Adult mentors should bring all equipment and bait necessary for fishing (see recommended equipment below). A limited amount of fishing equipment (and bait) will be on hand for those who cannot bring their own on a first-come-first-served basis. Adult mentors do not need to be experienced anglers. TPWD staff will be on hand to assist.
"Anglers will have the choice of releasing their catch or keeping up to a limit of five fish per person to take home,"¯ said Craig Bonds, East Texas Regional Fisheries Director. "We also have fish-cleaning facilities courtesy of the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation, and we will offer fish-cleaning demonstrations."¯
If you are a mom, dad, neighbor, grandparent, big brother, big sister, etc., and know kids who want to go fishing, this is a chance to make some great memories and introduce a youngster to the wonderful sport of fishing. Adults who attend these events must bring at least one child and mentor them while fishing. So round up your little fishing buddy and bring them out to The Nature Center for a great time!
Recommended Equipment: A light-action rod and reel combination (one per child) with small fishing hooks, light line 12 lb. test or less, small bobbers (optional), and small split shot. For bait, bring salmon eggs, whole kernel corn, marshmallows, small worms, or prepared trout bait (Berkley PowerBait Hatchery Formula Chews or similar). Small rooster-tail spinners work well, but we require that you use single hooks only on this bait type. If you intend to keep trout, please bring a stringer or small cooler.
Special Rules: Fishing will be allowed only on Saturday, January 5, and Saturday, January 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Youth must be supervised at all times by their adult mentors. Parking will be allowed in designated areas only. Only rainbow trout (five per day) and channel catfish (one per day) may be kept by youth anglers only. No fishing license is required for youth or their adult mentors. Free to all participants. Pre-registration is not required.
Sponsorship: These special events are made possible by the members of the East Texas Woods and Waters Foundation and staff of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Other Activities: The Nature Center in Tyler has a series of outdoor hiking trails that may also be of interest to visitors. We invite you to explore these trails and also enjoy a day of fishing!
How to Get Here: From ESE Loop 323 in Tyler, go southeast on University Blvd. (Spur 248). Take a right turn on F.M. 848 (Bascom Rd.). Go 0.2 mile and turn right at The Nature Center gate. Please park in main parking area and walk to pond using the concrete trail near the kiosk.
Got Questions? Contact Mr. Craig Bonds, East Texas Regional Fisheries Director, (903) 566-1615, ext. 202, or Dr. Richard Ott, Fisheries Biologist, (903) 566-2161.