Presenter: Hal Osburn

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Action
Chapter 58 Rule Review and
Statewide Shrimp Fishery Proclamation Review
November 2001

I. Discussion: House Bill 1, 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, Article IX, Sec. 167, directs each state agency to perform a review of all regulations not less than every four years and to either readopt, amend, or repeal each rule, provided the agency has not acted on the rule in the interim. The Act further requires that each agency readopting a rule certify that the reasons for the rule continue to exist.

The department in August of 1998 published in the Texas Register a Notice of Plan to Review, in which the agency outlined a proposed schedule for undertaking the required review. The department subsequently published a Notice of Intent to Review in the October 5, 2001 issue of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 7898), consisting of the contents of Chapter 58 (Oysters and Shrimp); Subchapters B (Statewide Shrimp Fishery), C (Statewide Crab Fishery) and D (Finfish Fishery). Regulations proposed for amendment, as published in the October 5, 2001 issue of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 7803) reflect housekeeping-type changes or changes designed to increase their effectiveness or usefulness. Regulations proposed for readoption are retained on the basis of continuing need and the determination that the reasons for their existence continue to exist.

The Legislature granted management authority over shrimp to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPW) in 1985 contingent upon development of a shrimp management plan. Adopted in November 1989, the Texas Shrimp Fishery Management Plan (FMP) resulted in Commission authority over regulation of traditional management measures, including means, methods, times, places, quantity, and size of harvest.

Since August 2000, when the shrimp regulations were most recently revised, members of the shrimping industry have requested clarification of some rule provisions and requested that certain rules be relaxed or made more flexible. Based on these requests, TPW staff proposed five rule changes:

The proposal would also delete unnecessary language and correct clerical errors in §58.102 (3)(A)-(B), (16)(A)-(B); §58.161 (a)(3)(A)-(B), (a)(4), (a)(4)(B), and (a)(5); §58.161 (d)(1)-(2) and (4); §58-163 (c)(4)(B) and (c)(5)(C); and §58.165 (b)(1)(A)-(D).

As of this writing, comments on these proposals were still being received. A complete summary of the comments will be provided at the presentation.

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

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts within 31 TAC Chapter 58 amendments to §§58.102, 58.160-58.163, and 58.165 (located in Exhibit A), concerning Statewide Shrimp Fishery Proclamation; and readoption of all other sections within Subchapters B, C, and D in this chapter.”

Attachments – 2
1. Exhibit A – Chapter 58: Notice of Intent; Proposed Amendments
2. Exhibit B – Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Notice of Intent to Review

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department files this notice of intention to review Texas Administrative Code Title 31, Part II, as follows:

Chapter 58: Oyster and Shrimp

Subchapter B: Statewide Shrimp Fishery Proclamation

§58.101. Application
§58.102. Definitions
§58.103. Shrimp Management Plan
§58.104. Penalty and Responsibility for Violation
§58.130. Shrimp License Buyback Program
§58.150. Sale, Purchase, and Handling of Shrimp—General Rules
§58.160. Taking or Attempting To Take Shrimp (Shrimping)—General Rules
§58.161. Shrimping in Outside Waters
§58.162. Shrimping in Inside Waters—General Rules
§58.163. Shrimping in Inside Waters—Commercial Bay Shrimping
§58.164. Shrimping Inside Waters—Commercial Bait Shrimping
§58.165. Non-commercial (Recreational) Shrimping

NOTE: The contents of this chapter are proposed for rule action elsewhere in this issue.

Subchapter C: Statewide Crab Fishery Proclamation

§58.201. Crab License Management Program
§58.202. Definitions
§58.203. Licensing
§58.204. License Expiration
§58.205. Display of License
§58.206. Issuance and Renewal of Commercial Crab Fisherman's License
§58.207. License Transfer
§58.208. Limit on Number of Licenses Held; Designated License Holder
§58.209. License Suspension and Revocation
§58.210. License Buyback Program

Subchapter D: Finfish Fishery Proclamation

§58.301. Delegation of Authority
§58.302. Display of License
§58.303. License Transfer
§58.304. License Buyback Program

This review is pursuant to the Texas Government Code, §2001.039, and the General Appropriations Act of 1997, Article IX, 75th Legislature, Regular Session.

