Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., Nov. 4, 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. Potential Changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for 1999-2000
Staff: Gary Graham, Hal Osburn, Phil Durocher
Committee Only
3. Deer Management Update
Staff: Jerry Cooke
Committee Only
4. Possession and Sale of Deer Antlers
Staff: Jerry Cooke
6
5. Threatened and Endangered Species Proclamation
Staff: Peggy Horner
3
6. Exotic Shrimp Aquaculture
Staff: Dr. Larry McKinney
Committee Only
7. Migratory Gamebird Proclamation – Snow Goose
Staff: Vernon Bevill
Committee Only
8. Shrimp Management and Sea Turtle Conservation
Staff: Hal Osburn
Committee Only
9. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Regulations Committee

August 26, 1998

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 26th day of August 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 headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 9:20 a.m. to wit:

I. APPEARANCES:

THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
REGULATIONS COMMITTEE:
CHAIR:

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

THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:

Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and other personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Chairman Bass began the proceedings by entertaining a motion by Commissioner Burleson to adopt the minutes of the June 4, 1998 meeting of the Regulations Committee. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Dinkins and passed without opposition.

III. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERER PRESENTED FOR COMMITTEE ACTION:

1. BRIEFING - Chairman's Charges
Presenter - Andrew Sansom

The Chairman recognized Executive Director Andrew Sansom, who briefed the Committee on the progress of the department's efforts to 'Sunset' the department's internal policies. Mr. Sansom reported that staff expected a reduction of approximately 45% in the department's internal policies as a result of the 'Sunset' process.

2. ACTION - Fish Pass Proclamation
Presenter - Robin Riechers

The Chairman recognized Robin Riechers of the Coastal Fisheries Division. Mr. Riechers provided background information concerning the Cedar Bayou fish pass, regulatory authority granted to the agency by the Legislature with respect to natural and artificial passes on the Gulf of Mexico, and the department's efforts to address local concerns about the placement of traps and mooring of vessels in Cedar Bayou fish pass. Commissioner Dinkins moved to forward the item to the full Commission for adoption. Commissioner Ryan seconded the motion, which passed without opposition.

3. ACTION - Possession and Propagation of Endangered Species
Presenter - Peggy Horner

The Chairman recognized Peggy Horner, a biologist in the Endangered Species Program of the Wildlife Division. Ms. Horner began by presenting the historical background behind Endangered Species Permits, including department actions resulting from both the Chairman's 'Sunset' charge to the Regulations Committee and legislative action during the last legislative session. Ms. Horner informed the Committee of inconsistencies in the department's regulations that have led to Texas citizens being held to a higher standard than out-of-state citizens with respect to the possession of endangered species, and outlined staff's proposal to rectify the inconsistency. Chairman Bass asked if the regulations applied only to endangered species indigenous to Texas. Ms. Horner relied that indeed was the case. Chairman Bass then inquired as to the department's efforts to inform the regulated community. Gary Graham, Director of the Wildlife Division, responded that the department would make the appropriate outreach efforts. Commissioner Howard-Chrane moved to authorize staff to publish the proposal in the Texas Register for public comment. Commissioner Angelo seconded the motion, which passed without opposition.

4. ACTION - Migratory Gamebird Proclamation
Presenter - Vernon Bevill

The Chairman recognized Vernon Bevill, director of the migratory wildlife and wetland ecology program. Mr. Bevill presented the Committee with the staff proposal for adoption of the late-season provisions for migratory game bird hunting. Mr. Bevill also explained various regulatory changes necessitated by actions undertaken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including changes to bag limits, season lengths, and opening and closing dates. Mr. Bevill then addressed public comment received by the department in response to the proposed rules. Chairman Bass asked if hunting by means of falconry is illegal during a general season. Mr. Bevill replied that it is lawful. Chairman Bass then asked if the bag limit for the general season if hunting by falconry was identical to that during the extended falconry season. Mr. Bevill replied that it was. Chairman Bass then asked about the practical effects of the department's proposal on the take of snow geese. Mr. Bevill responded that the effect would be minimal, but that it was a step towards addressing the overpopulation of snow geese on their breeding grounds, and that the Fish and Wildlife Service was considering additional measures. Commissioner Burleson moved to forward the item to the full Commission for adoption. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Avila, and passed without opposition.

