TPWD Offers Free Fishing in Texas State Parks

Some cool news for fishing families from TPWD:

Nintendo’s fishing video game with a fishing-rod adapter costs about $75. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, however, is giving families several opportunities this summer to fish for real – and for free.

The department is offering several Go Fish! events that provide families and individuals an opportunity to learn the basics of fishing from an expert then to put their new skills into practice and try their luck in the lovely waters of Texas state parks. Participants will learn to rig a rod and reel, tie on their hook, cast safely and handle their catch. They will also learn the rules and regulations of fishing in Texas.

Ann Miller, TPWD Aquatic Resources coordinator, said Go Fish! is suited for people of all ages and skill levels.

“People have brought their 4-year olds who have caught their first fish here, and we’ve had grandparents who have received fishing gear and don’t know how to use it,” she said. Go Fish! “meets the needs of a wide range of people.”

The Go Fish! events are about four hours long, and no previous fishing knowledge is required. Participants may bring their own fishing gear or use loaner gear at the site.

Because no license is required to fish in a Texas State Parks, Miller said the activity is an inexpensive way for families to reconnect with the outdoors and with one another.

“It’s exciting to catch a fish, but fishing isn’t fast-paced,” she said. Fishing “is a way for families to slow down a little and talk. I think a lot of families see the need to get kids away from the electronics and focus on one another. Fishing is a good way to get people outdoors.”

The fishing classes are free, but admission for adults into the park ranges from $2 to $4, depending on the park. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted into the park for free.

The following parks will feature Go Fish! events this summer. For more information, visit texasstateparks.org.

July 2:
Goose Island State Park (Rockport)
(361) 729-2858

July 3:
Lake Casa Blanca State Park (Laredo)
(956) 725-3826

July 10:
Bastrop State Park (Bastrop)
(512) 321-2101

Galveston Island State Park (Galveston)
(409) 737-1222

Eisenhower State Park (Denison)
(903) 465-1956

July 17:
Buescher State Park (Smithville)
(512) 237-2241

July 24:
Lake Tawakoni State Park (Wills Point)
(903) 560-7123

Sept. 11:
Palmetto State Park (Gonzales)
(830) 672-3266

Oct. 16:
Palmetto State Park (Gonzales)
(830) 672-3266



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