Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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June 5, 2014

Texas State parks offer free fishing

AUSTIN — With the weather warming up, many families can head to a local state park and reel in some fun summer memories.

More than 70 Texas state parks with fishable waters make finding a place to fish in Texas easier than ever. Any angler can fish inside of a state park without a fishing license.  Parks offer various places to fish, including fresh or saltwater fishing from shore, pier or boat.

If you’re new to fishing or want to introduce your children to a new way to enjoy the outdoors, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers fishing lessons through its Go Fish! program. This free workshop teaches the basics of angling and offers an overview of the different types of fishing equipment available.  For upcoming Go Fish! events, visit the program’s

calendar page.

TPWD brings fishing close to home by stocking channel catfish in local parks and ponds through its Neighborhood Fishin’ program throughout the summer. During winter months, rainbow trout are stocked in select freshwater lake and rivers where colder waters can sustain them.. TPWD partners with local governments in 10 Texas cities to stock game fish about every two weeks in small neighborhood lakes. To learn more about the Neighborhood Fishin’ program and where to go fish, visit: www.

neighborhoodfishin.org.

Remember, if you’re 17 or older, you need a Texas fishing license to fish in lakes and ponds outside of Texas state parks.

Some state parks offer a “test drive” for fishing by offering loaner equipment.  Find one of 30 state parks and other sites nearby that loan rods, reels and fishing tackle for visitors to use for free for up to seven days. To locate a park that loans equipment, visit the Tackle Loaner program page.

Throughout the year, two fishing-centric TPWD facilities – Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens – celebrate fishing and support Texas fisheries. Both fishing centers host occasional catch-and-release fishing events, and offer year-round tours of their nature centers, hatcheries and wetlands areas.

For a complete list of summer fishing derbies and events, workshops and other fishing-related activities, visit:  www.texasstateparks.org/fishing.

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