Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   




Fishing for the Future

Fundraising effort underway for the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

For 25 years, the Edwin L. Cox Jr. Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center has brought together avid anglers, curious schoolchildren, dedicated conservation professionals and many generous supporters in a mutual passion for Texas’ freshwater resources. TFFC showcases the diverse inland waterways that connect all living creatures through its fish hatcheries, recreational fishing ponds, more than 300,000 gallons of indoor and outdoor aquariums and exhibits featuring fish, alligators and other native species.

TFFC’s fish hatchery plays an important role in the conservation of one of Texas’ most sought-after sportfish. In addition to producing 3 million to 4 million Florida largemouth bass annually for stocking in Texas lakes, the facility is home to the renowned Toyota ShareLunker program. For decades, the program has brought together anglers across the state to promote and enhance bass fishing in Texas.

TFFC holds another important distinction: It was the first major public-private partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The 106-acre site in Athens came to life in 1996 through the generosity of many organizations and individuals who supported the landmark project. After nearly a quarter-century, TFFC’s aquariums and exhibits are due for an update, and TPWF is once again raising private funds for the project.

“Our fundraising goal is $3 million, and so far, we’ve raised more than $2 million,” says TPWF Executive Director Susan Houston. “Every donation makes a difference; we’re hoping all Texans who love our state’s freshwater resources will chip in to get us over the top.”

Funds raised will be used to renovate outdoor aquariums and tanks, update the indoor exhibit area and renovate covered walkways. These enhancements will ensure that Texans can learn about and enjoy healthy populations of bass, trout and other freshwater sportfish for generations to come.

Donations can be made online at www.tpwf.org/tffc.

 Julie Shaddox | TPWF
 Chase Fountain | TPWD

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