Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
5550 FM2495, Athens, Texas
Admission: $5.50, adults; $4.50, seniors 65 & older; and $3.50, children ages 4–12
FitBit Steps: 6,500!!
FYI: Don’t go on this awesome excursion unless you have at least 4 hours to enjoy!
Have you ever had one of those mornings when you’re running behind, children aren’t cooperating, traffic is bad, you have 20 minutes to get 30 miles away, the out-of-gas warning light comes on 20 miles from your destination and you drive three miles down a closed road?
Yea, that was mine and Lili’s morning on the day we were all meeting at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas.
We missed the center’s Dive Show and first tram ride tour. However the center happened to be taking a group of school kids on a tram ride and let us sneak on. Thankfully, everyone we encountered at the center were super kind and helpful, so our moods changed almost immediately.
During the tour, our lovely guide and “Bob the driver” were accommodating. The guide educated us on how the center works and even stopped to give some of the koi fish a treat.
Half-way through the tram ride, they allow riders to get off and walk back to the center using the Wetlands Trail. We did so and soon found ourselves at one of the outdoor fish tanks. You can buy fish food at several different locations for 25 cents a handful.
The girls loved seeing the different types of fish and turtles.
Just past the outdoor fish tanks are fishing ponds, waterfalls and roaming geese. When Seri tried to feed the geese by hand, they hissed at her! The waterfalls were a huge hit. My “graceful” adventurer, Abigayle, didn’t even fall in.
We decided to walk the Wetlands Trail. The trail is full of adventures. It offers education, entertainment, beauty and plenty of rest stops. We even found a fun game to do.
On the trail’s map, each image of an animal has its name and footprint next to it. We spotted animal tracks on the trail. The girls had fun spotting the tracks and matching them to the animal on the map. They even found bear tracks which led us to a litt hut with a hive of honey producing bees inside. The walls are covered with facts about bees and you can listen to audio information.
At just beyond the half-mile mark on the trail is not only will a picnic area, and lots of animals to feed, but every mother’s dream, clean bathrooms.”
Once we emerged from our wetland adventure, the fishing poles were calling the girls’ names. The hatchery has tons of poles and bait available, for free. The stink bate is extra stinky, haha.
We had a blast teaching the girls casting and reeling. Although we weren’t lucky enough to catch any fish, some gentlemen near us had a couple big ones on the line!
And just how stinkin’ cute were the girls with their little fishing poles?
The hatchery is a great place to take pictures, especially if you’re looking for something new. With all the lily pads, bridges, wildflowers and waterfalls, you’re sure to find an excellent back drop!
We were thankful to find reprieve from the heat in the hatchery’s indoor exhibit area. It was nice a cool, equip with water fountains of ice cold water.
It had cool facts like. The largest large-mouth bass caught in Texas weighed 18.8 pounds. Woah. And there also were more fishies to look at!
We even got to look at the huge fish tank they use for the Dive Show that we missed!
We had an absolutely amazing time at the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center.
• Plenty of water
• Walking shoes
• Comfy / cool clothing
• Quarters (for fish/geese/turtle food)
• Fishing equipment (if you’re particular about yours)
• Butterfly / tadpole net
• Bikes (we need to double check that that is permitted, but would’ve helped our gals on the trail)
• Hat / Sunglasses
All our love,