Wednesday, 9:00 am, November 5, 2008Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744
Commissioner T. Dan Friedkin, Committee Chair
Scott Boruff, Committee Liaison
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
- Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
- Hurricane Ike - Turtle Excluder Device Exemption
- Crab, Shrimp and Finfish License Buyback
- 54th Game Warden Academy Class
- Select Interim Committee to Study Deer Breeding
- Rule Review - Request Permission to Review Rules
- Chapter 57 - Fisheries
- Chapter 65 - Wildlife
- Rule Review - Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
- Chapter 53 - Finance
- Chapter 59 - Parks
- Chapter 69 - Resource Protection
- Rule Review - Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (Action Item No. 4)
- Chapter 51 - Executive
- Chapter 52 - Wildlife and Fisheries
- Chapter 55 - Law Enforcement
- Chapter 61 - Design and Construction
- Threatened and Endangered Nongame Species Regulations Amendments - Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
Staff: Matt Wagner, Gary Garrett
- Raptor Proclamation - Consistency with Federal Rules - Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
Staff: Matt Wagner
- 2009-2010 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Preview
Staff: Clayton Wolf, Clay Brewer, Robin Riechers, Ken Kurzawski
- Status of Alligator Gar Populations
Staff: Ken Kurzawski
- Trapping, Transporting and Transplanting Game Animals and Game Birds Rules - Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
Staff: Alan Cain
Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the
TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency's efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).
II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Carter Smith will update the Regulations Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Regulations Committee.
The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:
- Goal 1: Improve access to the outdoors.
- Goal 2: Preserve, conserve, manage, operate, and promote agency sites for recreational opportunities, biodiversity, and the cultural heritage of Texas.
- Goal 3: Assist landowners in managing their lands for sustainable wildlife habitat consistent with their goals.
- Goal 4: Increase participation in hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- Goal 5: Enhance the quality of hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- Goal 6: Improve science, data collection and information dissemination to make informed management decisions.
- Goal 7: Maintain or improve water quality and quantity to support the needs of fish, wildlife and recreation.
- Goal 8: Continuously improve TPWD business management systems, business practices and work culture.
Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Ann Bright
Rule Review - Request Permission to Review Rules
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: Section 2001.039 of the Texas Government Code requires state agencies to review each rule under its jurisdiction at least once every four years.
II. Discussion:A state agency's review of a rule must include an assessment of whether the reasons for initially adopting the rule continue to exist. Under the requirements of this statute, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) must now review the following chapters of Title 31 of the Texas Administrative Code: Chapter 57, Fisheries; Chapter 65, Wildlife.
With Commission approval, the staff will publish a Notice of Intent to Review for public comment in the Texas Register.
Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Ann Bright
Rule Review-Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: Section 2001.039 of the Texas Government Code requires state agencies to review each rule under its jurisdiction at least once every four years. TPWD staff is requesting permission to publish proposed changes to TPWD rules that have been reviewed.
II. Discussion: In August 2008, the Commission authorized Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff to review the follow chapters of Title 31 of the Texas Administrative Code: Chapter 53, Finance; Chapter 59 Parks; Chapter 69, Resource Protection.
After reviewing these rules, staff now requests permission to publish the following proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment:
Chapter 53, Finance:
- §53.12 Commercial Fishing Licenses and Tags - Eliminate duplicative language regarding the commercial fishing boat fee to clarify that there is only one license with the same fee for residents and nonresidents;
- §53.13 Business License and Permits (Fishing) - Eliminate the license transfer fee for various commercial fish licenses as unnecessary;
- §53.14 Deer Management and Removal Permits - Move the Trap, Transport and Transplant ("Triple T") language into §53.15 regarding Miscellaneous Fisheries and Wildlife Licenses and Permits;
- §53.16 Vessel, Motor, and Marine Licensing Fees - Remove the marine dealer manufacturer number fee which expired in 2004;
- §53.17 Miscellaneous Fees - Move the mentored hunting fee to the §53.10 regarding Public Hunting and Fishing Permits and Fees;
- §53.18 Other Fees - Move the contents of this section to §53.16 regarding Vessel, Motor, and Marine Licensing Fees;
- §53.30 Facility Admission and Use Fees - Amend fee language regarding the Freshwater Fisheries Center to be consistent with other sections.
