The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is proposing fishing regulation changes on two largemouth bass fisheries in East Texas, a clarification of fish harassment rules and new possession rules in state waters for aquatic resources taken in violation of federal regulations in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

TPWD staff presented on Wednesday proposed amendments to the 2013-14 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The recommended changes include:

Modifying existing regulations for largemouth bass on two East Texas reservoirs, Lake Jacksonville and Lake Kurth.

On Lake Jacksonville, the proposed change would remove the 18-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass. The five fish daily bag for bass would be retained, but anglers would be allowed to retain two largemouth bass less than 18 inches in length as part of that five fish bag.

For Lake Kurth, the proposed change would establish a 16-inch maximum length limit on largemouth bass, with a temporary retention of bass 24 inches or greater for weighing purposes and/or submission to the ShareLunker program. Anglers would be allowed to harvest five largemouth bass less than 16 inches in length.

Defining parameters of handfishing for catfish and listing restrictions to aid in public understanding and enforceability, specifically regarding prohibition of the use of devices, such as poles, sticks, boxes, and pipes to aid in handfishing.

Adding Canyon Lake Project #6 in Lubbock to special regulations for catfish and devices restrictions.

Clarifying the definition regarding possession of fish to indicate possession limits do not apply once the resource has been processed and reached final destination.

Clarifying the definition of fish harassment to note It would be unlawful to use any vessel to harry, herd, or drive fish by any means including but not limited to operating any vessel in a repeated circular course, for the purpose of or resulting in the concentration of fish for the purpose of taking or attempting to take fish.

Removing prohibitions concerning possession of red drum and bonus red drum tags.

Adding provisions regarding enforcement of federal regulations in state waters. The proposed change would make it a violation for a person to possess an aquatic wildlife resource taken in the Exclusive Economic Zone (federal waters 9-200 miles out) during a closed season provided by federal law; within a protected length limit or in excess of the daily bag limit established by federal law; or with any gear or device prohibited by federal law; or without a required license or permit required by federal law.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by mail or e-mail to Robert Macdonald:, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744.  Comments may also be submitted through the department’s Internet web site and at upcoming public meetings to be scheduled around the state.

TPWD Public Hearing Calendar

All meetings start at 7 p.m.

March 4

  • Alpine – Kokernot Lodge, 400 N Harrison St.
  • Jacksonville – Norman Activity Center, 526 E Commerce St.

March 5

  • Dickinson – Dickinson Marine Lab, 1502 FM 517 E
  • Fort Stockton – Pecos County Civic Center, N Hwy. 285

March 6

  • Dallas/Fort Worth – Cabela’s Allen, #1 Cabela’s Dr.

March 7

  • Corpus Christi – Texas A&M Corpus Christi, NRC Rm. 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.
  • Van Horn – El Capitan Hotel, 100 W Broadway

March 11

  • Lufkin – Angelina County Courthouse, 159th District Courtroom, 606 E Lufkin Ave.

March 12

  • Dalhart – Dallam County Courthouse, 414 Denver Ave.
  • San Antonio – Lions Field Community Center, 2809 Broadway

March 13

  • Houston – Sheldon Lake State Park Regional HQ, 14500 Garret Rd.

March 14

  • Austin – TPWD Commission Hearing Room, 4200 Smith School Rd.
  • Pampa – Gray County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Courtroom, 205 N Russell

Logo courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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