AUSTIN, Texas — A "Free Sportfishing Day" will highlight National Fishing and Boating Week, allowing anglers to fish any public waters in Texas without a fishing license on Saturday, June 7.
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.
The eighth annual National Fishing and Boating Week is June 1-8 with thousands of local events in communities across the country. Events 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.
Numerous youth fishing activities are scheduled around the state during National Fishing and Boating Week, including special fishing events in state parks and fish stockings in community lakes. 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.
Similarly, TPWD fisheries and state park officials began the Free Fishing in State Parks program a few years ago to encourage folks to fish and visit state parks. This year marks the fifth year of the Free Fishing in State Parks program that waives fishing license and stamp requirements within more than 50 Texas state parks.
To capitalize on the program, which has been extended through Aug. 31, 2008, a dozen state parks are hosting "Free Fishing in State Parks" events where participants learn fishing skills, angling rules and regulations, have a chance to hook a fish and perhaps win door prizes such as rods and reels.
Texas also offers a wide variety of neighborhood fishing opportunities. 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. In some cases, local parks and recreation departments will be holding special Free Fishing Day events in cooperation with TPWD. Check out any of the following neighborhood fishing lakes:
In addition to these lakes, there are numerous community fishing lakes available in urban areas with easy bank fishing access. Information, including locations, about these lakes is available on the TPWD web site.
Shore fishing sites can be found along the bays and the Gulf of Mexico. Some sites have public piers and handicap access, and are set up to accommodate large groups, such as at state parks, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens and Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson.
Following is a calendar of major special events coordinated by TPWD during Free Fishing Day on June 7:
.* Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historical Site — Annual Fishing Day — This year’s events are dedicated to Lyndon B. Johnson "Celebrating the Life of a Man & the Land that He Loved" in the 100th year of his birth. Bring the children 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. We hope you get lucky and catch a "BIG ONE" or get drawn for door prizes. This event is co-sponsored with Fredericksburg Wal-Mart and is held in conjunction with the National Free Fishing Day. 10 a.m.-noon (830) 644-2252.