17th Annual Kids' Fish Flop — This tournament is a catch-and-release contest open to children ages 16 and under. Three ages categories will each have three trophies for longest fish caught. Each participant will receive a goody bag filled with exciting outdoor items, with door prizes for youth. 8 a.m.-noon (409) 384-5231
Purtis Creek SP — Adam Reilly's Take a Kid Fishing Day — Fishing is only half the fun! The day will also include a free hot dog lunch, door prizes, kid fishing clinics, kid fishing tournament and archery. 8 a.m.-noon (903) 425-2332.
Sea Center Texas — Youth Fishing — Pack your sunscreen, hat, lawn chair and fishing gear for a morning of catch and release fishing at our marine fish hatchery and visitor education center. This event is open to guests 16 years old and younger 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. Accessible for the mobility, visually and hearing impaired. 8-10 a.m. (979) 292-0100.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center — National Free Fishing Day — Kick off summer with free hot dogs and soft drinks, games and of course, fishing! No fishing license required. Accessible for the mobility impaired. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (903) 676-BASS.
Tyler SP — Kid's Fishing Derby — Bring the whole family and learn the basics of fishing with fun, hands-on activities and contests. Then reel in your limit of fish and fun. No fishing license required. Bring your own gear and bait. Accessible for the mobility impaired. 9 a.m.-noon (903) 597-5338.