The Commission will accept comments for 30 days following the publication of this notice in the Texas Register as to whether the reasons for adopting the sections under review continue to exist and to determine whether the rules reflect current legal, policy, and procedural considerations. Final consideration of this rules review is scheduled for the Parks and Wildlife Commission on November 8, 2001.

Any questions or written comments pertaining to this notice of intention to review should be directed to Gene McCarty, Chief of Staff, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX, 78744. Any proposed changes to the rules as a result of the review will be published in the Proposed Rules Section of the Texas Register and will be open for an additional 30-day public comment period prior to final adoption or repeal by the Commission.

SHRIMP FISHERY PROCLAMATION

§ 58.101. Application.

(a) This subchapter applies to the taking, attempting to take, possession, purchase, and sale of shrimp resources in the salt waters of Texas. It carries out the Commission’s rulemaking authority granted by the legislature in Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 77. The law covering the taking, attempting to take, possession, purchase, and sale of shrimp resources in the salt waters of Texas is set forth in both Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 77 and this subchapter whereby the provisions of this subchapter prevail over any conflicting provision of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 77 to the extent of the conflict as set forth in Parks and Wildlife Code, §77.007.

(b) This subchapter also applies to shrimp caught in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and landed in this state, under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, '47.019(b) (Federal Law also regulates species managed under Federal Fishery Management Plan).

(c) Foreign Shrimp. Provisions of this subchapter prohibiting possession, sale, purchase, unloading, or other handling of shrimp apply to shrimp caught in this state and shrimp coming from another state or country unless specifically provided otherwise.

§ 58.102. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Aquatic products—Any aquatic life, alive or dead, uncooked, fresh or frozen, which is intended to be used for human consumption or bait.

(2) Accelerator funnel - a device used to accelerate the flow of water through a shrimp trawl.

(3) Bait bays—

(A) Until December 1, 2000, bait bays are: major bays, Chocolate Bay, West Bay, the Old Brazos River lying north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Brazoria County, Copano Bay east of a line running from Rattlesnake Point to the northeastern boundary of the Bayside township, Nueces Bay from the bridge at State Highway 181 west to the second overhead power line dissecting the bay, Upper Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay, Alazan Bay, Carlos Bay, Baroom Bay, Lower Laguna Madre, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway exclusive of all tributaries.

(B) Effective December 1, 2000, bait Bait bays are: major bays, Chocolate Bay, West Bay south and west of Interstate Highway 45 Causeway bridge and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway inclusive of the area south of a line extending westward from the Interstate Highway 45 Causeway bridge at Virginia Point, along the southern edge of Tiki Island to the northeastern tip of North Deer Island at Channel Marker 48, Trinity Bay northward from a line extending from the mouth of Double Bayou in Chambers County to Double Bayou Channel Marker 14, to Separator C-2, to Point Barrow, Chambers County, the Old Brazos River lying north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Brazoria County, Upper Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay, Alazan Bay, Baroom Bay, Lower Laguna Madre including the Brownsville ship channel, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway exclusive of all tributaries.

(4) Bait-shrimp dealer—A person who operates an established place of business in a coastal county of the state for compensation or profit for the purpose of handling shrimp caught for use as bait from the inside water of this state, but does not include a person holding a wholesale fish dealer's license under Parks and Wildlife Code, §47.009.

(5) Beam Trawl—A trawl, without wings, the mouth of which is held open by a rigid beam of wood or metal.

(6) Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) - a device installed in the cod end (tail bag) of a shrimp trawl for the purpose of excluding finfish from the net.

(7) Centerline - the seam that runs along the top center of the trawl. In the absence of a seam, the centerline runs from the center point of the length of the head rope to the furthest distance on the top of the cod end of the trawl.

(8) Coastal waters—All the salt water of this state (as defined in §65.3 of this title (relating to Definitions)), including that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state extending nine nautical miles from the Gulf shoreline.

(9) Cod end (Tailbag) - the end of a trawl which acts as the receptacle for shrimp and other organisms caught in the net. It is closed and secured, at the extreme end, with a line.

(10) Commercial bait shrimp boat—A boat that is required to be numbered or registered under the laws of the United States or of this state and that is used for the purpose of taking or attempting to take shrimp for use as bait and other aquatic products from the inside water of the state for pay or for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange.

