Presenter: Chris Huff
Al Vielma
Peter Flores

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Operation Pescador
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: This briefing will serve to update the Commission on the success of "Operation Pescador" where Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Game Wardens from across the state converged on Falcon Lake along the Texas-Mexico border in a concerted effort to clean up illegal commercial fishing activities and prevent water safety violations, as well as to enforce other state laws.

II. Discussion: "Operation Pescador" involved game wardens checking vessels on Falcon Lake, a massive impoundment along the Rio Grande River, extending about 20 miles long and three miles wide at some points and covering 87,000 surface acres. The purpose of the operation was to ensure compliance with all state game, fish and water safety laws. Commercial fishermen in possession of illegal nets were arrested and transported to the Zapata County jail and their vessels seized.

TPWD coordinated the effort with other agencies, including the Zapata County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Homeland Security. State game wardens arrested 28 violators, seizing 20 boats and 20 motors, and 98,150 feet (over 18 miles) of gill net, while working over 6,300 hours.