A Day Out{side} Visiting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

By Kara Moss
Fish Ambassador

Kara Moss discovers that the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a great place for all ages to learn about different species of fish and habitats in Texas.

Hey, guys. My name’s Kara. Today, I’m visiting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. I’m hoping to walk around, see the sights, learn what this place is all about, and share my experience with you guys.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center opened in November of 1996 and currently functions as a hatchery, an aquarium, and an education center on the grounds. There are several aquatic exhibits that talk all about the different types of bodies of water found in the state of Texas. They talk about everything from ponds to streams to reservoirs, and you get really up close looks at all sorts of types of fish found in the state. I found these exhibits really cool because it’s not often you get to see exactly what goes on beneath the water’s surface.

There is also an exhibit on historical fishing equipment that includes trolling motors and lures. It was really informative to see how the sport has evolved over time. On the grounds, you can also find an aquarium inside of their theater. Here you can find an interactive dive show daily featuring native Texas fish.
In the theater, you can also catch a movie like this one that explained the ShareLunker program, a program dedicated to promoting the development of bigger Texas bass and to the importance of catch and release conservation.

When a bass 13 pounds or greater is caught by an angler, they are brought to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to spawn and pass on its genetics to the next generation of bass. They are cared for by specially trained biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and then are returned to their home lake. Here at the Freshwater Fisheries Center, you can see mounts of the top ten ShareLunker fish. The center also has a fishing pond on the grounds where rods and baits are provided for you. These poems are stocked with catfish, bluegill and rainbow trout.

Nearby is the wetlands trail where you can learn a ton about the wetland ecosystem and how it’s responsible for filtering pollutants and providing erosion control, as well as about all the animals that live there. You can also find the Game Warden Museum to learn about who the Texas game wardens are and how they serve and protect the natural resources in Texas. Next time I visit, I hope to catch the Hatchery Tram tour, which is a guided tram ride of the outdoor hatchery ponds on site.

My trip to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center was so educational and with so many types of exhibits, people of all ages can find something to enjoy here. So if you’re looking for something fun to do this summer, this is the place for you.

Related Articles

Always be ready to go with the Go Out{side} Email Newsletter

Don’t miss out on new Go Out{side} news, tips and tricks.