TPWD Seeking Public Input on Saltwater Fishing Regulation Proposals for 2023-24

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AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is now accepting public comment on proposed changes to saltwater fishing regulations for the 2023–24 license year. These changes are focused on matching federal regulations to streamline enforcement and compliance issues.

TPWD will be taking public comment on the following proposed changes to the 2023–24 Statewide Recreational Fishing Proclamation, with input to be considered before any action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its March 2023 public hearing:

  • Add shortfin mako to the list of prohibited shark species for recreational and commercial fishing;
  • Require anglers to use descending devices when a fish exhibits signs of barotrauma and match federal DESCEND Act requirements;
  • Lower the bag limit for cobia to one fish per day per angler and create a vessel limit of two fish per trip, not to exceed the per person bag limit, for recreational and commercial fisheries.

The public is encouraged to provide comment on the proposed regulation changes. Opportunities to provide comments for or against these proposals include:

  • Public hearings: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff will host two public hearings on the coast to receive input from stakeholders and constituents concerning the proposed regulation changes.
    • Monday, March 6, at 6 p.m. at Nessler Civic Center in the Captain’s Room, 2010 5th Ave. N, Texas City, Texas 77590
    • Tuesday, March 7, at 6 p.m. at TAMU CC NRC Room 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, Texas 78412
  • Online: Online comments for each component of the changes can be provided on the TPWD public comment page until 5 p.m. on March 22.
  • Zoom Webinar: TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff will present the proposed fishing regulation changes and answer questions in a Zoom webinar at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 6. Register online.
  • In person: The TPW Commission will take public comment on the proposed changes at their meeting on Thursday, March 23 in Austin. Public testimony is normally limited to three minutes per person.