5. BRIEFING - Other Business
Presenter - Larry McKinney

The Chairman recognized Larry McKinney, senior director of aquatic resources. Mr. McKinney then introduced Hal Osburn, policy director for the Coastal Fisheries Division. Mr. McKinney informed the Committee of the emergency closure of the recreational red snapper fishery by the National Fishery Service, the relationship between the department, the Gulf of Mexico Fish and Management Council, and the National Fisheries Service, and the practical effects of the federal action. Mr. McKinney then introduced Earl Chilton of the Inland Fisheries Division, and briefed the Committee on exotic aquatic plant infestations on the Rio Grande River, the solutions being considered by department staff, and the actions being taken by staff in the interim. Commissioner Angelo asked if the recent flooding along the river had exerted an effect on the problem. Mr. Chilton replied that it was doubtful. Commissioner Burleson asked if mechanical harvesters could be moved from place to place. Mr. Chilton responded that they were mobile. Commissioner Howard-Chrane inquired as to the timeframe for the department's activities. Mr. Chilton answered that the department could get started in as little as a week, depending on how long it took for paperwork to be processed through various agencies. Commissioner Ryan asked if harvesting would be an annual event. Mr. Chilton replied that he didn't think so. Commissioner Burleson asked if the biological controls would be native insects. Mr. Chilton answered that they were not, but that the insects were species-specific. Chairman Bass inquired as to the size of the infestation. Mr. Chilton replied that the largest area seemed to be about seven and one-half miles in length.

IV. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Chairman Bass proceeded to the meeting of the Infrastructure Committee without adjournment.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Regulations Committee
Briefing
Chairman's Charges
November 1998

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenters: Gary Graham, Hal Osburn, Phil Durocher

Regulations Committee
Briefing
Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Potential Changes
November 1998

I. DISCUSSION: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, and means and methods for taking wildlife resources is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61. The potential changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation (located at Exhibit A) are a result of proposals advanced by staff and suggestions from the public. Changes advanced by staff are based upon scientific investigation and are required findings of fact. The changes proposed by staff would increase recreational opportunity, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of the wildlife resources of the state.

Attachments – 1

1. Exhibit A - Synopsis of potential changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for 1999-2000


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Potential Regulation Changes
1999-2000

Eastern Turkey:
Proposed spring season for additional Pineywoods counties; standard season, standard means and methods.
Affected Counties: Fannin, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, and Grayson.

These counties have met or exceed the population (average flock size) and reproductive values (poults observed per hen observed) of those counties that currently have an open season. It is recommended that these counties be added to the open season list with all the restrictive means and methods for Eastern turkeys.

Allow the use of lawful archery equipment and crossbows during the Eastern turkey season.
Affected Counties: All counties with an Eastern turkey season.

White-tailed Deer:
Proposed open season: First Saturday in November through first Sunday in January, 3 deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless, either-sex).
Affected Counties: Archer, Baylor, Clay, Montague, and Wise

This proposal would eliminate the 9 doe days currently in effect and would allow antlerless deer to be taken either-sex (without permits, full season either-sex). The proposal contends that the populations can withstand an increased harvest rate, and there are indications of support among landowners.

Proposed additional counties for 4 doe days at Thanksgiving.
Affected Counties: Cass, Marion, and Harrison

These counties have a higher deer density than is found in most of Texas and this trend has been upward through the past 5 years. However, landowners have traditionally supported a conservative harvest (i.e., LAMPS). Staff believes the populations can withstand an increased harvest rate, and there are indications of support among landowners.

Proposed shift of Panhandle counties from 6 doe-days to 16 doe-days.
Affected Counties: Armstrong, Borden, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Donley, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Haskell, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Jones, Kent, King, Knox, Lipscomb, Motley, Ochiltree, Randall, Roberts, Scurry, Stonewall, Swisher, Wheeler, Wichita, and Wilbarger.

Harvest has been very conservative under the current 6 doe-day regulation. Staff believes the populations can withstand an increased harvest rate. The regulation change will provide greater hunter opportunity, and there are indications of support among landowners.

Squirrel:

Provide a youth-only season the weekend preceding the archery-only season in those counties having a restricted squirrel season .

This would provide an incentive for youth hunting. The current youth-only season for deer, turkey etc., occurs during the current open season for squirrel in East Texas.

Public Proposals:

From the Lone Star Bowhunter’s Association (LSBA) and Texas Archery Retailers and Manufacturer’s Association (TARMA):

Under Means and Methods: "There shall be no mechanical device built into or attached to a bow that will enable the archer to lock the bow at full or partial draw."