Chapter 59, Parks
- §59.2 Park Entrance and Use Fees - Rewrite to reflect current practice and fiscal control issues;
- §59.3 Activity and Facility Use Fees - Delete references to Texas State Railroad fees; make clarifying changes;
- §59.42 Chronology and Thematic Organization - Modify language to reflect current professional terminology;
- §59.44 Development Guidelines - Update language to reflect current practices;
- §59.47 Personnel Selection and Training - Update language to reflect current practices;
- §59.64 Classification and Guidelines - Rewrite to reflect current site classification terms;
- §59.134 Rules of Conduct - Update to clarify language and reflect current practices.
Chapter 69, Resource Protection - No change
Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenters: Matt Wagner
Threatened and Endangered Nongame Species Regulations Amendments
Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changed
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: This item requests permission to publish proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed amendments would:
- Add the indigenous species listed by the federal government to the current rule so that all federal and state listed endangered and threatened species can be found in a single chapter of the Texas Administrative Code;
- Remove the Arctic peregrine falcon (Peregrinus tundrius) from the threatened species list pursuant to federal regulatory approval of take for falconry purposes;
- Add the San Felipe gambusia to the state list of threatened species.
II. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 68, a species of fish or wildlife is endangered if it is: 1) designated by the federal government as endangered, or 2) listed as "threatened with statewide extinction" by the executive director of the department. At the current time, no species have been designated by the executive director as threatened with statewide extinction. Therefore, the state list of endangered species and the federal list of endangered species are identical. Chapter 68 of the Code also requires the department to file an order of acceptance with the Texas Secretary of State each time the federal government modifies the list of endangered species to include or remove a species native to Texas, and requires the department to give at least 60 days' notice prior to filing the order.
Under Chapter 67 of the Code, the commission regulates nongame wildlife, which consists of fish and wildlife that are not classified as game animals, game birds, game fish, fur-bearing animals, alligators, native shrimp, oysters, or endangered species. Thus, the state's list of threatened species is promulgated by rule under the authority of Chapter 67 and defines "threatened" as "likely to become endangered in the future." Alterations to the list of state threatened species are effected under the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires a minimum of 30 days' notice prior to adoption by the commission.
Prior to 1996, the list of endangered species was contained in department regulations, along with the state list of threatened species. In 1996, the list of federally endangered species was removed from the rule, an administrative adjustment that did not affect protection of those species under state law. For the sake of simplicity and ease of reference, staff believes that the lists of endangered and threatened species should be in one place in department regulations, which would also allow the department to accommodate the differential notice requirement by synchronizing that process.
The Arctic peregrine falcon was declared recovered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in 1994. Federal rulemaking is currently underway that would allow states to authorize limited take of Arctic peregrines for falconry use, and staff proposes to remove the Arctic peregrine falcon from the list of threatened species in order to allow their take by selected licensed falconers.
Although not federally listed as threatened, the San Felipe gambusia is known to occur only in San Felipe Springs and San Felipe Creek in Val Verde County. Staff has determined that listing of the species is warranted because of its limited range.
