This Saturday, the White Oak Bayou Association is holding its White Oak Bayou Fish Off Contest in partnership with Friends of Woodland Park’s Happy Trails and Hot Dog Day.
The contest is “tongue in cheek,” which Teresa Matlock, the association’s treasurer, said simply meant that the competition isn’t serious. All the anglers need to do is fish in the White Oak Bayou, or one of its tributaries, for the biggest, ugliest or most unusual fish caught that day.
The Fish-Off first began in 1990.
“It was established to drum up awareness of the White Oak Bayou, its environment, to build membership for the organization and most of all to have some fun,” Matlock said.
The competition went dormant for most of the 2000s until 2017 when it was regenerated with the partnership of the Friends of Woodland Park’s Happy Trails and Hot Dogs event.
Wacky, recycled trophies will be awarded to “Little Anglers” (children 12 or under) and “Big Anglers” (anyone 13 and over) in each of the categories.
“We also have contests for the best fish lips, best one that got away story and best rescued trash,” Matlock said.
The fishing tournament begins at 8 a.m. at Woodland Park, 212 Parkview St. Fish can be brought back to the park any time before 11:30 a.m. The fish are measured, identified and released back to the bayou by the park. The judging announcements start around noon.
All fishing participants must abide by the Texas Fish and Wildlife rules and provide their own fishing gear and bait.
There will be silly games like the Bayou Fish Toss and a rubber ducky fishing pond. Interactive environmental games will include a matching board game to identify the fish caught in the bayou and a birding bingo game in which players identify the birds found along the bayou on the cards in any bingo line. Prizes include fish bubbles, gummy fish and other small treasures.
The Happy Trails and Hot Dogs event starts at 11 a.m., with free hot dogs, chips and root beer floats.
“The mission of the Friends of Woodland Park is dedicated to preserving the park’s natural habitat along with its unique historical significance to the City of Houston, and to providing for the enjoyment education of all who visit,” Matlock said.
Activities included by the Happy Trails event are the Bayou City Play’s pop-up playground and guided nature tours in the woods by a Texas Master Naturalist.