AUSTIN – It’s officially catfish stocking season in Texas, and thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program families won’t have to travel outside of the city to catch them.
TPWD began stocking thousands of catchable-sized channel catfish in 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes across the state April 21. The lakes are located in safe, clean parks in the large urban centers of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Abilene, Amarillo, Bryan-College Station, San Angelo, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls.
“Texas is growing at a rapid rate – and most of the people who live in those urban areas don’t go fishing,” said Dave Terre, TPWD Inland Fisheries Management and Research Chief. “The purpose of the Neighborhood Fishin’ program is to get more people involved in the outdoors by creating fun, convenient, close-to-home opportunities where people can catch fish anytime they are ready to go.”
Each of the lakes will receive continuous stockings of channel catfish every two 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 fishing together outdoors.
“These urban area parks are the easiest places in Texas for families to catch a fish close to home,” said Eddie McKenna, TPWD Multicultural Marketing Specialist. “85 percent of us live near one of these small lakes and ponds. By making fishing accessible, we’re helping create a whole new generation of anglers.”
All anglers can keep up to five fish per day without a minimum length limit, and at some locations cleaning tables are available nearby to make it easy for families to clean their catch. Children under 17 fish for free, but a fishing license is required for adults in the family.
The Neighborhood Fishin’ program is sponsored by the Texas Bass Classic Foundation, the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program, and many other local partners throughout the state.
To find the Neighborhood Fishin’ pond near you or to sign up for email updates, visit www.neighborhoodfishing.org.