This language was removed from the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation at the time of our regulation sunset. It distinguished legal archery equipment during the archery only season (excepting use of crossbow for hunters with upper limb handicaps) from that which now can be used during the general season (i.e., crossbow is legal during the general season). This proposal from the archers would revert to the original regulatory language.

From the Doss Wildlife Management Association:
Open white-tailed deer season Saturday nearest November 15 through the 2nd Sunday in January.
Counties Affected: Gillespie

This proposal is based on a public opinion survey conducted by the Association. There is no biological reason to either adopt or reject this proposal. However, adoption would create an ‘island’ regulation.

From Mr. Hershel Ivy:
Proposed Muzzleloader Season 1 week before and 1 week after regular firearms season, either sex unless county has no antlerless season.
Affected Counties: All with a legal deer season.

Mr. Ivy’s proposal is not supported by public opinion surveys or biological data. It does not address the conflicts that this proposal will create in existing seasons, nor does it reflect the fact that only 1091 stamps were sold in 1998 (-16.6% from 1997).

From Texas Sportsmen Association:
Definition of buck deer to include only spike bucks (at least 4 inches), and bucks having more than 8 points.
Affected Counties: Austin, Colorado, Fayette, and Lavaca.

Staff have met with TSA to discuss the history of their proposal and why it was not adopted last year. TSA contends that the proposal did not have a fair hearing due to misunderstanding of the process, and request that they have another opportunity for a hearing.

From Washington County Wildlife Society (made up of 7 Wildlife Cooperative):
Definition of buck deer to include only spike bucks and bucks having 10 or more points. Regulation to be effective for 2 years, followed by a return to the standard statewide definition.
Counties affected: Washington

Staff estimates that this change would remove 60-70% of bucks currently being taken during the season. This change would allow the buck-herd age structure to develop (high intensity harvest in this and other counties keep the age structure very young) and allow hunters to later take more mature animals. It is currently being practiced by the members of the Cooperatives (which is a substantial portion of the county), but they would propose that this be extended as a county-wide definition.

COASTAL FISHERIES DIVISION
POTENTIAL REGULATION CHANGES
1999-2000

Modification of king mackerel bag and size limits to be comparable to those currently proposed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

INLAND FISHERIES DIVISION
POTENTIAL REGULATION CHANGES
1999-2000

Statewide:
Proposal

Current harvest regulations for walleye consist of a 16-inch minimum length limit and a 5 fish per daily bag. Regulations would be changed to a 5 fish daily bag, only two of which can be under 16 inches in total length.

Lakes Brownwood (Brown County), Champion Creek (Mitchell County), and Coleman (Coleman County)
Proposal

Change harvest regulations for largemouth bass from the current 16-inch minimum length to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit. Daily bag would remain at 5 fish/day.

Fort Phantom Hill Reservoir (Jones County) and E.V. Spence Reservoir (Coke County)
Proposal

Current harvest regulations for blue catfish consist of an 18-inch minimum length limit and 5 fish daily bag. Regulations would be changed to 12-inch minimum length limit for blue catfish and a 25 fish daily bag for blue catfish and channel catfish in any combination (statewide regulations).

Lake Murvaul (Panola County)
Proposal

Current harvest regulations for largemouth bass consist of a 14-inch minimum length limit and a 5 fish daily bag limit. Regulations would be changed to a 14-21 inch slot length limit and 5 fish daily bag of which only one fish 21 inches or greater may be harvested per day.

Lakes Bridgeport (Jack and Wise counties), Georgetown (Williamson County), Striker (Rusk County), Tyler State Park Lake (Smith County), and Weatherford (Parker County)
Proposal

Change harvest regulations for largemouth bass from the current 16-inch minimum length to the statewide 14-inch minimum length limit. Daily bag would remain at 5 fish per day.

Purtis Creek State Park Lake and all water bodies within the boundaries of Purtis Creek State Park (Henderson and Van Zandt counties); Gibbons Creek Reservoir and all waters within Texas Municipal Power Agency property (Grimes County); and Lake Raven (Walker County)
Proposal

Current harvest regulations for largemouth bass consist of catch and release only except that any bass caught 22 inches or greater may be retained alive in a livewell, weighed at a lakeside weigh station, and then immediately released or donated to the ShareLunker program. The minimum length would be changed to 21 inches.

