ATHENS — The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens will kick off National Fishing and Boating Week by making a family fishing trip affordable with free admission for kids 12 and under plus free fishing for the whole family and free hot dogs and drinks from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 4.
Each child will receive a free ticket good for door prize drawings at 3:00 p.m. in the Anglers Pavilion; those drawn must be present to win.
A tournament for the largest catfish caught from the TFFC casting pond will run from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The tournament is open to children age 12 and under. The winner must be present to collect the prize at 2:00 p.m.
In addition to fishing, visitors can walk the wetlands trail; see a diver hand feed fish; learn about the history of fishing in the freshwater fishing museum; shop for a Father’s Day gift in the Flat Creek Bait ‘n Goods Gift Shop and watch the alligator feeding at 3:30 p.m.
National Fishing day at TFFC is sponsored by Athens Wal-Mart Supercenter, Ernie Yarborough and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Yarborough and Wal-Mart employees will be cooking and serving free hot dogs and soft drinks.
National Fishing and Boating Week comes at the start of the summer vacation season and is designed to encourage families to spend time together on and around water. No fishing license is required anywhere in the state on the first Saturday in June, which is designated Free Sportfishing Day.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an aquatic nature center and hatchery complex operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It is located 75 miles southeast of Dallas and four miles east of Athens on F.M. 2495. Dive shows take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Hours are 9 to 4 Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 Sunday. Usual admission is adults, $5.50; seniors, $4.50; children 4-12, $3.50. For general information go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tffc/ or call (903) 676-2277. For event information contact Jim Booker, (903) 670-2266; firstname.lastname@example.org.