Presenter: Robin Riechers
Commission Agenda Item No. 10
2006-2007 Statewide Hunting and Fishing and Alligator Proclamation
I. Executive Summary: This item proposes adoption of the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for the 2006-2007 seasons.
- Implementation of antler-restriction rules in selected additional counties.
- Bag limit consolidation in Upton County.
- Housekeeping and clarification.
Upland Game Birds
- Implementation of comprehensive Managed Lands program for upland game birds (turkey, pheasant, quail, lesser prairie chicken, chachalaca).
- Inclusion of regulations governing recreational hunting of alligators.
Marine Creek Reservoir (Tarrant County)
- Current harvest regulations for largemouth bass consist of statewide 14-inch minimum length limit with a five fish daily bag limit. The regulation would be changed to an 18-inch minimum length limit. The five fish daily bag would be retained.
Statewide baitfish exceptions
- Add Kinney County to current list of bait fish exceptions.
- Discuss regulations concerning the take of game and nongame fishes by means of lawful archery equipment.
Prohibit the take of largetooth sawfish (Pristis perotteti)
- The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the smalltooth sawfish as endangered. Because of the extreme difficulty that anglers have in distinguishing the smalltooth sawfish from the largetooth sawfish, protection of both is believed to be the only way to protect the listed species.
Remove the requirement for the Tarpon tag
- Recognizing that there are good business reasons to minimize the use of tags on hunting and fishing licenses, elimination of the use of the tarpon tag is proposed. In order to still allow for a state record fish to be retained there will be a one fish bag limit per day with a minimum size limit that would allow for minimal landings of fish that are thought to be in contention for a state record (i.e., 80 inches).
- Currently black drum are managed with a maximum size limit where anything greater than the size limit can not be retained. We propose, similar to the tarpon proposal, that 1 fish over a maximum size limit (i.e., set at the state record = 52 inches) for black drum be allowed per day.
Reduce the possession limit for flounder to the daily bag limit
- For flounder, we propose changing the possession limit so that it is equal to the bag limit for the recreational fishery. This is already the case in the commercial fishery. This will create some redistribution of the current catches in the recreational fishery and basically limit a person to 10 fish per trip instead of the 20 fish bag they can keep if they fish past midnight now.
Naming tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis) a game fish
- We propose to list tripletail as a game fish and create a minimum size of 17 inches and daily bag limit of 3 fish [6 in possession].
II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, and means and methods for taking wildlife resources is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61. Similar responsibility with respect to alligator is delegated under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65. The proposed changes are based upon statutory requirements and Commission policy, including scientific investigation and required findings of fact where applicable. The potential changes are intended to increase recreational opportunity, decrease regulatory complexity where possible, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of the wildlife resources of the state.
III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§65.3, 65.11, 65.24-65.26, 65.34, 65.42, 65.54, 65.56, 65.60, 65.62, 65.64, 65.66, 65.72, and 65.82, and §65.49, concerning the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation, and the repeal of §§65.354, 65.355, 65.356, and 65.364 and amendments to §§65.351, 65.353, 65.357, 65.358, 65.360, and 64.363, concerning the Statewide Alligator Proclamation, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the February 24, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 1192)."
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