Trans-Pecos Region (Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Ector, El Paso, Jeff Davis, Hudspeth, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties)
Proposal

Current regulations on the use of baitfish in the region are the same as statewide regulations. These regulations would be changed to the restriction that the only fishes that could be used for bait while fishing would be common carp, fathead minnows, gizzard and threadfin shad, sunfish (Lepomis), goldfish, and golden shiners.

Statewide
Proposal

Current device restrictions do not specifically prohibit the taking of fish underwater with a hand-held device other than a spear or speargun. This restriction was removed during the ‘Sunset’ process.’ Staff has become aware that scuba divers have been taking fish by placing lures or baits on pole-and-line apparatus immediately in front of or in the mouth of catfish while underwater.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Regulations Committee
Action
Deer Management Update
November 1998

I. DISCUSSION: Management plans stress the critical importance of habitat to all species and the relationship of habitat to livestock and wildlife population dynamics. Modifications of the department’s permitting criteria for the issuance of permits to trap, transport, and transplant game animals and game birds (popularly called ‘Triple T’ permits) may be necessary to make the Triple T permit process consistent with others administered by the department. The item also subjects this set of rules to the Chairman’s ‘Sunset’ charges, from which they were exempted in the summer of 1995, should rulemaking be authorized.

II. RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish the proposed repeal of 31 TAC §§65.101, 65.103, 65.105, 65.107, 65.109, 65.111, 65.113, 65.115, 65.117, and 65.119, and new §§65.101-65.112, concerning Permits for The Trapping, Transportation, and Transplanting of Game Animals and Game Birds in the Texas Register for public comment."

Attachments – 1

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Regulations


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Permits to Trap, Transport, and Transplant
Game Animals and Game Birds
Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §§65.101, 65.103, 65.105, 65.107, 65.109, 65.111, 65.113, 65.115, 65.117, and 65.119, and new §§65.101-65.112, concerning Permits for The Trapping, Transportation, and Transplanting of Game Animals and Game Birds. The repeals and new sections are necessary to comport the department’s regulations with the legislative intent of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, which authorizes the department to issue permits for trapping, transporting, and transplanting game animals and game birds only for the purpose of adjusting game populations for better wildlife management, and to eliminate regulatory provisions that duplicate statutory language. The new sections will function by limiting the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals and game birds within biologically justifiable parameters necessary for achieving better wildlife management.

2. Fiscal Note.

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

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be regulations that conform to the legislative intent of the enabling statutory law, and the elimination of practices that do not result in better wildlife management.

(B) There will be an effect on small businesses and persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. A person or small business seeking to trap, transport, and transplant game animals or game birds would be required to pay a nonrefundable application processing fee of $150.

(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. Summary of Public Comment.

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 repeals and new sections are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, which provides the commission with authority to establish regulations governing the content of wildlife stocking plans, certification of wildlife trappers, and the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals and game birds.

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

§65.101. Definitions.

§65.103. Trap, Transplant, and Transport Permit.

§65.105. Urban White-Tailed Deer Removal Permit.

§65.107. Permit Application and Fees.

§65.109. Issuance of Permit.

§65.111. Permit Conditions and Period of Validity.

§65.113. Marking of Game Animals and Game Birds.

§65.115. Reports.

§65.117. Prohibited Acts.

§65.119. Penalties.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas on

____________________________________________

Gene McCarty
Chief of Staff
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4418 or 512-389-4418

PERMITS TO TRAP, TRANSPORT AND TRANSPLANT
GAME ANIMALS AND GAME BIRDS

§65.101. 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 established by this chapter and Parks and Wildlife Code.

(1) Natural Habitat - A biological environment in which a given species of animal or bird would normally occur, survive, and breed without human intervention.

(2) Nuisance Squirrel - A squirrel that is causing damage to personal or real property.

(3) Overpopulation - A condition where the habitat is being detrimentally affected by high animal densities, or where such condition is imminent.

(4) Release Site - The specific destination of game animals or game birds to be relocated pursuant to a permit issued under this subchapter.

(5) Stocking Policy - The policy governing stocking activities made or authorized by the department as specified in §§52.101 - 52.105, 52.201, 52.202, 52.301 and 52.401 of this title (relating to Stocking Policy).

(6) Trap Site - The specific location that will function as the source of game animals or game birds to be relocated pursuant to a permit issued under this subchapter.

