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AUSTIN – Looking for a way to celebrate the end of school year and the start of summer vacation with the children? Saturday, June 4, is Free Fishing Day in Texas as part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which means anyone can fish without a license on any public water body in the state.
National Fishing and Boating Week is a national celebration, an event that highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing. In 2016, the celebration takes place June 4-12.
From the Pineywoods and the Panhandle to the Hill Country and the Coastal Bend area, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sites, including Texas state parks and fish hatcheries, are playing host to fishing events celebrating National Fishing Day. Details on these events and others in Texas are available online at www.takemefishing.org/texas .
Although June 4 is set aside as Free Fishing Day in Texas, fishing in Texas state parks is free year-round. Free Fishing in State Parks is designed to encourage more people to get out and enjoy the great sport of fishing. To do that, TPWD has waived the normal fishing license and stamp requirements for anyone fishing inside the property boundary of a Texas state park, whether from the bank, a pier, river or creek and from a body of water inside a park. Park entrance fees still apply and fishing regulations, including bag limits, length limits, and other rules still apply and be enforced.
You can enjoy the Free Fishing in State Parks program at more than 50 state parks across Texas. In addition to special events during Free Fishing Day, there will also be fishing events throughout the year to add to the excitement—from kids’ fishing derbies to “Learn to Fish” seminars. Some parks will be providing loaner equipment and bait: just call ahead to ask.
In addition, TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide urban angling access for the entire family across the state. In all, 17 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes are located in 11 urban areas. Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Bryan-College Station, San Angelo, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls have one pond each, while Dallas-Fort Worth boasts five and Houston and San Antonio have two each. TPWD stocks them with channel catfish every two weeks during the year (excluding August), and rainbow trout during winter months. Information on lake locations, stocking dates and even how-to fishing videos can be found at www.neighborhoodfishin.org .
Don’t have fishing tackle? Check out TPWD’s tackle loaner program; details online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/angler-education/tackle-loaner-program . Many of the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes are located near TPWD facilities where you can borrow fishing tackle just like you’d check out a book from the library.
Information about other fishing hotspots around the state is also available on TPWD’s website at www.tpwd.texas.gov/fishing .
Once hooked on fishing, be sure to purchase the required fishing license and endorsement stamps before heading out to the water the next time. Several license options are available, including temporary day use, annual and year-to-date and may be purchased from most retail sporting goods stores, marinas, online or by phone. For more information about fishing licenses, go to www.tpwd.texas.gov/licenses .
All hunting and fishing license fees go to TPWD for on-the-ground conservation efforts that help make Texas one of the best places in the country to hunt and fish. Fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, land conservation, and Texas Game Wardens are just some of the initiatives funded in part by license fees.

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