Fisheries Center director wins service award | New

Tom Lang, director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, received the American Fisheries Society Meritorious Service Award, given annually to a member for loyalty, dedication and meritorious service to society and outstanding commitment to the programs, goals and long-term goals of the organization.

In April, Lang was also on Cowboy Channel visiting with Justin McKee at the Bass Pro Shops 50th anniversary. Other honors Lang has received include his Times Record News “20 Under 40” nomination, named the first “Friend of Reservoirs” in 2016 by the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership, and he received the 2017 Outstanding Fisheries Worker Award in Fisheries. Administered by the Texas Section of the American Fisheries Society.

Most notably, he helped lead a team of dedicated volunteers and partners to lead a holistic revitalization of Texas’ third oldest lake, Lake Wichita, which was named one of the “10 Waters to Watch” in 2016 by the National Fish Habitat Partnership.

Lang has been with the TFFC for three years and the facility is celebrating its 25th year of offerings like 300,000 gallons of aquarium exhibits, production hatchery and educational programs. The TFFC also has some of the best bass fishing available and has the Toyota ShareLunker program that partners with anglers and those who reel in any largemouth bass that is at least 8 pounds. or 24 inches and allows them to enter their information to receive a Catch Kit corresponding to the weight class of their fish.

Visit the Fisheries Center on September 24 for the Sunfish Showdown Fishing Tournament in honor of National Fish and Game Day. Teams must consist of one child and one adult and one adult can be part of more than one team.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and there will be hourly prizes and an awards ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The event will also feature the Texas Game Warden Operation Game Thief trailer, an electric fishing boat, games fun, food and more.

The TFFC is currently open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and is located at 5550 FM 2495 Athens.