Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, April 15, 1998

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Creation of a Nongame Permit
Staff: Matt Wagner
Committee Only
3. FY 98-99 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Staff: Phil Durocher, Robert L. Cook, Paul Hammerschmidt
3
4. Deer Management Permit
Staff: Jerry Cooke
Committee Only
5. Public Lands Proclamation and Candidates State Parks for 1998-99 Public Hunts
Staff: Herb Kothmann
4
6. FY 98-99 Crab Fishery Proclamation
Staff: Gary Graham
5
7. FY 98-99 Statewide Shrimp Fishery Proclamation
Staff: Paul Hammerschmidt
6
8. Marine Safety Enforcement Officer Certification
Staff: Carlos Vaca
8
9. Health Certification of Native Shellfish and Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish
Staff: Joedy Gray
9
10. Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Staff: Vernon Bevill
Committee Only
11. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Regulations Committee
January 21, 1998

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the twenty-first day of January 1998, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 9:00 p.m., to wit:

I. COMMISSION ATTENDANCE:

Lee M. Bass
Ray Clymer
Nolan Ryan
Richard Heath
Susan Howard-Chrane
Mickey Burleson
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Carol E. Dinkins

II. OPENING STATEMENT:

Andrew Sansom, Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, read the opening statement into the record.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Chairman Bass began the proceedings by entertaining a motion by Commissioner Angelo to approve the minutes of the November 5, 1997, meeting of the Regulations Committee. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Howard-Chrane and passed unanimously.

IV. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE:

1. BRIEFING - Chairman's Charges

Presenter - Robert L. Cook

The Chair recognized Executive Director Sansom, who reported that with the actions of the January meeting, the Committee would have completed action on five items necessitated by the passage of House Bill 2542 (the Omnibus Bill) by the 75th Texas Legislature, and would be prepared for completion of two additional items at the April meeting. Mr. Sansom also reported that by his memorandum to staff, the department was initiating a 'Sunset' review of internal policies and procedures as directed by the Chairman. Chairman Bass asked for a percentage estimate of how many of the items created by the Omnibus Bill had been dealt with by the Commission thus far. Mr. Sansom responded that the figure was approximately 40%.

2. ACTION - Marine Safety Enforcement Officer Certification

Presenter - Carlos Vaca

The Chair recognized Carlos Vaca of the Law Enforcement Division, who in turn introduced James Robertson, Law Enforcement Division Director. Mr. Robertson recapitulated the legislative history and content of House Bill 966 (the Water Safety Act), enacted by the Legislature in 1997, which authorized the Commission to promulgate standards for the training and certification of peace officers to enforce the Act, and to assess fees for the recovery of costs resulting from the administration of the Act. Mr. Robertson also reported that the Department sponsored a meeting for the purposes of gathering comment from the law enforcement entities around the state that would be most affected by the Act. Mr. Robertson then reviewed the criteria contained in the proposal before the Committee. Chairman Bass inquired about provisions for continuing education. Mr. Robertson responded that the proposed rules did not require additional training. Commissioner Howard-Chrane moved to publish the proposed regulations for public comment. The motion passed unanimously.

3. ACTION - Raptor Proclamation

Presenter - John Herron

Mr. John Herron, Director of the Nongame and Urban Wildlife Program, and Rosie Roegner, Permits Coordinator, were recognized by the Chair. Mr. Herron reviewed the salient provisions of the proposed regulations, including liberalization of the educational display of raptors, the implementation of a nonresident raptor trapper's permit, provisions for the sale of captive-bred raptors, and the liberalization of hunting opportunity. Mr. Herron noted that all public comment received by the department supported the regulations as proposed. Mr. Herron and Chairman Bass discussed the implications of the proposed regulations with respect to the eventual delisting of the peregrine falcon by the federal government. Commissioner Ryan inquired as to the estimated demand for the nonresident trapper's permit. Mr. Herron responded that he expected demand to be slight. Commissioner Angelo moved to forward the item to the full commission for adoption. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ryan and passed unanimously.

4. ACTION - Scientific Breeder Proclamation

Presenter - Jerry Cooke

The Chair recognized Jerry Cooke, Director of the Upland Wildlife Ecology Program. Mr. Cooke reported that due to extensive outreach as part of the regulations development process, the department had received no public comment on the proposed regulation, and that they were essentially identical to the proposed regulations presented to the Committee at the November meeting. Mr. Cooke then reviewed the significant provisions of the proposed regulations, noting those provision necessitated by passage of House Bill 2542 by the 75th Texas Legislature. Commissioner Ryan moved to forward the proposed regulations to the full commission for adoption. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Howard-Chrane and passed unanimously.

5. ACTION - Mandatory Boater Education Program

Presenter - Steve Hall

The Chair recognized Steve Hall, Education Director. Mr. Hall reviewed legislative actions that mandated boater education for persons born on or after September 1, 1984. He also noted that the item was identical to the proposal presented to the Committee at the November meeting. Mr. Hall then outlined the structure and content of the proposed regulations, including exemptions. The Chairman asked how many hours of instruction were contained in the course and if the instruction was confined to a classroom environment. Mr. Hall responded that the course as proposed mandated six hours of instruction and that there was no requirement for 'hands-on' training. Commissioner Burleson moved to forward the proposed regulations to the full commission for adoption. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Angelo and passed unanimously.

6. ACTION - Crab License Limitation Program

Presenter - Robin Riechers

The Chair recognized Robin Riechers of the Coastal Fisheries Division, who outlined the history of the Crab Fishery Management Plan, the legislative action which authorized the Commission to implement the proposed regulations, and the Department's approach to implementation of Commission and legislative intent. Mr. Riechers reported that the Department had conducted extensive outreach activities to solicit participation from all impacted constituent groups. Mr. Riechers then explained the conservation goals of the department and outlined the particulars of the proposed regulations, including eligibility requirements, appeal process, fees, license transfers, a cap on the number of licenses that an individual may possess, crab trap marking, license suspension and/or revocation, and violations. Mr. Riechers them explained the nuances of the 'buy-back' provisions of the proposed regulations, including the structure of the Review Board and the scope of its activities. Chairman Bass asked about the license cap provision with respect to the license limitation for vessels. Mr. Riechers explained that only one license can be worked at one time, even though a person is entitled to hold up to three licenses, because law enforcement must have a way to precisely ascertain which persons are entitled to work which traps. Chairman Bass asked if the maximum number of traps permissible under a single license had changed, and how the proposed regulations affected recreational crabbing. Mr. Riechers responded that the maximum number of traps under a single license would remain at 200, and that the regulations did not affect recreational crabbing. Commissioner Dinkins moved to publish the proposed regulations for public comment. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Howard-Chrane and passed unanimously.

7. ACTION - Shrimp Fishery Proclamation

Presenter - Paul Hammerschmidt

The Chair recognized Mr. Paul Hammerschmidt, Coastal Fisheries Division Program Director. Mr. Hammerschmidt reviewed the Commission's authority to regulate shrimping and outlined the '50 per cent' rule restricting the retention of aquatic life other than shrimp by persons fishing under a shrimping license during certain times of the year. He then explained that present regulations include an exemption to provide more live bait for sport fishermen by allowing commercial shrimpers to retain fish for bait purposes. Mr. Hammerschmidt reviewed the department's outreach effort to the regulated community and the nature of the comments received. Based on that information, the Department proposes to extended the live bait exemption for commercial shrimp fishermen and include a temporary exemption for retaining dead ribbonfish in order to provide continued opportunity while the Department conducts additional research on the feasibility of other options for the regulation of baitfish retention. Chairman Bass asked why retained ribbonfish had to be dead. Mr. Hammerschmidt responded that ribbonfish are sensitive and are usually dead when they are brought aboard a vessel, and that the wording in effect means that ribbonfish do not have to be kept alive once they are caught. Commissioner Angelo moved to publish the proposed regulations for public comment. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Burleson and passed unanimously.