§65.102. Trap, Transport, and Transplant (Triple T) Permit.

(a) No Triple T permit shall be issued for:

(1) the trapping, transporting, or transplanting of male deer; or

(2) any activity that would involve the release of white-tailed deer on a property for which permits under §65.27 of this title (relating to Antlerless and Spike-buck Deer Control Permits) have been issued within the three-year period immediately preceding an application for a Triple T permit for that property.

(b) No Triple T permit may be issued until the applicant has submitted to the department, in addition to the requirements of §65.107 of this title (relating to Permit Application and Fees):

(1) a wildlife stocking plan for each trap site. The wildlife stocking plan shall include:

(A) complete land ownership information;

(B) description and location of the land tract;

(C) specific location and size of each trap site within the land tract;

(D) estimates of game animal or game bird densities on the tract;

(E) management practices conducted on the tract; and

(F) justification for the proposed activity; and

(2) a summary of a department-approved wildlife management plan, signed by a Wildlife Division biologist designated as a District Leader, the equivalent of that title, or higher, for each property containing a release site. The summary shall include:

(A) complete land ownership information;

(B) description and location of the land tract;

(C) specific location and size of each release site within the land tract, unless the land tract in its entirety will be continuously available for the unrestricted movement of the animals or birds being released;

(D) measurements of density, production, and sex composition of the deer population;

(E) measurements of the number, sex, and when possible, the age of harvested deer;

(F) an evaluation and appraisal of habitats determined to be of significance to the animals or birds specified in the application;

(G) descriptions of land management practices presently being employed, and how the proposed release accomplishes the management goals for that property.

(c) The department may deny a permit application if the department determines that:

(1) the removal of game animals or game birds from the trap site may be detrimental to existing populations or systems;

(2) the removal of game animals or game birds may detrimentally affect the population status on neighboring properties;

(3) the release of game animals or game birds at the release site may be detrimental to existing populations or systems;

(4) the release site does not constitute suitable natural habitat;

(5) the applicant has misrepresented information on the application or associated wildlife stocking plan; or

(6) the activity identified in the permit application does not comply with the provisions of the department's stocking policy.

(d) The department may, at its discretion, require the applicant to supply additional information concerning the proposed trapping, transporting, and transplanting activity when deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(e) Triple T permits:

(1) will be issued only if the activities identified in the application are determined by the department to be in accordance with the department's stocking policy;

(2) will be issued only if the application and any associated materials are approved by a department biologist biologist designated as a District Leader, the equivalent of that title, or higher;

(3) shall not be issued to individuals who are not in compliance with the reporting requirements specified in §65.115 of this title (relating to Reports);

(4) shall not be issued to applicants who have been finally convicted, during the two-year period immediately preceding the date of application, of any violation of the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43; and

(5) do not exempt an applicant from the requirements of §§55.142 - 55.153 of this title (relating to Aerial Management of Wildlife and Exotic Animals).

(f) Applicants for an Urban White-tailed Deer Removal Permit shall comply with the provisions of this section. The provisions of §65.112 of this title (relating to Trapping Season) do not apply to a permit issued under this subsection.

§65.103. Permit Applications and Fees.

(a) Permit applications. An application made by a landowner’s authorized agent shall be accompanied by a notarized affidavit, signed by the landowner, acknowledging the authority of the named agent to act on behalf of the landowner.

(1) Application for permits authorized under this subchapter shall be on a form prescribed by the department.

(2) A single application may specify one trap site and one or more release sites.

(3) A single application may not specify multiple species of game birds and/or game animals.

(4) The application shall be notarized and must be signed by:

(A) the applicant;

(B) the landowner or agent of the trap site(s); and

(C) the landowner or agent of the release site(s).

(5) An applicant shall designate, by name, all persons and companies that will be involved in the trapping, direct handling, transport, or release of game animals or game birds. Such designation shall be made either on the application or in the fax notification required by §65.115, of this title (relating to Reporting and Notification).

(b) Permit fees.

(1) The department will not process any permit application unless the fee specified by §53.8 of this title (relating to ) has been received by the department.

(2) No application for a Triple T permit involving white-tailed deer shall be accepted from March 1 to September 1.

(3) Applications for urban white-tailed deer removal permits that specify trap sites consisting solely of property owned by a political subdivision or institution of higher education of this state are exempt from application fees.

§65.104. Permit Conditions and Period of Validity.