(11) Commercial bay shrimp boat—A boat that is required to be numbered or registered under the laws of the United States or of this state and that is used for the purpose of taking or attempting to take shrimp and other aquatic products from the inside water of the state for pay or for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange.

(12) Commercial gulf shrimp boat—Any boat that is required to be numbered or registered under the laws of the United States or of this state and that is used for the purpose of taking or attempting to take shrimp and other aquatic products from the outside water of the state for pay or for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange, or from salt water outside the state for pay or for the purpose of sale, barter, or exchange, and that unloads at a port or other point in the state without having been previously unloaded in another state or foreign country.

(13) Contiguous zone—That area of the Gulf of Mexico lying adjacent to and offshore of the jurisdiction of the State of Texas and in which shrimp of the Family Penaeidae are found.

(14) Individual bait-shrimp trawl—An otter trawl used for the purpose of catching shrimp for personal use.

(15) Inside waters—All bays, inlets, outlets, passes, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water landward from the shoreline of the state along the Gulf of Mexico and contiguous to, or connected with, but not a part of, the Gulf of Mexico and within which the tide regularly rises and falls and in which saltwater shrimp are found or into which saltwater shrimp migrate.

(16) Major bays—

(A) Until December 1, 2000, Major Bays are: the deeper, major bay areas of the inside water, including Sabine Lake north of Cameron Causeway, Trinity Bay, Galveston Bay, East Galveston Bay, West Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay (including East Matagorda Bay), Tres Palacios Bay south of a line from Grassey Point to the mouth of Pinkerton Bayou, Espiritu Santo Bay, Lavaca Bay seaward of State Highway 35, San Antonio Bay seaward of a line from McDowell Point to Grassey Point to Marker 32 on the Victoria Barge Canal, Ayres Bay, Carlos Bay, Aransas Bay, Mesquite Bay, and Corpus Christi Bay all exclusive of tributary bays, bayous, and inlets, lakes and rivers.

(B) Effective December 1, 2000 major Major bays include the deeper, major bay areas of the inside water, including Sabine Lake north of Cameron Causeway to the south of a line marked by the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Sabine Neches Canal/Sabine river) between the eastern most tip of Goat Island to the western most tip of Stewts Island, Trinity Bay southward from a line extending from the mouth of Double Bayou in Chambers County to Double Bayou Channel Marker 14, to Separator C-2, to Point Barrow, Chambers County, Galveston Bay, East Bay westward from a line extending from Frozen Point to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Marker 12, Matagorda Bay ( westward of a line extending from a location on the mainland (where a line running immediately northwest [bearing 330 degrees] from Shellfish Marker A intersects the mainland) thence southeasterly to Shellfish Marker A located near the mainland, thence to Shellfish Marker B located near the end of Shell Island Reef, thence to the tide gauge located near the Matagorda Peninsula, and thence southeasterly [bearing 153 degrees] to the Matagorda Peninsula. East Matagorda Bay, Tres Palacios Bay south of a line from Grassey Point to the mouth of Pinkerton Bayou, Espiritu Santo Bay, Lavaca Bay southward of State Highway 35, San Antonio Bay southward of a line from McDowell Point to Mosquito Point, Aransas Bay, and Corpus Christi Bay exclusive of the area bounded by a line extending from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at the southwest point of the Dagger Island chain, along Dagger Island to the southeast tip of South Ransom Island, then southeast to the westernmost point of land north of Marker 14 in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel , all exclusive of tributary bays, bayous, and inlets, lakes and rivers.

(17) Northern Shrimp Zone - That portion of outside waters north of the Corpus Christi Fish Pass Jetties from a line formed by Latitude 27º 40' 34" to the Texas - Louisiana border.

(18) Nursery areas—Includes tributary bays, bayous, inlets, lakes, and rivers, which are proven to serve as significant growth and development environments for postlarval and juvenile shrimp not including the outside waters, major bays, or bait bays as defined in this section.

(19) Otter Trawl—A funnel-shaped trawl, with wings, the mouth of which is held open by floats and weights and spread by trawl doors fastened to the wings.

