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No Foolin’: It’s Time to Get Outdoors!

ATHENS—Do you want to learn to camp? Kayak? Fish? Cook gourmet campfire meals? Learn more about snakes and fish and birds?

Outdoor Fools Day March 29 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens will help you develop skills and increase your knowledge in all those areas by doing them yourself under the direction of a skilled expert.

Outdoor Fools Day will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Staff from Purtis Creek State Park will teach camping and kayaking skills. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department aquatic education staff will teach the basics of fishing. Fly-fishing expert Bob Cappallo will help you catch a rainbow trout from TFFC’s casting pond, and then a volunteer will help you clean it and cook it on a Big Green Egg. Volunteers from Project Healing Waters will demonstrate fly-tying in the Anglers Pavilion.

Live animal displays will let you get up close to reptiles and raptors. Wildlife on the Move will present a variety of interesting creatures at noon followed by a see-and-touch session at 3 p.m. The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will present a raptor show at 1 p.m. and also conduct walk-around displays on the grounds. Staff from Sea Center Texas will be on hand with their popular salt-water touch tank.

Other stations will let you sample tasty foods cooked in a Dutch oven 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.

Guided bird walks will take place on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Outdoor Fools Day is sponsored by Austin Canoe and Kayak, Schneider Electric, Citizens National Bank, First State Bank, Aaron’s Sales and Lease, Cabela’s, Red Hat Rentals, Friends of Purtis Creek State Park, Friends of TFFC and Dr. Mark Roberts, DDS.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, about four miles east of Athens. All 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