(a) In the absence of the permittee, at least one of the persons named in accordance with the provisions of §65.107(a)(5) of this title (relating to Permit Application and Fees) shall be physically present at the site during permitted activities.

(b) A Triple T permit shall be valid for only one trap site, but may specify multiple release sites. A permittee shall sign, date, and keep current a department-supplied Triple T activity log for each release site, which log shall be in the physical possession of a person who satisfies the requirements of §65.107(a)(5) of this title (relating to Permit Application and Fees) and subsection (a) of this section. When the physical possession of animals or birds has been transferred, the activity log shall be signed by the landowner of the release site, or that landowner’s agent, and a copy of the activity log shall be retained by that person for a period of one year. The permittee shall retain the original of the activity log and submit it with the report required by §65.115 of this title (relating to Reporting and Notification).

(c) Triple T permits shall expire according to their terms. The maximum period of validity for a Triple T permit shall not exceed one year.

(d) Unattended trapping equipment and devices at trap sites within incorporated areas shall be labeled with the owner's name, complete address, and telephone number; the date of trap site establishment; and the date the trap site was last visited.

(e) Unattended trap sites that may pose a human health and safety hazard shall be clearly marked as such.

(f) No person may charge a fee or receive a consideration of any kind in return for allowing access to a tract of land for the purposes of the subchapter.

§65.105. Urban White-tailed Deer Removal Permit. The department may, at its discretion, require an applicant for an Urban Deer Removal Permit to supply information in addition that required by an application concerning the proposed trapping, transporting, and transplanting activity when deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

§65.106. Trapping Season. Except as specifically provided by this chapter, no person shall trap, transport, or transplant white-tailed deer in this state:

(1) while there is a deer season open anywhere in this state; or

(2) during the period from April 1 through September 30.

§65.107. Marking of Game Animals and Game Birds.

(a) All deer trapped under a Triple T permit shall be:

(1) immediately tattooed in one ear with the capital letters "TTT" of no less than ¾" in height; and

(c) immediately marked with a continuous stripe of white, water-based, acrylic paint no less than 4 inches in width along the spine from shoulder to tail.

§65.108. Reporting and Notification.

(a) The department shall be notified between 24 and 72 hours prior to the initiation of all trapping, transportation, and/or release events under a Triple T permit. Notification shall consist of a fax sent to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin. The fax shall specify:

(1) the date, time, and location of all trapping, transportation, and/or release events;

(2) the number (and sex, if the animals or birds are not white-tailed deer) of animals or birds to be trapped, transported, and/or released; and

(3) the permittee's name, permit number, phone number, and fax number.

(b) No trapping, transportation, and/or release events shall be initiated unless a return fax from the department in acknowledgment of the fax required by subsection (a) of this section is in the physical possession of a person present at any such event.

(c) A permittee shall file a report on a form provided by the department not later than 30 days following the expiration date of the permit. The permittee shall include with the report all activity logs required by the provisions of §65.111(b) of this title (relating to Permit Conditions and Period of Validity). The report shall identify:

(1) the number of game animals or game birds trapped;

(2) the sex of game animals or game birds trapped;

(3) the locations where game animals or game birds were trapped and released;

(4) the dates when trapping occurred;

(5) the trapping methods used; and

(6) any mortality incurred during the permitted activity. Each animal or bird that dies in the course of activities authorized by a Triple T permit shall count against the total number of animals or birds authorized by the permit. A permittee shall, within ten days of disposing of any animal or bird under the provisions of this section, complete and forward to the department a department-issued or department-approved disposition receipt form accounting for each animal or bird disposed of under the provisions of this section. All animals or birds that die as a result or in the course of activities conducted under a Triple T permit shall be kept in an edible condition and disposed of by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

§65.109. Transport of Deer.

(a) Any conveyance or vehicle used to transport deer under a Triple T permit shall be marked on the rear of the conveyance or vehicle prior to and during all transport activities. The marking shall consist of the capital letters "TTT" at least 8 inches in height, in a color that contrasts with the color of the conveyance or vehicle.

(b) A person transporting deer under a permit authorized by this subchapter shall have in physical possession an invoice specifying:

(1) the name, physical address, and permit number of the permittee, and the name of the trapper and transporter (if different from the permittee);

(2) the name and physical address of the person receiving the deer; and

(3) the destination of the deer. In the case of an instance of transport in which individual deer within a conveyance are bound for different destinations, a separate invoice for each destination is required.