(20) Outside waters—All the salt water of the state contiguous to and seaward from the shoreline of the state along the Gulf of Mexico as the shoreline is projected and extended in a continuous and unbroken line, following the contours of the shoreline, across bays, inlets, outlets, passes, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water; and that portion of the Gulf of Mexico extending from the shoreline seaward and within the jurisdiction of the state.

(21) Permanent structure—A building designed, planned, and constructed so as to remain at one location.

(22) Place of business—A permanent structure on the mainland or a barrier island where aquatic products or orders for aquatic products are received, or where aquatic products are sold or purchased, but does not include a vehicle, a boat, or any type of floating device, a public cold storage vault, or the portion of a structure that is used as a residence.

(23) Possess—The act of having in possession or control, keeping, detaining, restraining or holding.

(24) Second offense and third and subsequent offenses—Offenses for which convictions have been obtained within three years prior to the date of the offense charged.

(25) Shrimping—The taking or attempting to take shrimp from the public waters of this state.

(26) Shrimp house operator—A person who operates a shrimp house, plant, or other establishment for compensation or profit for the purpose of unloading and handling, from commercial gulf shrimp boats or commercial bay shrimp boats, fresh shrimp and other edible aquatic products caught or taken from the coastal water of the state or from salt water outside the state and brought into the state without having been previously unloaded in another state or foreign country, but does not include a person holding a wholesale fish dealer's license under Parks and Wildlife Code, §47.009.

(27) Southern Shrimp Zone-That portion of outside waters south of the Corpus Christi Fish Pass Jetties from a line formed by Latitude 27º 40' 34" southward to the Texas - Mexico border.

(28) Tailbag (Cod end) - the end of a trawl which acts as the receptacle for shrimp and other organisms caught in the net. It is closed and secured, at the extreme end, with a line.

(29) Trawl—A beam trawl or otter trawl with a bag-shaped net which is used to catch shrimp.

(30) Turtle Excluder Device (TED) - a device designed to be installed in a shrimp trawl forward of the cod end (tail bag) for the purpose of excluding sea turtles from the net.

§ 58.103. Shrimp Management Plan.

(a) The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan and the Economic Impact Analysis are adopted by reference.

(b) Copies may be obtained at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offices at 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744.

§ '58.104. Penalty and Responsibility for Violation.

A person who violates a provision of this subchapter is subject to penalties and provisions as authorized by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 77

§' 58.130 Shrimp License Buyback Program.

(a) Delegation of Authority. The commission delegates power and authority to the executive director to administer the Shrimp License Buyback Program.

(b) License Buyback Bid Application Period.

(1) The department will open one or more license buyback bid offer application periods (hereafter referred to as application) per license year if available funds permit.

(2) The department shall establish during each application period a deadline for receipt of all applications.

(c) License Buyback Application Requirements.

(1) The department shall consider all applications to the Shrimp License Buyback Program provided the applicants meet the following requirements:

(A) A completed License Buyback Application form furnished by the department has been submitted to the department by the application deadline;

(B) The applicant is the owner of the license submitted for buyback; and

(C) The applicant has submitted to the department copies of all supplemental information as required in this subsection.

(2) A completed License Buyback Application shall contain:

(A) full name of the applicant;

(B) current address of applicant's residence;

(C) social security number of applicant;

(D) a copy of legal documentation that:

(i) documents applicant as the sole owner of the vessel and holds the sole rights and privileges to the license; or

(ii) documents that all members of a partnership or corporation are in agreement to apply to the license buyback program and the submitted bid offer for license buyback;

(E) USCG vessel documentation number or State of Texas registration number;

(F) a copy of current commercial bay and/or bait shrimp boat license; and

(G) the applicant's bid offer, in U.S. dollars.

(3) Department records will be used to verify all information supplied by or pertaining to the applicant's history in the shrimp fishery or will be used in cases where the applicant has not provided adequate information for proper consideration of the application.

(4) Applications received after the established application deadline shall be held for consideration during the next bid offer application period.

(d) Established Maximum Value Criteria.

(1) The department may establish each license year criteria which will be used as appropriate to assign an Established Maximum Value to each application.

(2) The department will assign an Established Maximum Value to each application according to criteria provided in this section.