Attachments - 2
- Exhibit A – List of federally endangered species indigenous to Texas
- Exhibit B – List of threatened species
Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Federally Listed Endangered Species in Texas
- Mexican long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)
- Jaguar (Panthera onca)
- Jaguarundi (Herpailurus (=Felis) yagouaroundi cacomii)
- West Indian Manatee (Trichecus manatus)
- Ocelot (Leopardus (=Felis) pardalis)
- Finback Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
- Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
- Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
- Red Wolf (Canis rufus)
- Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
- Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)
- Northern Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis)
- Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)
- Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
- Attwater's Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri)
- Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)
- Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla)
- Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)
- Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
- Hawksbill Sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
- Kemp's Ridley Sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
- Leatherback Sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
- Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum)
- Texas blind Salamander (Typhlomolge rathbuni)
- Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis)
- Fountain Darter (Etheostoma fonticola)
- Big Bend Gambusia (Gambusia gaigei)
- Clear Creek Gambusia (Gambusia heterochir)
- Pecos Gambusia (Gambusia nobilis)
- San Marcos Gambusia (Gambusia georgei)
- Rio Grande Silvery Minnow (Hybognathus amarus)
- Comanche Springs Pupfish (Cyprinodon elegans)
- Leon Springs Pupfish (Cyprinodon bovinus)
- Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata)
- Pecos Assiminea Snail (Assiminea pecos)
- Peck’s Cave Amphipod (Stygobromus (=Stygonectes) pecki)
Committee Agenda Item No. 5
State Listed Threatened Species in Texas
- Margay Leopardus (Felis (=Felis) wiedii)
- Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolus)
- Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
- White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)
- Southern Yellow Bat (Lasiurus ega)
- Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum)
- Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)
- Texas Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys elator)
- Coues' Rice Rat (Oryzomys couesi)
- Palo Duro Mouse (Peromyscus truei comanche)
- Gervais' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon europaeus
- Goose-beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris)
- Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps)
- Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia simus)
- Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
- False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
- Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
- Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata)
- Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
- Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
- Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
- Common Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)
- Gray Hawk (Asturina nitidus)
- White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus)
- Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus)
- Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
- Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)
- Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida)
- Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
- Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)
- White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)
- Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
- Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)
- Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata)
- Northern Beardless-(tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe)
- Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae)
- Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi)
- Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis)
- Texas Botteri's Sparrow (Aimophila botterii texana)
- Arizona Botteri's Sparrow (Aimophila botterii arizonae)
- Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
- Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)
- Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
- Cagle's Map Turtle (Graptemys caglei)
- Chihuahuan Mud Turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi)
- Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri)
- Reticulated Gecko (Coleonyx reticulatus)
- Reticulate Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus reticulatus)
- Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
- Mountain Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)
- Scarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea)
- Black-striped Snake (Coniophanes imperialis)
- Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais)
- Speckled Racer Drymovius margaritiferus)
- Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis)
- Brazos Water Snake (Nerodia harteri)
- Smooth Green Snake (Liochlorophis vernalis)
- Trans-Pecos Black-headed Snake (Tantilla cucullata)
- Chihuahuan Desert Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon vilkinsonii)
- Timber (Canebrake) Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
- San Marcos Salamander (Eurycea nana)
- Cascade Caverns Salamander (Eurycea latitans)
- Comal Blind Salamander (Eurycea tridentifera)
- Blanco Blind Salamander (Eurycea robusta)
- Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis)
- South Texas Siren (large form) (Siren sp.1)
- Mexican Tree Frog (Smilisca baudinii)
- White-lipped Frog (Leptodactylus fragilis)
- Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus)
- Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis)
- Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus)
- Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)
- Mexican Stoneroller (Campostoma ornatum)
- Rio Grande Chub (Gila pandora)
- Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus)
- Creek Chubsucker (Erimyzon oblongus)
- Toothless Blindcat (Trogloglanis pattersoni)
- Widemouth Blindcat (Satan eurystomus)
- Conchos Pupfish (Cyprinodon eximius)
- Pecos Pupfish (Cyprinodon pecosensis)
- Rio Grande Darter (Etheostoma grahami)
- Blackside Darter (Percina maculata)
- Opossum Pipefish (Microphis brachyurus)
- River Goby (Awaous banana)
- Blackfin Goby (Gobionellus atripinnis)
- San Felipe Gambusia (Gambusia clarkhubbsi)
- Blotched Gambusia (Gambusia senilis)
- Devils River Minnow (Dionda diaboli)
- Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi
- Bluehead Shiner (Pteronotropis hubbsi)
- Chihuahua Shiner (Notropis chihuahua)
- Bluntnose Shiner (Notropis simus)
- Proserpine Shiner (Cyprinella proserpina)
Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenters: Matt Wagner
Raptor Proclamation - Consistency with Federal Rules
Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: This item requests permission to publish proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed amendment would allow licensed falconers to possess additional raptors for abatement purposes.
II. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 49, the department may prescribe rules for the taking, capture, possession, propagation, transportation, export, import, and sale of raptors, time and area from which raptors may be taken or captured, and species that may be taken or captured; provide standards for possessing and housing raptors held under a permit; prescribe annual reporting requirements and procedures; prescribe eligibility requirements and fees for and issue any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit; and require and regulate the identification of raptors held by permit holders.
The practice of falconry is regulated at both the state and federal levels. The federal authority to regulate falconry is derived from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. As with all migratory bird rules, the states may adopt rules that are more restrictive than the federal rules, but may not adopt rules that are less restrictive.
Under current department regulations, an applicant for a state falconry permit must possess a federal falconry permit prior to application for a state permit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has recently authorized falconers to engage in abatement activities (the use of raptors to harass or eliminate nuisance wildlife such as rabbits, pigeons, and grackles around airports, public buildings, etc., where other forms of control are impractical or unsafe). Under current rules, the department prescribes the number of birds that each class of falconer may possess. The federal abatement authorization allows falconers to possess raptors for abatement purposes in addition to those birds possessed for falconry purposes.
Staff recommends amending the current rule to allow the possession of additional raptors by licensed falconers for purposes authorized by a federal abatement permit.
Committee Agenda Item No. 7
2009-2010 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Preview
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: This item apprises the committee of potential changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for the 2009-2010 seasons.
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. Staff will brief the commission regarding the recommendations that staff is considering for possible presentation to the commission at the January commission meeting. The potential 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.
Attachments - 1
- Exhibit A – Potential Changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Potential Changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
- Implement the “antler restriction regulation” in 52 additional counties where yearling and 2.5-year-old bucks account for more than 55% of the total harvest. Based on data to date in the 61 counties where the rule is currently in effect, the rule has improved buck age structure while maintaining ample hunting opportunity. Affected counties: Anderson, Angelina, Archer, Atascosa, Brazos, Brown, Chambers, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Grayson, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hunt, Jack, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, McLennan, Milam, Mills, Montague, Montgomery, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Trinity, Tyler, Van Zandt, Walker, Wichita, Wise, and Young.
- Increase the bag limit from one buck to two bucks in Baylor, Callahan, Haskell, Jones, Knox, Shackelford, Taylor, Throckmorton, and Wilbarger counties. This area of the state is characterized by relatively large tract sizes and light hunter density, and the deer population has grown over the years as habitat has become more favorable to white-tailed deer.
- Increase the bag limit from four deer to five deer in Pecos, Terrell, and Upton counties. White-tailed deer densities throughout the eastern Trans Pecos are very similar to densities on the Edwards Plateau, where current rules allow the harvest of up to five antlerless deer. This change would increase hunting opportunity while addressing a resource concern.
- Increase the bag limit in most Cross Timbers and Prairies and eastern Rolling Plains counties from three deer (no more than one buck, no more than two antlerless) or four deer (no more than two bucks and no more than two antlerless) to five deer (no more than 2 bucks). This change would provide consistent hunting opportunity while increasing hunting opportunity. Counties affected: Archer, Baylor, Bell (West of IH35), Bosque, Callahan, Clay, Coryell, Hamilton, Haskell, Hill, Jack, Jones, Knox, Lampasas, McLennan, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Taylor, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Williamson (west of IH35), and Young.
