ATHENS—Stocking of keeper-size channel catfish has begun for the 15 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in Texas and should be completed by this coming weekend.
Additional stockings will take place every two weeks through the summer and fall except during August, when high water temperatures may limit fish survival.
“Neighborhood Fishin’ aims to give Texas families a good place to fish close to where they live,” said Dave Terre, TPWD’s director of research and management for Inland Fisheries. “We estimate that more than 50,000 people a year participate in the program, and more than half of those are children. Connecting kids to the outdoors through fishing makes them happier and healthier, and they do better in school. Outdoor lifestyles also strengthen families.”
Stocking is a key component of Neighborhood Fishin’, which encourages people to harvest fish and take them home to eat. Channel catfish are stocked from April through October, and rainbow trout are stocked in winter months.
Local sponsors play a key role in the Neighborhood Fishin’ program by providing funds to purchase additional fish beyond those made possible by statewide support from the Texas Bass Classic Foundation and the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. Cities and counties where Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes are located purchase some fish in addition to providing facilities at the sites.
Tarrant County Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes also benefit from the financial support of the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth, the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust and the Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation. “Having local partners such as these makes the program stronger and larger and allows us to bring more people into fishing,” Terre said.
“We target metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more, and we would welcome additional partners in any such area,” Terre said.
Any organization interested in partnering with TPWD on the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program should contact Terre at (512) 389-4855.
For more information on the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, including locations and directions, tackle loaner programs where available, instructional fishing videos, fishing regulations and program partners, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/stocking/urban_catfish.phtml.