(3) The Established Maximum Value for each application will be based on the following criteria:

(A) length of vessel;

(B) duration of license in fishery prior to enactment of Parks and Wildlife Code §77.117 - 77.123;

(C) amount of funds accumulated in the Shrimp License Buyback Account;

(D) number of bay and bait licenses in the fishery issued in the license year of the specific bid offer application period;

(E) bid offers from previous application periods;

(F) established open market prices for licenses;

(G) number of licenses offered for sale by applicant; and

(H) other relevant factors.

(4) Adjustments to Established Maximum Value: If an applicant offers both a commercial bay shrimp license and a commercial bait shrimp license issued for the same vessel, the department will add a premium of 7.5% to the Established Maximum Value of each license offered.

(e) Application Ranking Procedures.

(1) Ranking values will be assigned to all applications based on the greatest difference between the Established Maximum Value and the bid offers which are less than the Established Maximum Value.

(2) The department will purchase licenses beginning with the highest ranking to the lowest.

(3) Equally ranked bid offers:

(A) If bid offers are equally ranked and one vessel is larger in length, the department will rank the larger vessel ahead of the smaller;

(B) If bid offers are equally ranked and both vessels are the same length, the department will rank according to the ascending alphabetical order of the applicant's last name.

(4) The department may purchase licenses from applicants whose offers fall within 10% of the Established Market Value and are greater than the Established Market Value.

(f) Notification of Acceptance or Rejection of Application.

(1) Department will notify each applicant in writing within 45 days of receipt of application regarding acceptance or rejection of application bid offer.

(2) Applicants whose bids are accepted must then notify the department of their intent to accept or reject the offer from the department within 15 days of the postmark of the notification letter sent by the department.

(3) The department may retain unsuccessful applications and include them in the next application period.

(4) The unsuccessful applicant may withdraw, resubmit, or amend an application for consideration during any future application periods.

(5) The department will continue to purchase in rank order as the buyback fund permits.

(g) Delegation of purchasing authority.

(1) The department may designate other qualified agents to purchase licenses on behalf of the department provided all purchased licenses are surrendered to the department and retired.

(2) The designated qualified agents may utilize the Maximum Value Criteria established in subsection (d) this section to purchase licenses.

§ 58.150. Sale, Purchase, and Handling of Shrimp — General Rules.

(a) Reporting by licensee. A licensee under this section who lands shrimp in the state shall submit to the department by the 10th day of each month, on forms furnished by the department, a report stating:

(1) the number of pounds of shrimp landed at points in the state by the licensee during the reporting period;

(2) the water from which the shrimp were taken; and

(3) the names of the species of shrimp.

(b) Possession after season: No person may retain saltwater shrimp in their fresh state legally taken in the coastal water of this state for more than five days after the end of an open season for the taking of shrimp unless he is a licensed bait dealer, bait-shrimp dealer, or sports fisherman.

(c) Handling of shrimp.

(1) No shrimp house operator, wholesale fish dealer, retail fish dealer, wholesale truck dealer, retail truck dealer, bait dealer, bait-shrimp dealer, or other person holding a license issued by the department may knowingly unload, buy, sell, transport, or handle in any way shrimp or bait shrimp:

(A) from an unlicensed gulf shrimp boat, an unlicensed commercial bay shrimp boat or an unlicensed commercial bait shrimp boat;

(B) of a prohibited size;

(C) caught in the inside water or outside water during respective closed seasons as provided in this subchapter; or

(D) in violation of a provision of this subchapter.

(2) No licensed commercial bait-shrimp boat captain may deliver or unload shrimp caught under authority of a commercial bait-shrimp boat license except directly to the established place of business of a licensed bait-shrimp dealer or a sports fisherman.

(3) No licensed bait-shrimp dealer may knowingly unload, buy, or handle in any way bait shrimp from an unlicensed commercial bait-shrimp boat.

§ '58.160. Taking or Attempting to Take Shrimp (Shrimping) — General Rules.

(a) It is unlawful to:

(1) take or attempt to take shrimp within the boundaries of any natural or man-made pass leading from the inside waters to the outside waters (Gulf of Mexico) of the state;

(2) use a trawl at a time when shrimping is prohibited;

(3) possess a trawl of any type or mesh size in an area where the t>

(4) head shrimp aboard a boat in inside water or dump or deposit shrimp heads in the inside water.

