ATHENS—Do you want to learn to camp? Kayak? Fly fish? Cook gourmet campfire meals? Learn more about snakes and fish and other wildlife? Win prizes in a fishing tournament? Spend time with your family outdoors?
On September 26 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, the Outdoor Expo and Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament will help you develop skills and increase your knowledge in all those areas by doing them yourself under the direction of a skilled expert. The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration for the Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament will begin at 7 a.m. at TFFC’s main gate; weigh-in and the awarding of prizes will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the Anglers Pavilion. Advance registration by mail for the tournament must be completed by September 23; visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdforms/media/bluegill_flyer.pdf to download an entry form and rules.
Live animal displays will let you get up close to reptiles and raptors. The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will present a raptor show at noon and also conduct walk-around displays on the grounds. Wildlife on the Move will present a variety of interesting creatures at 1 p.m. followed by a see-and-touch session at 3 p.m.
Staff from Purtis Creek State Park will teach kayaking skills and water safety. Orvis and the Dallas Fly Fishers will teach the basics of fly fishing and fly tying. The Gregg County 4H Club will help you develop your archery skills.
Other stations will let you sample tasty foods cooked in Dutch ovens; see fish swimming in a glass-bottomed stream; see skins, tracks and skulls of predator and prey animals and learn how people lived in the Middle Ages.
Regularly scheduled dive shows in which a diver hand-feeds fish will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The event is sponsored by Schneider Electric, Red Hat Rentals, Holiday Inn Express-Athens, Aaron’s Sales and Lease, Orvis-Dallas, El San Luis Mexican Café, Friends of TFFC and Friends of Purtis Creek State Park.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, about four miles east of Athens. All expo events are included with paid admission, which is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3.50 for children ages four through 12. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tffc.