8. ACTION - Health Certification of Native Shellfish

Presenter - Joedy Gray

The Chair recognized Mr. Joedy Gray, staff support specialist with the Inland Fisheries Division, who presented proposed new regulations intended to protect wild native populations of shellfish from depletion due to disease introduced from cultured native shrimp stocks. Mr. Gray reviewed the proposed regulation, including the addition of definitions for the terms "disease", "disease-free"' "waste" and "water in the state"; methodologies for quarantine of pathogen-infected native shellfish, and immediate notification of the Department in the event of mortalities in cultured shellfish stocks. Due to comments received from shellfish researchers at Texas A&M University, Mr. Gray proposed to replace the term 'native shellfish' with 'native shrimp' wherever it occurred in the proposed new rules. Commissioner Howard-Chrane moved to forward the proposed regulations to the full Commission for adoption. Commissioners Clymer and Dinkins seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

9. ACTION - 1998-1999 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Presenters - Robert L. Cook, Phil Durocher, Paul Hammerschmidt

The Chair recognized Jerry Cooke, Program Director for Upland Wildlife Ecology. Mr. Cooke reviewed the process by which the proposed changes to the regulations were developed, the role of the department's outreach efforts, and the Department's continued efforts to implement Commission policy with respect to regulatory efficiency. Mr. Cooke then recapitulated the salient changes to the existing regulations, which included 'housekeeping'-type changes; the relocation of falconry seasons to the Raptor Proclamation; tagging requirements for desert bighorn sheep; the elimination of elk and aoudad as game animals; the inclusion of spike bucks as legal game during the special late season, the muzzleloader season, and on MLD properties; the removal of the LAMPS program in certain counties; the initiation of a white-tail season in two Panhandle counties; the reconfiguration of 'doe days' in certain East Texas counties; the elimination of the 'swing-tag' in favor of a four-deer bag limit; the initiation of a mule deer season in Andrews County; an extension of the squirrel season in certain counties; and presented discussion items the Department wished to address at public meetings. Chairman Bass asked about potential options to the present tagging system for wildlife resources. Mr. Cooke responded that the options ranged from modifications to the present system to the elimination of that system entirely, including the implementation of a 'license log' system. Chief Operating Officer Robert L. Cook offered historical background on the issue as it related to the point-of-sale system implemented by the Department for license issuance, and the ways in which staff had approached the question of ameliorating the difficulties experienced by the public. Mr. Cook also outlined a timeline for any changes, if necessary. Chairman Bass then inquired about the issue of the aggregate buck-deer bag limit in counties with a one-buck bag limit. Mr. Cooke responded that staff was researching the issue, but that it was complicated, as it involved the point-of-sale system. Chairman Bass asked about the time-limits proposed for desert bighorn sheep tagging. Mr. Cooke responded that department personnel had to record biological data and that department staff in the Trans-Pecos area are responsible for an extremely large geographical area, which necessitated the requirement for logistical reasons.

Mr. Ken Kurzawski of the Inland Fisheries Division presented regulation proposals for freshwater fish. The first proposal would change the current regulation for largemouth bass in Lake Fork from a 14-21 inch slot length limit to a 16-22 inch slot length limit. The upper end of the limit would be increased to 23 inches in 1999 and 24 inches in 2000. Daily bag would remain at five bass of which only one harvested bass could be equal to or above the upper end of the slot. This proposal addresses concerns by anglers and staff that too many trophy bass are being harvested. The modification of the preliminary proposal (14-24 inch slot length limit) was done to alleviate concerns expressed by local anglers and businesses while still achieving a substantial reduction in the harvest of trophy largemouth bass. Other changes to regulations for largemouth bass are on Lake Ray Roberts and Monticello (change to 14-24 inch slot length limits) and Lake Madisonville to a 14-18 inch slot length limit. Staff has proposed changing harvest regulations for white bass and hybrid striped bass on Lake Pat Mayse and Lake O' the Pines to the same minimum length limit (10 inches) for both fish, a combined daily bag of 25, and allowing the harvest of only 5 fish per day that are 18 inches or greater. Reservoir definitions for these two reservoirs will also need to be created or modified. These regulations would be evaluated to determine if identification problems between white bass and hybrid striped bass can be alleviated and sufficient harvest of quality-sized striped bass can be maintained. For Lake Tankersley near Mt. Pleasant, additional restrictions to the harvest of channel and blue catfish (reducing daily bag from 25 to 5) and restricting use of trotlines, throwlines, and juglines is being proposed to rebuild the catfish population. Bell Street Lake in San Angelo is being reclassified as a Community Fishing Lake because the size of the reservoir changed when its boundaries were re-drawn using GIS technology. The only additional regulation change will be to restrict angling to pole-and-line angling only. Minor modifications were also proposed to regulations passed during the last regulatory cycle. The boundary of the special regulation area for catfish and striped bass on the Trinity River below Lake Livingston needs to be corrected. Also, the language on using artificial lures for fishing in a section of the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake would be clarified. Division Director Durocher added additional comments that in the future mechanisms to further regulate the harvest of trophy bass from Lake Fork may be needed. Staff will continue to investigate the means available to accomplish this objective.

Paul Hammerschmidt, Coastal Fisheries Division Program Director, presented regulatory changes affecting saltwater fish, which included: adding the words 'for bait purposes only' to the current 5% tolerance limit for possession of undersize crabs; new options for the degradable trap panel requirement, to become effective as soon as possible; and an increase in the minimum size limit for vermilion snapper in response to changes in federal regulations. Commissioner Clymer asked how long it took for twine or wire on crab traps to degrade. Mr. Hammerschmidt replied that wire could take anywhere from 34 to 65 days to degrade. Chairman Bass asked if the Law Enforcement Division was comfortable with the crab-trap material requirements. Mr. Hammerschmidt responded that they were. Commissioner Ryan asked about life expectancy for crabs caught in a trap. Mr. Hammerschmidt replied that life expectancy for trapped crabs was highly variable, depending on how many crabs were in the trap, but that it was approximately 30 days. Commissioner Ryan then asked about the effect of abandoned traps, and M. Hammerschmidt explained that crabs in a trap attract other crabs, thus meaning that abandoned traps have a significant impact on populations.

Commissioner Ryan moved to publish the proposed regulations for public comment. Commissioner Howard-Chrane seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

10. ACTION - Deer Management Permit

Presenter - Jerry Cooke

The Chair recognized Mr. Jerry Cooke, Director of the Upland Wildlife Ecology Program. Mr. Cooke requested that Committee defer action on the item pending further Department solicitation of public opinion on the issue. Chairman Bass granted the request.

11. ACTION - Amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation and Candidate State Parks for 1998-1999 Public Hunts

Presenter - Herb Kothmann

The Chair recognized Herb Kothmann, Public Hunting Program Director. Mr. Kothmann reviewed the proposed changes to the Public Lands Proclamation, including: the deletion, addition, and renaming of various units of the public hunting system; access permits for equestrian use of lands leased from the Army Corps of Engineers; access permits on Caddo Lake WMA for persons who hunt or enter the land portion of the area; expansion of the number of species that may be hunted during extended hunts; and extension of the time periods for emplacement of temporary blinds on U.S. Forest Service areas administered by the Department. Mr. Kothmann then proposed candidate state parks for public hunting opportunity for the coming license year, including new hunts and modification or elimination of existing hunts on various units of the state park system. Commissioner Ryan asked if the cessation of hog hunts on Government Canyon meant that the Department would be contracting to have the hogs removed by a private trapper. Mr. Kothmann replied in the affirmative. Commissioner Angelo moved to publish the proposed regulations for public comment. Commissioner Howard-Chrane seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