(b) A commercial shrimp boat license must be prominently displayed as to be clearly visible from both sides of the boat.

(c) All commercial shrimp boats are required to exhibit the vessel's documentation or registration number on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull and on an appropriate weather deck. The number in block Arabic numerals in contrasting color to the background must be at least 18 inches in height on vessels over 65 feet and ten inches in height for all other vessels and be permanently attached.

(d) Gear Measurements: Except as otherwise provided in this section, all gear measurements are made as follows:

(1) Otter trawls (main net and try net)-Total net width is measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline.

(2) Beam Trawls (main net and try net)—measured along the beam of a beam trawl in its fully extended position.

(3) Doors—measured along the door centerline from the leading tip to the trailing edge of the door, excluding any add-on devices of any type.

(4) Mesh sizes—measured between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used, and applies to the trawl, bag and bag liner. Mesh size requirements do not apply to net material used in any approved excluder device.

(5) Functional tailbag length - that portion of the cod end forward of the tail rope tie off rings toward the mouth of the trawl.

(6) TED Length: if the webbing immediately surrounding a hard TED has a mesh size smaller than that allowed for the trawl for that area or season, such webbing may not be greater than 60 total stretched meshes in length extend farther than 10 stretched meshes forward of the leading edge of the TED nor farther than 10 stretched meshes rearward of the trailing edge of the TED, not including the escape flap.

(e) Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) requirements.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, effective September 1, 2001, all shrimp boats must have an approved BRD installed in each trawl that is rigged for fishing. A trawl is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp boat.

(2) Exemptions from the BRD requirement- A shrimp boat is exempt from the BRD requirements of subsection (e)(1) if it:

(A) Is fishing under the provisions of a commercial bait shrimp license as established in §58.164, of this title (relating to Shrimping in Inside Waters - Commercial Bait Shrimping); or

(B) Is fishing under the provisions of a individual bait-shrimp trawl tag as established in §58.165, this chapter.

(C) Special environmental conditions. Shrimp boats may substitute tow-time restrictions for the BRD requirement of § 58.160(e) when the Assistant Administrator of NMFS has determined, under 50 CFR § 223.206(d)(3)(ii), that special environmental conditions in a particular area make trawling with TED-equipped nets impracticable. Compliance with tow-time restrictions in place of the BRD requirement shall be subject to the limitations established by NMFS in its notice under 50 CFR § 223.206(d)(3)(iv), including time period, locations, and any other conditions or restrictions that NMFS establishes.

(3) A single try net that is 21 feet in total width or less is exempt from the BRD requirement.

(4) Approved BRDs:

(A) Fish Eye-like devices (similar to "Fish Eye" or "Sea Eagle") minimum construction and installation requirements.

(i) Frame must be constructed of aluminum or steel rod at least 1/4 inch in diameter.

(ii) The escape opening cannot have a diameter any smaller than 5.0 inches, and the total escape opening area smaller than 36.0 square inches.

(iii) Beginning of the opening may not be placed more than 12 meshes to either side of the centerline of the tailbag.

(iv) Frame must be installed in the cod end of the trawl to create an escape opening in the trawl, facing in the direction of the mouth of the trawl, no further forward than 10 11 feet from the cod end tie-off rings.

(v) Opening may be placed forward of, but may not be placed within 24 inches aft of the lazy line attachment system (i.e. any mechanism, such as elephant ears or choker straps, used to attach the lazy line to the cod end).

(vi) Opening must not be obstructed while trawl is being towed.

(B) Extended Funnel devices (similar to "Jones/Davis", "large mesh", and "Extended Funnel devices") minimum construction and installation requirements.

(i) These devices must be attached between the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) of the trawl and the tailbag, using a functional tailbag length no longer than 15 feet.

(ii) Jones-Davis BRD must contain all of the following:

(I) Webbing extension. The webbing extension must be constructed from a single piece of No. 30 nylon webbing with a mesh size of 8-1/4 inches over 5 stretched meshes measuring 42 meshes by 120 meshes. A tube is formed from the extension webbing by sewing the 42-mesh side together.