- Increase the bag limit from three deer to five deer (no more than one buck in) selected counties in the western Rolling Plains. Although white-tailed deer densities are highly variable in this part of the state, areas containing suitable habitat have become saturated with deer and whitetails are expanding into marginal to poor habitat. Browsing pressure is severe in these areas, where little woody vegetation exists within five feet of the ground. The proposal would provide additional hunting opportunity while addressing a resource concern. Counties affected: Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Donley, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, Hardeman, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Kent, King, Lipscomb, Motley, Ochiltree, Roberts, Scurry, Stonewall, and Wheeler.
- Implement a general open season in Dawson, Deaf Smith, and Martin counties (three deer, no more than one buck, no more than two antlerless).
- Increase “doe days”:
- § from 16 days to full-season either-sex in Dallam, Denton, Hartley, Moore, Oldham, Potter, Sherman and Tarrant counties;
- § from 30 days to full-season either-sex in Cook, Hardeman, Hill, Johnson, Wichita, and Wilbarger counties;
- § from four days to16 days in Bowie and Rusk counties;
- § from four days to 30 days in Cherokee and Houston counties;
- § From no doe days to four doe days in Anderson, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Leon, Rains, Smith, and Van Zandt counties.
- This proposal offers more hunting opportunity as well as making “doe days’ more consistent within each resource management unit (a suite of counties with similar population and habitat characteristics). Data indicate that the deer populations can withstand the additional harvest pressure proposed.
- Expand the late antlerless and spike season into additional counties. Counties affected: Archer, Armstrong, Baylor, Bell (West of IH35), Bosque, Briscoe, Callahan, Carson, Childress, Clay, Collingsworth, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crosby, Denton, Dickens, Donley, Eastland, Erath, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, Hamilton, Hardeman, Haskell, Hemphill, Hill, Hood, Hutchinson, Jack, Johnson, Jones, Kent, King, Knox, Lampasas, Lipscomb, McLennan, Montague, Motley, Ochiltree, Palo Pinto, Parker, Pecos, Roberts, Scurry, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Stonewall, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Upton, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Williamson (West of IH35), Wise, and Young. In Pecos, Terrell, and Upton counties, the proposed season would replace the current muzzleloader-only open season.
- Implement a special muzzleloader season in additional counties, lengthen the existing muzzleloader season by five days to be equivalent in length with the special antlerless and spike buck seasons in other counties, and alter the current muzzleloader bag composition to allow the harvest of any buck (not just spike bucks) and antlerless deer without permits if the county has “doe days” during the general season. The season extension is not expected to have any adverse impacts on the resource. The proposal offers more hunting opportunity and creates consistency with other special seasons. Counties affected: Austin, Bastrop, Bowie, Brazoria, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Colorado, De Witt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Goliad (North of HWY 59), Goliad (South of HWY 59), Gonzales, Gregg, Guadalupe, Harrison, Houston, Jackson (North of HWY 59), Jackson (South of HWY 59), Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Marion, Matagorda, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Upshur, Victoria (North of HWY 59), Victoria (South of HWY 59), Waller, Washington, Wharton (North of HWY 59), Wharton (South of HWY 59), and Wilson.
- Extend the early youth only season by five days and the late youth-only season by 12 days in selected counties to run concurrently with late antlerless and spike seasons. The intent of the proposal is to allow adults and children to hunt together during different special seasons.
- Implement a general open season (with four “doe days”) in Grayson County. The department received a petition for rulemaking to open a general season in Grayson County. Staff determined that there is no biological necessity for the retaining the current rule, which restricts lawful methods to archery equipment and crossbows. Opening a general season with four “doe days” would provide regulatory consistency with adjoining counties and is not expected to result in negative impacts to the resource.
- Adjust and clarify antlerless deer permit requirements on lands owned by the U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and river authorities.
- Potentially implement an open general season in Parmer County, contingent upon the results of winter surveys.