12. ACTION - Creation of a Nongame Permit

Presenter - Matt Wagner

The Chair recognized John Herron, Nongame and Urban Wildlife Program Director, and Matt Wagner, Nongame Wildlife Program Leader. Mr. Wagner reviewed the background of nongame wildlife usage in Texas, and reported that the Department needed a way to assess the impact of commercial activities upon nongame populations. Mr. Wagner then outlined the basic structure and content of the proposed regulations, including: application and exemptions; possession limits; provisions for distinguishing commercial use from recreational use; fees; and reporting requirements. Chairman Bass asked about the differences between the collection permit and the dealer's permit. Mr. Wagner responded that the dealer's permit would be required of anyone buying and reselling nongame wildlife. Chairman Bass then asked who, specifically, would be required to possess a collection permit. Mr. Wagner replied that anyone possessing more than six specimens, or who is engaged in the sale of nongame wildlife would be required to possess the collection permit. The Chairman expressed concern that children possessing nongame for personal use, if they possessed more than six animals, would fall under the permit requirements as proposed. Mr. Wagner explained that the possession limit was envisioned as a method to quickly and unambiguously determine whether or not a person needed to have a collection permit. The Chairman asked if the proposed possession limit could be enlarged. Mr. Wagner answered that staff could certainly adjust the possession limit. Commissioner Ryan asked about the impact of the proposed regulations on rattlesnake roundups. Mr. Herron replied that the permit requirements as proposed would apply. Mr. Wagner added that under current law, a hunting license is required for any person to take nongame wildlife, and that there are permit requirements currently in effect for a variety of wildlife resources. Mr. Herron stated that he has heard from rattlesnake roundup sponsors that they are philosophically supportive of some kind of permit system. Mr. Herron and Commissioner Ryan then discussed the particulars of permit requirements and permit issuance with respect to rattlesnake roundups. Chairman Bass expressed his desire to see youth categorically exempted from permit requirements, and reiterated his concern that the proposed possession limit was too low and would adversely impact hobbyists and persons possessing for personal use. Mr. Herron asked the Chairman if youth should be exempted from all permit requirements, or just the collection permit requirement. Chairman Bass responded that he didn't want a child selling a skink to another child for a quarter to be required to possess a permit. Mr. Herron responded that staff could research options, but that the key was to have enforceable regulations, and stated that certainly it was not the intent of staff to unduly burden youth. Mr. James Robertson, Director of the Law Enforcement Division, outlined present license requirements for the take of nongame and explained how various exemptions would impact the enforcement of regulations and subsequent data retrieval by the Department. Mr. Robertson also stated that the proposed regulations were based on current management regimes in effect for the regulation of commercial fishing and furbearing animals, and that those regulations do not exempt youth. Chairman Bass stated that he understood why the regulations had been structured the way they were, but he was still uncomfortable with the burden they placed on people whose activities were incidental or minimal with respect to the commercial activities that should be monitored. Chairman Bass then suggested that the item be tabled, and instructed staff to return at a future date with revised regulations that did not adversely impact incidental or personal users. Executive Director Sansom then recommended that the item be withdrawn from the Committee's consideration and reintroduced at a later time. Commissioner Angelo asked what other states used a possession limit. Mr. Herron stated that the possession limits n other states generally ranged from six to ten.

V. OTHER BUSINESS - None.

VI. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Chairman Bass adjourned the January 21, 1998 meeting of the Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Regulations Committee
Briefing
Chairman's Charges
April 1998

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Matt Wagner

Regulations Committee
Action
Creation of a Nongame Permit
April 1998

I. Discussion: Chapter 67 of the Parks and Wildlife Code requires the Department to develop and administer management programs to ensure the viability of nongame fish and wildlife, and authorizes the Commission to establish any limitations on the take, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, and sale of nongame fish and wildlife that the Department considers necessary to manage such species. Staff briefed the Regulations Committee at the November 1997 meeting on the status of nongame populations and the need for a monitoring regime to assess commercial trade in nongame species. The Committee at that time authorized staff to draft proposed regulations, which were presented at the January 1998 meeting of the Regulations Committee. At that time, the impact of the proposed regulations upon youth engaged in incidental or noncommercial possession of nongame species was discussed, and staff was instructed to modify the proposed regulations to ensure the ability of youngsters to collect and possess nongame wildlife for personal use. The modified proposal is located at Exhibit A.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Regulations Committee of the Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish proposed 31 TAC §§65.325-65.332, concerning the take, possession, and sale of nongame wildlife, and an amendment to 31 TAC 53.8, concerning Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits, in the Texas Register for public comment."

Attachments - 2

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Nongame Permit Regulations
2. Exhibit B - Fees


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes new §§65.325-65.332, concerning permits for the sale or possession of nongame wildlife. The new rules are necessary to allow the department to monitor the impact of commercial trade and collection activities on the state's nongame wildlife populations in order to determine if there are nongame species in need of management. The new rules will function by requiring persons engaged in the collection or sale of nongame wildlife to possess a permit and comply with reporting requirements.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the new rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the new rules.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the new rules as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the acquisition of data that will provide a basis for the management of the nongame wildlife of the state and allow the department to determine what, if any, additional regulatory measures are needed.

(B) There will be an effect on small businesses and additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed; specifically, the $15 cost of acquiring a resident commercial collection permit ($50 nonresident), or the $50 cost of acquiring a resident nongame dealer permit ($200 nonresident). The cost of compliance for small businesses is the same as the cost of compliance for the largest business affected by the rule as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed new sections.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Matt Wagner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4396 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The new sections are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67, which provides the commission with authority to establish any limits on the take, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, or offering for sale of nongame fish or wildlife.

The new sections affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67.

PERMITS FOR THE COLLECTION AND SALE OF NONGAME WILDLIFE

§65.325. Applicability. This subchapter applies to the nongame wildlife listed in §65.331 of this title (relating to Affected Species), living or dead, including parts of nongame wildlife and captive-bred nongame wildlife, but does not apply to aquatic species, bobcat pelts, or processed products.

§65.326. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms shall have the meanings assigned by the Parks and Wildlife Code or regulatory definitions adopted under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code.

Captive-bred - Any wildlife born in captivity from parents held in captivity.

Commercial activity - The sale, offer for sale, exchange or barter of nongame wildlife.

Resale - Any transaction or activity in which a person purchases nongame wildlife or otherwise acquires nongame wildlife for a consideration and subsequently transfers or delivers the same nongame wildlife to any person in exchange for compensation or remuneration of any kind.

Processed product - Nongame wildlife or parts of nongame wildlife that have been treated or prepared, by means other than refrigeration or freezing, to prevent decomposition.

§65.327. Permit Required.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, no person in this state may engage in a commercial activity involving nongame wildlife, or possess more than ten specimens of nongame wildlife, unless that person possesses a valid commercial collection permit or a valid nongame dealer permit issued by the department, subject to the conditions provided in §65.328 of this subchapter (relating to Permit Restrictions)..

(b) No person in this state may resell nongame wildlife unless that person possesses a valid nongame dealer permit by the department.

(c) No person may transport or ship nongame wildlife out of this state, or cause such transport or shipment, for the purpose of sale unless that person possesses a valid nongame dealer permit issued by the department.

(d) This subchapter does not apply to:

(1) persons purchasing, possessing, or selling processed products;

(2) teachers at accredited primary or secondary educational institutions, provided that the nongame wildlife is possessed solely for educational purposes and is not sold or transferred to another person for the purpose of sale;

(3) persons or establishments selling nongame wildlife for and ready for immediate consumption in individual portion servings, and which are subject to limited sales or use tax; or

(4) persons less than 17 years of age, provided the person is not engaged in a commercial activity.

(e) A permit required by this subchapter shall be possessed on the person of the permittee during any activity governed by this subchapter.

(f) This subchapter does not relieve any person of the obligation to possess an appropriate hunting license for any activity involving the take of nongame wildlife.

§65.328. Permit Restrictions.

(a) A person possessing a valid commercial collection permit:

(1) may sell nongame wildlife lawfully collected by that person; and

(2) may buy lawfully collected nongame wildlife from any person lawfully authorized to sell nongame wildlife; but

(3) may not resell nongame wildlife unless the person possesses a valid nongame dealer's permit.

(b) A person possessing a valid nongame dealer permit may resell lawfully purchased nongame wildlife to anyone.

§65.329. Permit Application.

(1) An applicant for a permit under this subchapter shall submit to the department a completed application on a form supplied by the department, accompanied by the nonrefundable fee specified in Chapter 53 of this title (relating to Finance).

(2) The department reserves the right to refuse permit issuance to any person finally convicted of any violation of Parks and Wildlife Code during the five-year period immediately prior to an application for a permit under this subchapter. This paragraph does not apply to convictions under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 31.

(3) The department shall not issue a permit to any person who has not complied with the applicable requirements of §65.330 of this title (relating to Reporting Requirements).

(4) Permits shall be issued to named individuals only, resident or nonresident as applicable, and shall not be issued in the name of any firm, organization, or institution.

§65.330. Record and Reporting Requirements.

(a) A person possessing a commercial collection permit shall:

(1) maintain and possess upon their person during any collection activities a daily collection log indicating the date, location, and number of specimens of each species collected and/or possessed during the period of validity of the permit, which shall be presented upon demand to a game warden of the department; and

(2) complete and submit to the department a quarterly report, accompanied by the permittee's collection log, by the 15th of September, December, March, and June of each year.

(b) A person possessing a nongame dealer permit shall:

(1) maintain and make available to a game warden of the department upon demand a current daily record of all purchases and sales;

(2) maintain and make available to a game warden of the department upon demand an invoice or receipt identifying the source or origin of each specimen of nongame wildlife in possession; and

(3) complete and submit to the department a quarterly report by the 15th of September, December, March, and June of each year.

(c) All records required by this section shall be retained and kept available for inspection for a period of one year following the period of validity of the permit under which they are required to be kept.

§65.331. Affected Species. The following species are subject to the provisions of this subchapter.

Mammals

Mountain lion (Felis concolor)

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

Rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegatus)

Eastern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)

White-throated woodrat ( Neotoma albigula)

Eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana)

Mexican woodrat (Neotoma mexicana)

Southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus)

Mexican vole (Microtus mexicanus)

Prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)

Woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum)

Silky pocket mouse (Perognathus flavus)

Merriam’s pocket mouse (Perognathus merriami)

Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus)

Mexican ground squirrel (Spermophilus mexicanus)

Spotted ground squirrel (Spermophilus spilosoma)

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus)

Pocket gophers (Family Geomyidae)

Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)

Snakes

Bairds rat snake (Elaphe bairdi)

Texas rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta)

Trans Pecos rat snake (Elaphe subocularis)

Great Plains rat snake/Corn snake (Elaphe guttata)

Gray-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna)

Desert or Speckled kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus)

Bullsnake (Pituophis melanoleucus)

Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)

Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus)

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)

Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius)

Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix)

Checkered garter snake (Thamnophis marcianus)

Blackneck garter snake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis)

Ribbon snake (Thamnophis proximus)

Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus)

Texas glossy snake (Arizona elegans)

Western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus)

Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platyrhinos)

Mountain patchnose snake (Salvadora grahamiae)

Big bed patchnose snake (Salvadora deserticola)

Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)

Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)

Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

Pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius)

Rock rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus)

Blacktail rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus)

Texas longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Western cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus)

Rough earth snake (Virginia striatula)

Smooth earth snake (Virginia valeriae)

Ground snake (Sonora semiannulata)

Yellowbelly water snake (Nerodia erythrogaster)

Lizards and Salamanders

Collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)

Crevice spiny lizard (Sceloporus poinsettii)

Texas spiny lizard (Sceloporus olicaveus)

Desert spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister)

Eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

Canyon lizard (Sceloporus merriami)

Texas alligator lizard (Gerrhonotus liocephalus)

Slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus)

Greater earless lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)

Leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizeni)

Tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

Side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana)

Roundtail horned lizard (Phrynosoma modestum)

Whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus dixoni, C. exsanguis, C. gularis, C. inornatus, C. laredoensis, C. marmoratus, C. neomexicanus, C. septemvittatus, C. tesselatus, C. uniparens)

Six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus)

Broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps)

Great plains skink (Eumeces obsoletus)

Ground skink (Scincella lateralis)

Green anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Texas banded gecko (Coleonyx brevis)

Tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)

Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)

Mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)

Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

Turtles

Western box turtle (Terrapene ornata)

Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina)

Cagle’s map turtle (Graptemys caglei)

Mississippi map turtle (Graptemys kohnii)

False map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica)

Texas map turtle (Graptemys versa)

Ouachita/Sabine map turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis)

Yellow mud turtle (Kinosternon flavescens)

Eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)

Chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)

Slider (Trachemys scripta)

Smooth softshell turtle (Trionyx muticus), (Apalone muticus)

Spiny softshell (Trionyx spiniferus), (Apalone spiniferus)

River cooters (Pseudemys concinna)

Texas river cooter (Pseudemys texana)

Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Frogs and Toads

Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

Green treefrog (Hyla cinerea)

Squirrel treefrog (Hyla squirella)

Couch’s spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchi)

Plains spadefoot (Scaphiopus bombifrons)

Northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans)

Great plains toad (Bufo cognatus)

Green toad (Bufo debilis)

Red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus)

Texas toad (Bufo speciosus)

Gulf coast toad (Bufo valliceps)

Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousei)

Bull frog (Rana catesbeiana)

Southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala)

Bronze frog (Rana clamitans)

Pig frog (Rana grylio)

§65.332. Violations and Penalties. A person who violates any provision of this subchapter commits an offense and is subject to the penalties provided by Parks and Wildlife Code, §67.005

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit B

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.8, concerning fees schedules. The amendment to §53.8 is necessary to implement the fee for the newly created commercial nongame permits. The amendment will function to impose fees for residents and nonresidents required to possess a permit for the possession and/or sale of nongame wildlife.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed amendment is in effect, the fiscal implications to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed amendment will be the generation of revenue to the department by the sale of the permits to persons required to possess the permits. The department is unable to quantify estimated revenue because the permits are new and there are no historical data upon which to base such an estimate. There will be no fiscal impact on local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed amendment.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald has also determined that for each of the first five years the amendment as proposed is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule as proposed will be the discharge of the agency's statutory duty to manage the nongame wildlife of the state for the enjoyment of the citizenry.

(B) There will be an effect on small businesses and additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed; specifically, a $15 fee for the resident collection permit ($50 for nonresidents) and a $50 fee for the resident dealer's permit ($200 for nonresidents).

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rule.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Matt Wagner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4936 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §67.0041, which provides the commission with authority to establish a fee for permits issued under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67.

The amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67.

§53.8. Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits.

(a)-(e) (No change.)

(f) Commercial nongame permits. The following permit fee amounts (fees also prescribed in Chapter 65 of this title) are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1997, and thereafter:

(1) Resident Nongame Commercial Collector Permit (type 580) - $15;

(2) Nonresident Nongame Commercial Collector Permit (type 581) - $50;

(3) Resident Nongame Commercial Dealer Permit (type 582) - $50; and

(4) Nonresident Nongame Commercial Dealer Permit (type 583) - $200

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenters: Phil Durocher, Robert L. Cook, Paul Hammerschmidt

Regulations Committee
Action
1998-1999 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 3.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Regulations Committee
Action
Deer Management Permit
April 1998

I. Discussion: The passage of House Bill 2541 by the Seventy-fifth Legislature delegated to the Commission the authority to create a permit for the management of wild white-tailed deer on acreage enclosed by a fence capable of both retaining deer and preventing entry of deer. Under the provisions of HB 2541, the holder of a deer management permit must submit to the Department a management plan, but the Commission is granted broad authority to prescribe the particulars of a management plan, as well as other permit requirements and conditions.

The proposed regulations contained in Exhibit A create the Deer Management Permit and impose requirements for the detention and release of deer under a permit, but do not implement any harvest privileges beyond those available under the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish proposed new 31 TAC §§65.131-65.138, concerning Deer Management Permits, an amendment to 31 TAC §53.8, concerning Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits, the repeal of 31 TAC §65.26, and new 31 TAC §65.26, concerning Managed Lands Deer Permits, in the Texas Register for public comment."

Attachment - 1
1. Exhibit A - Proposed Regulations concerning Deer Management Permit


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes new §§65.131-65.138, concerning deer management permits. The new sections are necessary to implement the provisions of House Bill 2542, enacted by the 75th Legislature, which authorized the commission to create and administer a permit for the management of white-tailed deer. The new sections will function to establish a deer management permit; provide for application requirements and fees; establish general provisions; specify facility standards for pens in which deer are detained, the period of time deer may be detained, the requirements for marking detained deer, and the manner in which detained deer are released; provide for the disposition of incidental mortalities; and impose penalties for violations of the new sections.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed new sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed new sections.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed new sections are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the enhanced management, stewardship, and conservation of white-tailed deer in this state.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed, because the permit is not mandatory. Persons applying for the permit, however, must pay a $1,000 fee for the initial permit and a $500 fee for permit renewal.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4774 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment and new section are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R, as enacted by the passage of House Bill 2542, 75th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, which provides the commission with authority to establish a permit for the management of wild white-tailed deer; the number, type, and length of time that deer may be detained in an enclosure; and the fee for a deer management permit.

The new sections affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R.

§65.131. Deer Management Permit (DMP).

(a) The department may issue a Deer Management Permit to a person who has met the requirements of §65.126 of this title (relating to Permit Application and Fees).

(b) A person who possesses a valid Deer Management Permit may trap and detain wild deer according to the provisions of this subchapter and Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R.

(c) The provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, and L do not apply to deer lawfully detained under a valid DMP, and no other permit or license is necessary to conduct activities authorized under a DMP.

(d) Changes to an approved Deer Management Plan shall be considered as a new application.

§65.132. Permit Application and Fees. Applicants for a DMP shall complete and submit an application on a form supplied by the department. Applications for a DMP shall be accompanied by a wildlife management plan containing the information stipulated by the application form and the nonrefundable fee as specified in §53.8 of this title (relating to Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits). Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant and will not be processed until complete. No DMP may be issued until the department approves the applicant's wildlife management plan.

§65.133. General Provisions.

(a) Deer detained under a DMP shall not be commingled with deer held under any other license or permit, except as provided under this subchapter.

(b) Any deer introduced into a pen containing deer detained under a DMP become wild deer and must be released according to the provisions of §65.130 of this title (relating to Release).

(c) The holder of a DMP is entitled to the issuance of Managed Lands Deer Permits subject to the provisions of §65.26 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits).

§65.134. Facility Standards.

(a) No pen used to detain deer under a DMP shall be more than 100 acres in area or less than five acres in area, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) A pen less than five acres in area must contain at least 50,000 square feet of continuous natural vegetation of the type typically used by white-tailed for concealment and cover.

(c) During the period from September 1 through January 31, no pen shall contain more than:

(1) one buck deer; and/or

(2) 20 doe deer.

§65.135. Detention and Marking of Deer.

(a) No trapping of deer under a DMP may take place between March 2 and August 31 of any year.

(b) All deer detained under a DMP shall be released by no later than ten months following capture, unless the detention is approved by the department in the applicant's management plan.

(c) All deer detained under a DMP shall be marked, at a minimum, by a continuous stripe of yellow, acrylic, water-based paint no less than three inches wide along the spine from the shoulders to the tail, or as approved by the department in the applicant’s wildlife management plan.

§65.136. Release.

(a) Release of deer shall be effected by removing, for a continuous distance of no less than 100 yards, those components of a pen that serve to maintain deer in a state of detention within the pen. Such components shall be removed for no fewer than 60 consecutive days. The provisions of this subsection may be altered, provided the specific details of the release technique are included in the applicant's wildlife management plan and are approved by the department.

(b) No deer held under a DMP shall be released between November 1 and March 1, unless such release is approved by the department in the applicant's management plan.

§65.137. Disposition of Mortalities. A permittee shall, within ten days of disposing of any deer under the provisions of this section, complete and forward to the department a department-issued or department-approved disposition receipt form accounting for each deer disposed of under the provisions of this section. All deer that die as a result or in the course of activities conducted under a DMP shall be kept in an edible condition and disposed of by one of the following methods:

(1) donation to charitable organizations, public hospitals, orphanages, or indigent persons;

(2) transfer or donation to other persons authorized to receive such specimens under a license or permit issued by the department; or

(3) special disposition as prescribed in writing by the department.

§65.138. Violations and Penalties. A violation of any provision of this subchapter is an offense and is subject to the penalties prescribed by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642

FEES FOR DEER MANAGEMENT PERMIT

PROPOSED PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.8, concerning Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits. The amendment is necessary to set the fees for application and renewal of deer management permits. The new section will function to establish a fee of $1,000 for the initial permit application and a fee of $500 for annual renewal

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed new section is in effect, there will be no negative fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed new section.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed new section is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule as proposed will be the enhanced management of white-tailed deer in this state.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed, because the permit is not mandatory. Persons applying for the permit, however, must pay a $1,000 fee for the initial permit and a $500 fee for permit renewal.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4774 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment and new section are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R, as enacted by the passage of House Bill 2542, 75th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, which provides the commission with authority to establish a permit and fees for the management of wild white-tailed deer.

The new sections affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter R.

§53.8. Miscellaneous Wildlife Licenses and Permits.

(a) Deer breeding and related permits. The following permit application processing fee amounts are effective beginning December 1, 1995, and thereafter. Permit application processing fees (fees also prescribed in Chapter 65 of this title (relating to Wildlife)):

(1) scientific breeder's (type 112)—$150;

(2) deer purchase (type 170)—$25; [and]

(3) deer transport (type 171)—$25; and [.]

(4) application for deer management permit - $1,000; and

(5) renewal of deer management permit - $500.

(b)-(e) (No change.)

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642

MLD PERMIT

PROPOSED PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §65.26 and new §65.26, concerning Managed Lands Deer (MLD) permits. The repeal and new section are necessary to advance the commission policy of providing the maximum opportunity for the enjoyment of wildlife resources by the citizens of this state. The new section will function to establish: eligibility requirements for the issuance of MLD permits; privileges accruing to the holders of MLD permits; tagging requirements; the conditions and time periods during which it is lawful to hunt deer on properties for which MLD permits have been issued; provisions for the return of MLD permits by landowners who opt out of the program; and conditions under which the department may refuse to issue MLD permits.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed new section is in effect, there will be no negative fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed new section.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed new section is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rule as proposed will be increased recreational opportunity as a result of encouraging optimized management of deer on private lands in this state.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed, because participation is not mandatory and there is no fee for participation.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4774 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment and new section are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, Uniform Wildlife Regulatory Act (Wildlife Conservation Act of 1983), which provides the Commission with authority to establish wildlife resource regulations for this state.

The new sections affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

§65.26. Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits.

(a) MLD permits may be issued only to a landowner who has a current WMP in accordance with §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan) that specifies a harvest quota of buck and/or antlerless white-tailed deer or antlerless mule deer.

(b) An applicant may request the issuance of permits for antlerless-only or both-sex harvest quotas for white-tailed deer, or an antlerless-only harvest quota for mule deer.

(c) The number of MLD permits distributed to a hunter shall be at the discretion of the landowner.

(d) Except for deer taken under an Antlerless and Spike-Buck Control Permit, all deer harvested on a property where MLD permits have been issued must be tagged with the appropriate MLD permit as specified in the WMP.

(e) On all tracts of land for which both MLD buck permits and MLD antlerless permits have been issued for the harvest of white-tailed deer, and on properties for which the WMP specifies a harvest quota of zero for either sex:

(1) the bag limit shall be five white-tailed deer, no more than three bucks, regardless of the county bag limit;

(2) the provisions of §65.42(b)(7) of this title (relating to Archery-Only Open Season) and the stamp requirements of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I, do not apply;

(3) the landowner may allow the hunting of white-tailed deer from the Saturday closest to September 30 through the third Sunday in January; and

(4) a hunter shall use an appropriate white-tailed deer tag from his or her hunting license, provided the hunter also possesses an appropriate MLD permit for each deer taken.

(f) If a landowner in possession of MLD permits does not wish to abide by the harvest quota specified by the WMP, the landowner must return all MLD permits to the department by opening day of that year's special archery season.

(g) The department reserves the right to deny further issuance of MLD permits to a landowner who exceeds the harvest quota specified by the WMP or who does not otherwise abide by the WMP.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Herb Kothmann

Regulations Committee
Action
Amendment to the Public Lands Proclamation
Establishment of an Open Season on Public Lands 1998-1999 Proposed Hunting Activities on State Parks
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 4.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Robin Riechers

Regulations Committee
Action
FY 98-99 Crab Fishery Proclamation
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 5.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Paul Hammerschmidt

Regulations Committee
Action
FY 98-99 Statewide Shrimp Fishery Proclamation
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 6.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Presenter: Carlos Vaca

Regulations Committee
Action
Marine Safety Enforcement Officer Certification
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 8.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter: Joedy Gray

Regulations Committee
Action
FY 98-99 Crab Fishery Proclamation
April 1998

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 9.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 10
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
Action
1998-1999 Migratory Gamebird Proclamation
April 1998

I. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, means, methods, and devices for harvesting migratory game birds within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) frameworks is delegated to the Commission under Chapter 64, Subchapter C, Parks and Wildlife Code. Under the provisions of House Bill 2542, as enacted by the Seventy-fifth Legislature, however, §64.022 of the Parks and Wildlife Code was amended to permit the Commission to delegate rulemaking authority for migratory game birds to the Executive Director. This proclamation includes rules authorizing the Executive Director, in consultation with the Chairman of the Commission, to amend regulations for migratory game birds.

At present, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has not issued the annual regulatory frameworks for migratory game birds. Since the current regulations reflect the Commission's policy to provide the most liberal harvest provisions permissible under the federal frameworks, staff recommends retaining those provisions should the Service frameworks remain unchanged from last year. Should the Service issue frameworks that are more restrictive than the Department's proposal, the Department will adopt the restrictions under the 'federal-mandate' provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Regulations Committee of the Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish proposed amendments to 31 TAC §§65.309, and 65.313-65.320, concerning migratory game bird regulations, in the Texas Register for public comment."

Attachment - 1

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Migratory Bird Proclamation


Committee Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit A

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§ 65.309 and 65.312-65.320, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation. The amendment to § 65.309, concerning Definitions, adds a definition of Harvest Information Program (HIP), modifies the definition of nontoxic shot to eliminate unnecessary verbiage, and numbers the definitions to conform with the new Texas Register style sheet. The amendment of § 65.312 makes the documentation requirement for migratory game birds the same as all other game birds except turkey and is necessary to insure the integrity of established bag and possession limits. The amendment to § 65.314, concerning General Rules, would require migratory-bird hunters to be certified in the Harvest Information Program. The amendment of § 65.313 eliminates redundant wording already in statute and makes HIP requirements conform to those in federal regulations. The amendment to § 65.314, concerning Zones and Boundaries for Early Season Species, adds three species of migratory game birds (sandhill cranes, woodcock, and snipe) from § 65.317, concerning Zones and Boundaries for Late Season Species, to place species with similar hunting regulations in the same section. The amendment to § 65.315, concerning Open Seasons and Bag Limits-Early Season, adjusts season dates to provide for optimum hunter opportunity, delays the opening of teal season and the first segment of the rail and gallinule season by one week, clarifies the bag composition for doves as adopted by the commission in 1997, and relocates the season dates for sandhill cranes, woodcock, and snipe from § 65.318, concerning Open Seasons and Bag Limits-Late Season Species, to consolidate provisions for those species in a single section with similar provisions for other species. The amendment to § 65.316, concerning Closed Areas, eliminates the white-winged dove sanctuary areas, which are no longer necessary for the management of that species. The amendment to § 65.317, concerning Zones and Boundaries for Late Season Species, has been described earlier. The amendment to § 65.318, concerning Open Seasons and Bag Limits-Late Season, adjusts season dates to provide for optimum hunter opportunity and moves the season dates for sandhill cranes, woodcock, and snipe to another section for the reasons described earlier. The amendments to § 65.319 and § 65.320, concerning Extended Falconry Seasons for Early Season Species and Late Season Species, respectively, adjusts season dates to provide for optimum hunter opportunity and removes provisions for sandhill cranes, woodcock, and snipe for relocation to another section.

Final adoption of any regulation involving migratory game-bird resources is contingent upon regulatory frameworks issued by the Office of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The commission's policy is to adopt the most liberal regulations possible under those federal frameworks.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rules are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed amendment.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the amendment and new rule as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the department's discharge of its statutory obligation to manage and conserve the state's populations of migratory game birds, as well as implementation of commission policy to maximize recreational opportunity for the citizenry.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, § 2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Vernon Bevill, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4578 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64, Subchapter C, which authorizes the Commission and the Executive Director to provide the open season and means, methods, and devices for the hunting and possessing of migratory game birds.

The amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64, Subchapter C.

§65.309. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms shall have the meanings assigned in Subchapter A of this chapter (relating to Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation).

(1) Baited area - Any area where shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat, or other grain, salt, or other feed capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered; and the area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat, or other grain, salt or other feed.

(2) Baiting - The placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat, or other grain, salt, or other feed so as to constitute for migratory game birds a lure, attraction, or enticement to, on, or over areas when hunters are attempting to take such birds.

(3) Dark geese - Canada, white-fronted, and all other geese except light geese.

(4) Harvest Information Program (HIP) - A mandatory certification process for all persons who hunt or intend to hunt migratory game birds. To be certified, a person must answer a series of questions about their migratory game-bird hunting habits.

(5) Legal shotgun - A shotgun not larger than 10 gauge, fired from the shoulder, and incapable of holding more than three shells. (Guns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler which is incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so the gun's total capacity does not exceed three shells.)

(6) Light geese - Snow, blue, and Ross' geese.

(7) Nontoxic shot - Any shot [shot-type that does not cause sickness and death when ingested by migratory birds as determined by criteria established under Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Chapter 1, § 20.134. The only nontoxic shot currently] approved by the director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service[, is steel shot (including copper, nickel, or zinc coated steel shot), bismuth-tin shot, or tungsten-iron shot].

(8) Personal residence - One's principal or ordinary home or dwelling place. The term does not include a temporary or transient place of residence or dwelling such as a hunting club, or any club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house used as a hunting club, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used during a hunting, pleasure, or business trip.

(9) Sinkbox - Any type of low floating device having a depression which affords the hunter a means of concealing himself below the surface of water.

(10) Wildlife resource - For the purposes of this subchapter, wildlife resource includes all migratory birds.

§ 65.312. Possession of Migratory Game Birds.

(a) For all migratory birds taken for which there is a possession limit, the possession limit shall apply until the birds have reached the personal residence of the possessor and are finally processed.

(b) A person may give, leave, receive, or possess any species of legally taken migratory game birds, or parts of birds, that are protected by a bag or possession limit, if the birds are accompanied by a wildlife resource document from the person who killed the birds. For example, a wildlife resource document is required if the birds are being transported by another person for the hunter, or if the birds have been left for cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment, or taxidermy services. The wildlife resource document is not required of a person who lawfully killed the birds to possess the birds, or if the birds are transferred at the personal residence of the donor or donee. If the birds have been finally processed at a cold storage or processing facility and a person transports more than a legal possession limit, then a wildlife resource document must accompany the birds in excess of the possession limit until they reach the permanent residence of the possessor. Except as provided in this subsection, a wildlife resource [The] document shall accompany the birds until the birds reach their final destination and must contain the following information:

(1) the name, signature, address, and hunting license number of the person who killed the birds;

(2) the name of the person receiving the birds;

(3) the number and species of birds or parts;

(4) the date the birds were killed; and

(5) the location where the birds were killed (e.g., name of ranch; area; lake, bay, or stream; county).

(c) No person may:

(1) take or have in possession more than the bag and possession limits of each species of migratory game birds except as provided in this section;

(2) possess migratory game birds on the opening day of the season in excess of the applicable daily bag limit;

(3) possess more than one daily bag limit of freshly killed migratory game birds while in the field or while returning from the field to one's hunting camp, automobile or other motor driven land conveyance, aircraft, temporary lodging facility, personal residence, or cold storage or processing facility; or

(4) possess freshly killed migratory game birds during the closed season.

§ 65.313. General Rules.

(a) No person shall hunt migratory game birds except during the open season as provided herein, or at any time except during the hours as provided herein. All dates are inclusive.

[(b) No person shall kill or wound a migratory game bird without making a reasonable effort to retrieve it.]

[(c) Every migratory game bird wounded by hunting and retrieved by the hunter shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit.]

(b)[(d)] Shooting hours for migratory game birds are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except during the special white-winged dove season. In the special white-winged dove zone during [During] the special white-winged dove season, shooting hours are from noon to sunset.

(c) No person shall hunt migratory game birds in this state unless that person is certified in the Harvest Information Program.

(d) The executive director may, in consultation with the Chairman of the Commission, make necessary modifications in §§ 65.309-65.320.

§ 65.314. Zones and Boundaries for Early Season Species.

(a) Rails: statewide.

(b) Mourning and white-winged doves.

(1) North Zone: That portion of the state north of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Fort Hancock; thence north along FM 1088 to State Highway 20; thence west along State Highway 20 to State Highway 148; thence north along State Highway 148 to Interstate Highway 10 at Fort Hancock; thence east along Interstate Highway 10 to Interstate Highway 20; thence northeast along Interstate Highway 20 to Interstate Highway 30 at Fort Worth; thence northeast along Interstate Highway 30 to the Texas-Arkansas state line.

(2) Central Zone: That portion of the state between the North Zone and the South Zone.

(3) South Zone: That portion of the state south of a line beginning at the International Toll Bridge in Del Rio; thence northeast along U.S. Highway 277 Spur to U.S. Highway 90 in Del Rio; thence east along U.S. Highway 90 to Interstate Highway 10 at San Antonio; thence east along Interstate Highway 10 to the Texas-Louisiana State Line.

(4)[(c)] [White-wi nged doves.] Special white-winged dove area: That portion of the state south and west of a line beginning at the International Toll Bridge in Del Rio; thence northeast along U.S. Highway 277 Spur to U.S. Highway 90 in Del Rio; thence east along U.S. Highway 90 to United States Highway 83 at Uvalde; thence south along U.S. Highway 83 to State Highway 44; thence east along State Highway 44 to State Highway 16 at Freer; thence south along State Highway 16 to State Highway 285 at Hebbronville; thence east along State Highway 285 to FM 1017; thence southeast along FM 1017 to State Highway 186 at Linn; thence east along State Highway 186 to the Mansfield Channel at Port Mansfield; thence east along the Mansfield Channel to the Gulf of Mexico.

(d) Gallinules (Moorhen or common gallinule and purple gallinule): statewide.

(e) Teal ducks (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon): statewide.

(f) Sandhill cranes.

(1) Zone A: that portion of Texas lying west of a line beginning at the international toll bridge at Laredo, thence northeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 in Laredo, thence north along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio, thence northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 at Junction, thence north along U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, thence east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line.

(2) Zone B: That portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at the junction of Interstate Highway 35 and the Texas-Oklahoma state line, thence south along Interstate Highway 35 (following Interstate Highway 35 West through Fort Worth) to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio thence northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 in Junction, thence north along U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, thence east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line, thence eastward along the Texas-Oklahoma state line to Interstate Highway 35.

(3) Zone C: that portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at the international toll bridge at Brownsville, thence north and east along U.S. Highway 77 to its junction with U.S. Highway 87 at Victoria, thence eastward along U.S. Highway 87 to its junction with Farm Road 616 at Placedo, thence north and east along Farm Road 616 to its junction with State Highway 35, thence north and east along State Highway 35 to its junction with State Highway 6 at Alvin, thence west and north along State Highway 6 to its junction with U.S. Highway 290, thence westward along U.S. Highway 290 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 at Austin, thence south along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with U.S. Highway 81 in Laredo, thence southwest along U.S. Highway 81 to the international toll bridge in Laredo, thence south and east along the U.S.-Mexico international boundary to its junction with the U.S. Highway 77 international toll bridge at Brownsville.

(g) Woodcock: statewide.

(h) Common snipe: statewide.

§ 65.315. Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Early Season.

(a) Rails.

(1) Dates: September 19-27, 1998 [13-21, 1997], and November 7, 1998 [1997] -January 6, 1999 [7, 1998].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits:

(A) king and clapper rails: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(B) sora and Virginia rails: 25 in the aggregate per day; 25 in the aggregate in possession.

(b) Dove seasons [Mourning doves].

(1) North Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1-October 30, 1998 [1997].

(B) Daily bag limit [and possession limits: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate including no more than six white-winged doves and two white-tipped doves per day; Special provision: the provisions of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph are replaced by the following provisions. Daily bag and possession limits]: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: [30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 12 white-winged doves and four white-tipped doves in possession] 30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(2) Central Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1-October 18, 1998 [19, 1997], and December 26, 1998 [1997]-January 6, 1999 [5, 1998].

(B) Daily bag limit [and possession limits: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate including no more than six white-winged doves and two white-tipped doves per day; Special provision: the provisions of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph are replaced by the following provisions. Daily bag and possession limits]: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: [30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 12 white-winged doves and four white-tipped doves in possession] 30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(3) South Zone.

(A) Dates: Except in the special white-winged dove area as defined in §65.314 of this title (relating to Zones and Boundaries for Early Season Species), September 25 [20]-November 8, 1998 [7, 1997], and December 26, 1998 [1997]-January 9, 1999 [5, 1998]. In the special white-winged dove area, the mourning dove season is September 25 [20]-November 8, 1998 [3, 1997], and December 26, 1998 [1997]-January 5, 1999 [1998].

(B) Daily bag limit [and possession limits: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate including no more than six white-winged doves and two white-tipped doves per day; Special provision: the provisions of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph are replaced by the following provisions. Daily bag and possession limits]: 15 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: [30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 12 white-winged doves and four white-tipped doves in possession] 30 mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(4)[(c)] Special white-winged dove area (See §65.314(c).) [White-winged doves].

(A)[(1)] Dates: September 5, 6, 12, and 13, 1998 [6, 7, 13, and 14, 1997].

(B)[(2)] Daily bag limit [and possession limits]: 10 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, in the aggregate to include no more than five mourning doves and two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: 20 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate to include no more than 10 mourning doves and four white-tipped doves in possession.

(d) Gallinules.

(1) Dates: September 19-27, 1998 [13-21, 1997], and November 7, 1998 [8, 1997]-January 6, 1999 [7, 1998].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(e) Teal ducks.

(1) Dates: September 19-27, 1998 [13-21, 1997].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: four in the aggregate per day; eight in the aggregate in possession.

(f) Red-billed pigeons, and band-tailed pigeons. No open season.

(g) Shorebirds. No open season.

(h) Sandhill cranes. A free permit is required of any person to hunt sandhill cranes in areas where an open season is provided under this proclamation. Permits will be issued on an impartial basis with no limitation on the number of permits that may be issued. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(1) Zone A: November 7, 1998-February 7, 1999.

(2) Zone B: November 28, 1998-February 7, 1999.

(3) Zone C: January 2, 1999-February 7, 1999.

(i) Woodcock: December 18, 1998-January 31, 1999. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(j) Common snipe (Wilson's snipe or jacksnipe): October 17, 1998-January 31, 1999. The daily bag limit is eight. The possession limit is 16.

§ 65.316. Closed Areas.

[(a)] The season is closed on migratory game birds on public roads and highways, or rights-of-way of public roads and highways, the state-owned riverbeds in Dimmit, Uvalde and Zavala Counties, including but not limited to the Nueces and Frio rivers, and state wildlife preserves and sanctuaries unless an open season is otherwise provided. The open season for the taking of migratory game birds on any federal wildlife refuge shall be in accordance with the special hunting regulations duly adopted and published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

[(b) The White-Winged Dove Sanctuary Area designated as Sanctuary A is closed to all dove hunting only during the Special White-Winged Dove Season in even-numbered years, and is that area of Texas south of a line extending north from the International Bridge at Brownsville along State Highway 415 to U.S. 281; thence north and west along U.S. 281 to FM 1015 and south along FM 1015 to the International Bridge near Progreso; and that area of Texas south of a line extending north along U.S. 281 from the International Bridge at Hidalgo; thence north along Spur 115 to FM 1016; thence west and north along FM 1016 to U.S. 83 at Mission; thence west along U.S. 83 to Loop 374; thence west along Loop 374 to FM 2062; thence south along FM 2062 to the entrance of Bentsen State Park; and thence along the east boundary of Bentsen State Park to the Rio Grande; and that area of Texas south of a line extending north from the Rio Grande at Los Ebanos along FM 886 to U.S. 83; thence west along U.S. 83 to FM 755 at Rio Grande City; and thence south along FM 755 to the Rio Grande.]

[(c) The area designated as Sanctuary B is closed to all dove hunting only during the Special White-Winged Dove Season in odd-numbered years, and is that area of Texas west and south of a line extending north along FM 1015 from the International Bridge near Progreso to U.S. 281, and west along U.S. 281 to the International Bridge at Hidalgo; and that area of Texas south of a line extending north from the Rio Grande along the east and north boundaries of Bentsen State Park to its junction with FM 2062; thence along FM 2062 to Loop 374; thence west along Loop 374 to U.S. 83; thence west along U.S. 83 to FM 886; and thence south along FM 886 to the Rio Grande at Los Ebanos; and that area of Texas south of a line extending north from the Rio Grande at Rio Grande City along FM 755 to U.S. 83; thence west along U.S. 83 to first junction of FM 2098; thence north and west along FM 2098 to the Rio Grande.]

§ 65.317. Zones and Boundaries for Late Season Species.

(a) Ducks, mergansers, and coots.

(1) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: that portion of Texas lying west of a line from the international toll bridge at Del Rio, thence northward following U.S. Highway 277 to Abilene, State Highway 351 and State Highway 6 to Albany, and U.S. Highway 283 from Albany to Vernon, thence eastward along U.S. Highway 183 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line.

(2) North Zone: that portion of Texas not in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit but north of a line from the International Toll Bridge in Del Rio; thence northeast along U.S. Highway 277 Spur to U.S. Highway 90 in Del Rio; thence east along U.S. Highway 90 to Interstate Highway 10 at San Antonio; thence east along Interstate Highway 10 to the Texas-Louisiana State Line.

(3) South Zone: the remainder of the state.

(b) Geese.

(1) Western Zone: that portion of Texas lying west of a line from the international toll bridge at Laredo, thence northward following IH 35 and 35W to Fort Worth, thence northwest along U.S. Highways 81 and 287 to Bowie, thence northward along U.S. Highway 81 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line.

(2) Eastern Zone: the remainder of the state.

[(c) Sandhill cranes.]

[(1) Zone A: that portion of Texas lying west of a line beginning at the international toll bridge at Laredo, thence northeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 in Laredo, thence north along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio, thence northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 at Junction, thence north along U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, thence east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line.]

[(2) Zone B: That portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at the junction of Interstate Highway 35 and the Texas-Oklahoma state line, thence south along Interstate Highway 35 (following Interstate Highway 35 West through Fort Worth) to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio thence northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 in Junction, thence north along U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, thence east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma state line, thence eastward along the Texas-Oklahoma state line to Interstate Highway 35.]

[(3) Zone C: that portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at the international toll bridge at Brownsville, thence north and east along U.S. Highway 77 to its junction with U.S. Highway 87 at Victoria, thence eastward along U.S. Highway 87 to its junction with Farm Road 616 at Placedo, thence north and east along Farm Road 616 to its junction with State Highway 35, thence north and east along State Highway 35 to its junction with State Highway 6 at Alvin, thence west and north along State Highway 6 to its junction with U.S. Highway 290, thence westward along U.S. Highway 290 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 at Austin, thence south along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with U.S. Highway 81 in Laredo, thence southwest along U.S. Highway 81 to the international toll bridge in Laredo, thence south and east along the U.S.-Mexico international boundary to its junction with the U.S. Highway 77 international toll bridge at Brownsville.]

[(d) Woodcock: statewide.]

[(e) Common snipe (Wilson's snipe or jacksnipe): statewide.]

§65.318. Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Late Season. The possession limit for all species listed in this section shall be twice the daily bag limit, except for light geese. The possession limit for light geese shall be four times the daily bag limit.

(1) Ducks, mergansers, and coots. The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may include no more than five mallards or Mexican mallards (Mexican duck), only two of which may be hens, one mottled duck, three pintails, two redheads, one canvasback, and two wood ducks. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than one hooded merganser.

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: October 10-13, 1998 [11-14, 1997], and October 17, 1998 [18, 1997]-January 17, 1999 [18, 1998].

(B) North Zone: October 24 [25]-November 1, 1998 [2, 1997], and November 14, 1998 [15, 1997]-January 17, 1999 [18, 1998].

(C) South Zone: October 24 [25]-November 29, 1998 [30, 1997], and December 12, 1998 [13, 1997]-January 17, 1999 [18, 1998].

(2) Geese.

(A) Western Zone.

(i) Light geese: October 31, 1998 [November 1, 1997]-February 14, 1999 [15, 1998]. The daily bag limit for light geese is ten.

(ii) Dark geese: October 31, 1998 [November 1, 1997]-February 14, 1999 [15, 1998]. The daily bag limit for dark geese is five, which may not include more than four Canada geese and one white-fronted goose.

(B) Eastern Zone.

(i) Light geese: November 7, 1998 [1, 1997]-February 21, 1999 [15, 1998]. The daily bag limit for light geese is ten.

(ii) Dark geese: October 24, 1998 - January 17, 1999 [November 1, 1997-January 25, 1998]. The daily bag limit for dark geese is two, which may not include more than one Canada goose and one white-fronted goose. [During the period January 19-25, 1998, the daily bag limit is one Canada goose and one white-fronted goose, or two Canada geese.]

[(3) Sandhill cranes. A special permit, issued free of charge by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744, is required of any person to hunt, shoot, or kill sandhill cranes in areas where an open season is provided under this proclamation. Permits will be issued on an impartial basis with no limitation on the number of permits that may be issued. The daily bag limit is three. ]

[(A) Zone A: November 8, 1997-February 8, 1998.]

[(B) Zone B: November 29, 1997-February 8, 1998.]

[(C) Zone C: January 3, 1998-February 8, 1998.]

[(4) Woodcock: December 18, 1997-January 31, 1998. The daily bag limit is three.]

[(5) Common snipe (Wilson's snipe or jacksnipe): October 25, 1997-February 8, 1998. The daily bag limit is eight.]

(2)[(6)] Special Youth-Only Season. There shall be a special youth-only duck season during which the hunting, taking, and possession of ducks, mergansers, and coots is restricted to licensed hunters 15 years of age and younger accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older. Bag and possession limits in any given zone during the season established by this paragraph shall be as provided for that zone by paragraph (1) of this section. Season dates are as follows:

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: October 3, 1998 [4, 1997];

(B) North Zone: October 17, 1998 [18, 1997]; and

(C) South Zone: October 17, 1998 [18, 1997].

§65.319. Extended Falconry Season - Early Season Species.

(a) It is lawful to take the species of migratory birds listed in this section by means of falconry during the following Extended Falconry Seasons:

(1) mourning doves and white-winged doves: November 9 [8]-December 25, 1998 [24, 1997]; and

(2) rails and gallinules: October 1 [2]-November 6, 1998 [7, 1997].

(3) woodcock: November 24-December 17, 1998, and February 1-March 10, 1999.

(b) The daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds under this section shall not exceed three and six birds respectively, singly or in the aggregate.

§65.320. Extended Falconry Season - Late Season Species.

(a) It is lawful to take the species of migratory birds listed in this section by means of falconry during the following Extended Falconry Seasons:

(1) ducks, coots, and mergansers:

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: no extended falconry season; and

(B) Remainder of the state: January 18 [19, 1998]-February 9, 1999. [10, 1998; and]

[(2) woodcock: November 24-December 17, 1997, and February 1, 1998-March 10, 1998.]

(b) The daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds under this section shall not exceed three and six birds, respectively, singly or in the aggregate.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or 512-389-4642


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