(II) 28-inch cable hoop. A single hoop must be constructed of 1/2-inch steel cable 88 inches in length. The cable must be joined at its ends by a 3-inch piece of 1/2-inch aluminum pipe and pressed with a 3/8-inch die to form a hoop. The inside diameter of this hoop must be between 27 and 29 inches. The hoop must be attached to the extension webbing 17-1/2 meshes behind the leading edge. The extension webbing must be quartered and attached in four places around the hoop, and every other mesh must be attached all the way around the hoop using No. 24 twine or larger. The hoop must be laced with 3/8-inch polypropylene or polyethylene rope for chaffing.

(III) 24-inch hoop. A single hoop must be constructed of either No. 60 twine 80 inches in length or 3/8-inch steel cable 75-1/2 inches in length. If twine is used, the twine must be laced in and out of the extension webbing 39 meshes behind the leading edge, and the ends must be tied together. If cable is used, the cable must be joined at its ends by a 3-inch piece of 3/8-inch aluminum pipe and pressed together with a 1/4-inch die to form a hoop. The inside diameter of this hoop must be between 23 and 25 inches. The hoop must be attached to the extension webbing 39 meshes behind the leading edge. The extension webbing must be quartered and attached in four places around the hoop, and every other mesh must be attached all the way around the hoop using No. 24 twine or larger. The hoop must be laced with 3/8-inch polypropylene or polyethylene rope for chaffing.

(IV) Funnel. The funnel must be constructed from four sections of 1-1/2-inch heat-set and depth-stretched polypropylene or polyethylene webbing. The two side sections must be rectangular in shape, 29-1/2 meshes on the leading edge by 23 meshes deep. The top and bottom sections are 29-1/2 meshes on the leading edge by 23 meshes deep and tapered 1 point 2 bars on both sides down to 8 meshes across the back. The four sections must be sewn together down the 23-mesh edge to form the funnel.

(V) Attachment of the funnel in the webbing extension. The funnel must be installed two meshes behind the leading edge of the extension starting at the center seam of the extension and the center mesh of the funnel's top section leading edge. On the same row of meshes, the funnel must be sewn evenly all the way around the inside of the extension. The funnel's top and bottom back edges must be attached one mesh behind the 28-inch cable hoop (front hoop). Starting at the top center seam, the back edge of the top funnel section must be attached four meshes each side of the center. Counting around 60 meshes from the top center, the back edge of the bottom section must be attached 4 meshes on each side of the bottom center. Clearance between the side of the funnel and the 28-inch cable hoop (front hoop) must be at least 6 inches when measured in the hanging position.

(VI) Cutting the escape openings. The leading edge of the escape opening must be located within 18 inches of the posterior edge of the turtle excluder device (TED) grid. The area of the escape opening must total at least 864 square inches. Two escape openings 10 meshes wide by 13 meshes deep must be cut 6 meshes apart in the extension webbing, starting at the top center extension seam, 3 meshes back from the leading edge and 16 meshes to the left and to the right (total of four openings). The four escape openings must be double selvaged for strength.

(VII) Alternative Method for Constructing the Funnel and Escape Openings. The following method for constructing the funnel and escape openings may be used instead of the method described in subclauses (IV) -(VI) of this clause. With this alternative method, the funnel and escape openings are formed by cutting a flap in each side of the extension webbing; pushing the flaps inward; and attaching the top and bottom edges along the bars of the extension webbing to form the v-shape of the funnel. Minimum requirements applicable to this method include:

(-a-) The funnel's top and bottom back edges must be attached one mesh behind the 28-inch cable hoop (front hoop);

(-b-) clearance between the side of the funnel and the 28-inch cable hoop (front hoop) must be at least 6 inches when measured in the hanging position;

(-c-) the leading edge of the escape opening must be located within 18 inches (45.7 cm) of the posterior edge of the turtle excluder device (TED) grid; and,

