Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has begun stocking channel catfish into Neighborhood Fishin’ Program lakes in urban areas across Texas. Stockings will take place every two weeks through the summer and fall except during August, when high water temperatures may limit fish survival.
New to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program this year is Woldert Park Pond in Tyler. The park is located at 501 West 32nd street; the pond is downhill from the Glass Recreation Center.
“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 80,000 people a year participate in the program, and about half of those are children or adults who are new to fishing. Connecting kids to the outdoors through fishing makes them happier and healthier, and they do better in school. Outdoor lifestyles also strengthen families.”
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.
In Tarrant County, the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in Hurst’s Chisholm Park and Fort Worth’s Greenbriar Park benefit from the financial support of the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and the Nell V. Bailey Charitable Trust. Valero sponsors Miller’s Pond in San Antonio. Woldert Park Pond is sponsored by the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation of Tyler.
“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.”
Any organization interested in partnering with TPWD on the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program should contact Terre at (512) 389-4855.
Stocking is a key component of Neighborhood Fishin’, since it provides a constant supply of catchable, eating-size fish. “Our goal is to encourage families to bring their kids for a fun, outdoor fish-catching experience where they can harvest a few fish and take them home to eat,” said Terre. Channel catfish are stocked from April through October, and rainbow trout are stocked in winter months.
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 www.neighborhoodfishin.org.
Photo by TPWD.