Lesser Prairie Chicken
- Suspend the Lesser Prairie Chicken Season until population recovery supports a season. This changes is based on a recommendation of the Upland Game Bird Council and supported by staff.
— Lake Lewisville (Denton County), Lake Richland Chambers (Navarro and Freestone Counties), and Lake Waco (McLennan County).
- Modify blue catfish regulations for these reservoirs. Harvest regulations for blue catfish on these reservoirs currently consist of the statewide limits (12-inch minimum length limit and 25 fish daily bag limit). Proposed changes would consist of a 25 fish daily bag limit with a 30 to 45-inch slot length limit, and harvest of only one blue catfish over 45 inches would be allowed. No harvest of blue catfish between 30 and 45 inches would be allowed.
— Lake Ray Roberts (Cooke, Denton, and Grayson Counties)
- Modify largemouth bass regulations for these reservoirs. Harvest regulations for largemouth bass are currently a 14- to 24-inch slot length limit and a five fish daily bag (only one bass 24 inches or greater may be retained each day). Proposed changes would consist of the statewide limits for largemouth bass (14-inch minimum length limit and five fish daily bag limit).
- Modify harvest regulations for alligator gar. Alligator gar populations are believed to be declining throughout much of their historical range, which includes the Mississippi River system, as well as coastal rivers of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida through Texas to northern Mexico. Although the severity of these declines is unknown, habitat alteration and over-exploitation are thought to be partially responsible. Observed declines in other states, vulnerability to overfishing, and increased interest in the harvest of trophy gar indicate a conservative management approach is warranted until populations and potential threats can be fully assessed. Staff will discuss possible regulation strategies that emphasize protection of adult fish, while allowing some limited harvest of trophy fish to ensure population stability while allowing utilization of the resource.
- Consider the continued effort to work with stakeholders to explore management options to reverse the downward trend in abundance.
Species managed jointly with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
- Consider changes to become more consistent in terms of bag and size limits.
Saltwater Guide License
- Allow for paddle craft operators to receive a saltwater guide license by establishing a different set of requirements other than a United States Coast Guard Operator of an Uninspected Passenger Vessel license, better known as a “six pack license.”
Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Presenters: Ken Kurzawski
Status of Alligator Gar Populations
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: Staff will introduce Dr. Allyse Ferrara from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana who is a leading authority on gar populations. Dr Ferrara will present information on the status of alligator gar populations in the southeastern U.S. and the importance of Texas populations.
II. Discussion: Alligator gar populations have gained heightened attention during the last 20 years as anglers have discovered the enjoyment of pursuing this unique species. Anglers from around the world travel to Texas for the opportunity to fish for a trophy alligator gar. Alligator gar populations in many parts of the U.S. are thought to be declining. Because of this and the increased angling pressure on alligator gar populations, Inland Fisheries staff is investigating possible management options to ensure gar populations are maintained in Texas and will continue to produce large, trophy-sized individuals.
Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Presenters: Alan Cain
Trapping, Transporting, and Transplanting (TTT) Game Animals and Game Birds
Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes
November 5, 2008
I. Executive Summary: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, the commission is authorized to establish permits and promulgate rules governing the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals or game birds.
II. Discussion: This item requests permission to publish proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposal would amend the department's rules governing the issuance of permits to trap, transport, and transplant game animals and game birds (TTT permits) to require that completed Trap Site and Release Site forms on the TTT application be submitted to appropriate TPWD biologist no later than January 1st. The applicant may delay submitting the completed TTT application until the trap and release sites have been approved and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) test results have been received. Last minute TTT requests are creating a conflict for previously scheduled MLDP inspections that need to occur. By establishing this deadline, the biologists will be better able to schedule inspections for both problems. This rule change would assist field biologists in planning and conducting on-site TTT habitat inspections while accomplishing other essential job duties including maintaining the integrity of the Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP) program by conducting on-site habitat evaluations of MLDP properties.