Alice Best and Niki Ragan, Inland Fisheries Division, TPWD
The Neighborhood Fishin’ Program (NFP) aims to bring fishing opportunities to urban residents close to where they live by reguarly stocking select park ponds with Channel Catfish in warm months and Rainbow Trout in cool months. Stockings occur every two weeks for most of the year. Neighborhood Fishin’ sites are supported through a cooperative effort between local partners and TPWD with funding from the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest. Such a cool and intensive program offers great angling benefits, but limited resources restrict how many Neighborhood Fishin’ sites there can be.
Luckily for residents in the Greater Houston Area, increased funding recently allowed us to open two new sites! Pasadena Parks and Recreation and Timberlane Utility Distrtict joined the exclusive Neighborhood Fishin’ Program partner list to bring Neighborhood Fishin’ to Burke/Crenshaw Park Lake and Herman Little Lake. Neighborhood Fishin’ stockings started with Rainbow Trout this winter and the grand openings of both locations will be this spring to coincide with the start of Channel Catfish stocking.
Where? Burke/Crenshaw Park 4950 Burke Rd., Pasadena, Texas
When? Neighborhood Fishin’ Grand Opening and Life Outdoors will be from 10 am – 2 pm on May 4th. Catfish stockings will take place every 2 weeks starting April 19th.
Where? Herman Little Park 18660 Casper Dr., Spring, Texas
When? Neighborhood Fishin’ Grand Opening and Trail Clean-up will be from 9 am – 12 pm on June 1st. Catfish stockings will be every two weeks starting April 19th.
To start catching catfish all you need is a fishing pole, a hook and some bait. The fishing pole doesn’t need to be fancy; a cane pole will work just as well as an expensive bait caster. Neighborhood Fishin’ fish are hatchery reared and are not picky about bait types. Worms, grasshoppers, commercially prepared stink baits, chicken liver, and crawfish all work great. Once you get to the pond, find a comfortable place to set up a chair to fish. Look for a spot where you can get your bait to deeper water from (like a point or steeper bank) or a spot fish will likely congregate like woody habitat, plants, dock, or patch of shade. Catfish live near the bottom of the pond so use a small weight to sink the bait down to them. If you are new to fishing and aren’t sure what equipment you need, Texas Parks and Wildlife has introductory videos and a free PDF book at www.neighborhoodfishin.org under “Fishing Resources”.
While fishing, remember to follow fishing regulations! Children under 17 do not need a fishing license and can fish for free, but adults will need to get a freshwater license or all-water package for both fresh and saltwater. These can be purchased at just about any store that sells fishing tackle and bait, or online at https://www.txfgsales.com/. If you are just trying out fishing for the day, a cheaper 1-day license can be purchased. To be fair to all anglers, there is a two pole per angler limit and you can keep up to 5 fish per day, per person.
For more information on the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program and a stocking scehdule visit www.neighborhoodfishin.org