With the uncertain and evolving health situation in the U.S., the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson are closed temporarily to public visitation in efforts to minimize the potential risks associated with large public gatherings and close-quartered spaces to our visitors, volunteers and staff.
“We feel this is an important step to take to protect the visitors who come to see us,” said Robin Riechers, Director of Coastal Fisheries for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We are certainly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to anyone wanting to see and learn about Texas’ coastal environments and how TPWD raises and stocks fish to support the great coastal fishing we have in the state.”
“We regrettably believe that current conditions require us to take these proactive and cautionary steps to avoid placing visitors, volunteers, and staff in situations that could compromise their personal health,” said Craig Bonds, Director of Inland Fisheries for TPWD. “We look forward to more favorable future conditions that will enable us to reopen these facilities for the education and enjoyment of our visitors.”
All public visitation is suspended at these facilities including group tours, group meetings and events. At the TFFC, the Major League Fishing Student Angler Clinic event is cancelled, and the Merit Badge University event is postponed to an undetermined date.
Staff operations and fish production within the hatcheries will continue as normal. Visitor Center staff will focus efforts on thoroughly disinfecting the facility and equipment to best ensure the safety of our guests when normal operations resume.
Further, public visitation and tours are temporarily suspended at other TPWD hatcheries, including the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos, the Dundee Fish Hatchery in Electra, the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center in Mountain Home, the John D. Parker East Texas Fish Hatchery in Brookeland, the Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi, the Perry R. Bass Research Center and Hatchery, and the Possum Kingdom Fish Hatchery in Graford.
At this time, a reopening date has not been determined, but TPWD will work with local and state health officials to determine the best timing for resuming normal visiting hours.
For the most up-to-date information about the status of these sites, visit the TPWD website.