(c) Game animals or game birds being transported under a permit authorized by this subchapter shall not be removed from the transport vehicle prior to arrival at the release site unless such removal is immediately necessary to maintain the health of the game animals or game birds. If such removal is necessary, the Law Enforcement Division Communications Center in Austin shall be notified as soon as possible and transport activities must resume within 24 hours. The notification required by this subsection shall specify the time and exact location of the animals or birds.

§65.110. Release. All animals or birds trapped under a Triple T permit shall be released within 36 hours of capture.

§65.111. Nuisance Squirrels. No permit or report is required for a landowner or his/her agent to live trap, transport, and release nuisance squirrels if:

(1) local ordinances prohibit the use of means and methods provided by §65.11 of this title (relating to Means and Methods);

(2) written permission from the owner of the property where squirrels are to be released:

(A) has been obtained prior to capture, transport and release; and

(B) is carried while transporting squirrels;

(3) trapping devices are:

(A) designed to not inflict physical injury to trapped squirrels; and

(B) labeled with the owner's name, street address, city, and telephone number;

(4) reasonable precautions are made to assure the humane treatment of trapped squirrels; and

(5) trapped squirrels are released no later than 24 hours after capture.

§65.112. Violations and Penalties. A person who violates a provision of this subchapter, a condition of any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter, or any provision of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E is subject to the penalties prescribed by Parks and Wildlife Code.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas on

___________________________________________

Gene McCarty
Chief of Staff
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4418 or 512-389-4418


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Regulations Committee
Action
Possession and Sale of Deer Antlers
November 1998

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Peggy Horner

Regulations Committee
Action
Endangered Species Regulations
November 1998

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Dr. Larry McKinney

Regulations Committee
Briefing
Exotic Shrimp Aquaculture
November 1998

I. DISCUSSION: As stated in section 12.0011 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, TPW is the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting the fish and wildlife resources of Texas. The agency also has management duties specific to shrimp and aquaculture. These duties include permitting of exotic species for aquaculture use in Texas, and responsibility for management of the wild populations of shrimp.

The potential transmission of exotic diseases, specifically shrimp viruses, into native wildstocks is recognized by TPW as one of the most serious issue we face in meeting our management responsibilities in this area. This concern pertains to a disease threat from any source, but aquaculture operations have been our focus because of our regulatory and management responsibilities. The Commission adopted disease management rules in 1998. A working group of interested parties played an important role in revising those initial rules to be more effective, both in disease management and in ease of application by shrimp farms. The effect of the rules has been to reduce the risk of exotic disease transmission to native stocks of shrimp.

The briefing will include the most up to date report of the Department’s wildstock disease testing program, as well as, implementation of management actions planned for this fiscal year.


Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
Action
Migratory Gamebird Proclamation
Special Provisions
November 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. Chapter 64 also authorizes the Commission to delegate rulemaking authority to the Executive Director, which was incorporated in the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation by the Commission in June of this year. The Commission has already adopted the regulations for the hunting of migratory game birds during the 1998-1999 season. However, the Service may soon authorize certain liberalizations with respect to light geese, which have overpopulated their breeding areas in Canada. The proposed liberalizations have not been finalized at this time, but could potentially include relaxations in federal regulations governing calling electronic devices, shooting hours, and season length. Because the federal regulations may be finalized in early January, 1999, staff believes there may be a timeframe conflict between the Commission’s January, 1999, meeting and the amount of time needed for an adoption to take effect for the remainder of the 1998-1999 hunting season. Because the Service had not advised the department of the proposed changes as of publication time, staff will provide the commission with an oral presentation at the time of the meeting, and seek both authorization to publish a tentative proposal in anticipation of final federal regulations and for the Executive Director to exercise rulemaking authority for the purpose of adopting the proposal, with any necessary changes.

Staff will also brief the committee on potential changes to regulations for migratory bird hunting for the 1999-2000 hunting season. Potential changes include dove season length/bag limit issues, duck season length, and white-fronted goose bag limits.

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 amendments to the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation in the Texas Register for public comment in anticipation of a revision of federal rules governing the take of light geese."


Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Presenter: Hal Osburn

Regulations Committee
Briefing
Shrimp Management and Sea Turtle Conservation
November 1998

I. DISCUSSION: Staff will brief the Commission on the agency's activity regarding management issues with and the status of sea turtles along the Texas Coast.


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