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TPWD News Release — April 1, 2011

TPWD Finalizes Hunting and Fishing Regulations for 2011-12

AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted hunting and fishing regulations for 2011-12 with relatively few changes. All amendments take effect Sept. 1, 2011.

Topping the list are regulation changes impacting turkey hunting, and potential alteration of some size and bag limits in waters shared with Louisiana.

Effective for the 2012 season, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is closing spring turkey hunting in the following 15 East Texas counties in response to low populations and harvest numbers: Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Houston, Hunt, Liberty, Montgomery, Rains, Rusk, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler and Walker.

Closing spring turkey seasons in these counties will enable biologists to reassess Eastern turkey restoration efforts in areas having suitable habitat, restock sites and provide brood stock protection. The agency’s goal is to reopen hunting once the Eastern turkey populations in the affected counties are capable of sustaining harvest.

Also effective for the 2012 season, TPWD is delaying spring Eastern turkey hunting in the remaining counties having an open season by two weeks, to run from April 15-May 14 beginning in 2012. Biologists say the delay gives hens time to begin nesting prior to the season opening.

Beginning in 2012, hunters may harvest any bearded Rio Grande turkey during the spring season in all counties having a bag limit of four turkeys.

A cooperative effort between TPWD and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to standardize fishing regulations on waters shared by the two states also received approval by the TPW Commission, pending adoption of similar changes by Louisiana in June.

Waters affected by the agreement include Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake and the Sabine River from Toledo Bend dam downstream to the Interstate 10 bridge. The proposal would also redefine the Toledo Bend Reservoir boundary from the U.S. Highway 84 bridge upstream to where the river and the state line diverge.

The amendments are intended to maintain quality angling and make compliance and enforcement uniform in both Texas and Louisiana jurisdictions, which should reduce potential angler confusion. Specific changes to existing harvest regulations on all three water bodies are as follows:

Other changes to fishing regulations taking effect Sept. 1, 2011 include the following: