Presenter: Ken Kurzawski

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Action
Reciprocal License Agreement
June 1998

I. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing reciprocal hunting and fishing privileges with other states is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 41. Proposed changes to reciprocal agreements with the state of Louisiana are the result of legislative action by the Seventy-fifth Texas Legislature and discussions between staffs of Texas and Louisiana. The proposed changes implement statutory mandates to issue all agreements in the form of Commission proclamations and simplify license requirements for non-resident anglers. The Finance Committee at its April 1998, meeting authorized staff to publish changes to the reciprocal license agreements in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed proclamation appeared in the May 1, 1998, issue of the Texas Register (23 TexReg 4213). A summary of public comments on the proposed proclamation will be available to the Commission at the time of the hearing.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §53.1, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules as shown in Exhibit A."

Attachments - 2

1. Exhibit A - Proposed License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules
2. Exhibit B - (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit A

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendment of §53.1, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules. The proposed amendment implements statutory changes and agreements reached with Louisiana that simplify licensing requirements for anglers fishing waters along the Texas-Louisiana border.

Proposed amendments to the section will allow persons who hold valid Louisiana non-resident fishing licenses to fish all waters that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana without obtaining a Texas non-resident license. This action is contingent on Louisiana allowing the same privileges to persons who hold valid Texas non-resident fishing licenses. Louisiana representatives have agreed to this action. Legislative changes in HB 2542 gave the Commission authority to enter into such agreements.

The amendment would also allow residents of Louisiana who meet the licensing requirements of their state to fish all waters that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana. This action is contingent on Louisiana allowing the same privileges to persons who hold valid Texas resident fishing licenses which they have done in the past. Legislative changes in HB 2542 deleted specific references to licensing requirements for border waters with Louisiana.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robin Riechers, staff economist, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules. The department may experience some loss of revenue from non-residents who are licensed in Louisiana who would now be allowed to fish the Texas side of all border waters. Current rules require those non-residents to purchase a Texas non-resident fishing license to fish in the Texas portion of all border waters.

3. Cost Benefit Analysis.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of administering or enforcing the rules as proposed will be consistency in regulations concerning license requirements for fishing on Texas border waters.

(B) There are no anticipated effects on small businesses, and the cost to individuals required to comply with the rules as proposed will decrease as some current license holders will be exempted from license purchase requirements in the future.

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

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed amended section may be sent to Ken Kurzawski, Inland Fisheries Division, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX, 78744, (512) 389-4591. Comments may also be sent by electronic mail to ken.kurzawski@tpwd.state.tx.us.

5. Statutory Authority.

The new amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, '41.003-41.006, which provides the Parks and Wildlife Commission with the authority to enter into reciprocal license agreements with states having a common border with Texas to govern the issuance and fees for fishing and migratory waterfowl hunting licenses.

§53.1. License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules.

(a) Hunting license possession.

(1) No person may hunt deer or turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession.

(2) No person may hunt species other than deer or turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession unless the person has acquired a license by telephone and has a valid authorization number in his possession. Authorization numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(b) Fishing license possession.

(1) No person may fish in this state without having a valid fishing license in immediate possession unless that person is exempt from holding a fishing license or has acquired a license by telephone and has a valid authorization number in possession. Authorization numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(2) No person may catch and retain a red drum 28 inches or more in length in this state without having a valid fishing license and red drum tag in immediate possession.

(c) Issuance of licenses and stamps by telephone.

(1) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing licenses by telephone from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a $3.00 convenience fee per license in addition to the normal license fee.

(2) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing stamps by telephone from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a $3.00 convenience fee per stamp order in addition to the normal stamp fee(s). This fee shall not be charged if a license is acquired during the same transaction.

(d) The following categories of persons are exempt from fishing license requirements and fees for the license years beginning September 1, 1995, and thereafter:

(1) residents under 17 years of age;

(2) non-residents under 17 years of age;

(3) non-residents 65 years of age or older from Kansas and Louisiana;

(4) non-residents 64 years of age or older from Oklahoma; [and]

(5) residents whose birth date is before September 1, 1930.

(6) persons who hold valid Louisiana non-resident fishing licenses while fishing on all waters that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to persons who hold valid Texas annual or temporary non-resident fishing licenses; and

(7) residents of Louisiana who meet the licensing requirements of their state while fishing on all waters that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to Texas residents who hold valid Texas fishing licenses.

(e) Effective September 1, 1996, and thereafter, an administrative fee of $1.00 shall be charged for replacement of lost or destroyed licenses, stamps, or permits. This fee shall not be charged for items which have a fee for duplicates otherwise prescribed by rule or statute.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's regulatory authority.

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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