(-d-) the area of the escape opening must total at least 864 square inches. To construct the funnel and escape openings using this method, begin 3-1/2 meshes from the leading edge of the extension, at the top center seam, count over 18 meshes on each side, and cut 13 meshes toward the back of the extension. Turn parallel to the leading edge, and cut 26 meshes toward the bottom center of the extension. Next, turn parallel to the top center seam, and cut 13 meshes forward toward the leading edge, creating a flap of webbing 13 meshes by 26 meshes by 13 meshes. Lengthen the flap to 18 meshes by adding a 4-1/2-mesh by 26-mesh rectangular section of webbing to the 26-mesh edge. Attach the 18-mesh edges to the top and bottom of the extension by sewing 2 bars of the extension to 1 mesh on the flap in toward the top center and bottom center of the extension, forming the exit opening and the funnel. Connect the two flaps together in the center with a 7-inch piece of No. 42 twine to allow adequate clearance for fish escapement between the flaps and the side openings. On each side, sew a 6-mesh by 10-1/2-mesh section of webbing to 6 meshes of the center of the 26-mesh cut on the extension and 6 meshes centered between the 13-mesh cuts 3-1/2 meshes from the leading edge. This forms two 10-mesh by 13-mesh openings on each side

(VIII) Cone fish deflector. The cone fish deflector is constructed of 2 pieces of polypropylene or polyethylene webbing with a mesh size of 8-1/4 inches over 5 stretched meshes measuring 40 meshes wide by 20 meshes in length and cut on the bar on each side forming a triangle. Starting at the apex of the two triangles, the two pieces must be sewn together to form a cone of webbing. The apex of the cone fish deflector must be positioned within 10-14 inches of the posterior edge of the funnel.

(IX) 11-inch cable hoop for cone deflector. A single hoop must be constructed of 5/16-inch or 3/8-inch cable 34-1/2 inches in length. The ends must be joined by a 3-inch piece of 3/8-inch aluminum pipe pressed together with a 1/4-inch die. The hoop must be inserted in the webbing cone, attached 10 meshes from the apex and laced all the way around with heavy twine.

(X) Installation of the cone in the extension. The cone must be installed in the extension 12 inches behind the back edge of the funnel and attached in four places. The midpoint of a piece of No. 60 twine 4 feet in length must be attached to the apex of the cone. This piece of twine must be attached to the 28-inch cable hoop at the center of each of its sides; the points of attachment for the two pieces of twine must be measured 20 inches from the midpoint attachment. Two 8-inch pieces of No. 60 twine must be attached to the top and bottom of the 11-inch cone hoop. The opposite ends of these two pieces of twine must be attached to the top and bottom center of the 24-inch cable hoop; the points of attachment for the two pieces of twine must be measured 4 inches from the points where they are tied to the 11-inch cone hoop.

(iii) Extended Funnel (standard size) must contain all of the following:

(I) Extension Material. The small-mesh sections used on both sides of the large-mesh escape section are constructed of No. 30 nylon webbing with a mesh size of 8-1/4 inches over 5 stretched meshes. The front section is 120 meshes around by 6-1/2 meshes deep. The back section is 120 meshes around by 23 meshes deep.

(II) Large-Mesh Escape Section. The large-mesh escape section is constructed of webbing with a mesh size of 40-50 inches over 5 stretched meshes. This section is cut on the bar to form a section that is 15 inches in length by 95 inches in circumference. The leading edge is attached to the 6-1/2-mesh extension section and the rear edge is attached to the 23-mesh extension section.

(III) Funnel. The funnel is constructed of No. 30 depth-stretched and heat-set polyethylene webbing with a mesh size of 7-1/2 inches over 5 stretched meshes. The circumference of the leading edge is 120 meshes and the back edge is 78 meshes. The short side of the funnel is 34 to 36 inches long and the opposite side of the funnel extends an additional 22 to 24 inches. The circumference of the leading edge of the funnel is attached to the forward small-mesh section three meshes forward of the large-mesh escape section and is evenly sewn, mesh for mesh, to the small-mesh section. The after edge of the funnel is attached to the after small-mesh section at its top and bottom eight meshes back from the large-mesh escape panel. Seven meshes of the top and seven meshes of the bottom of the funnel are attached to eight meshes at the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, such eight meshes being located immediately adjacent to the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section on the side of the funnel's extended side. The extended side of the funnel is sewn at its top and bottom to the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, extending at an angle toward the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section.

(IV) Semi-Rigid Hoop. A 30-inch diameter hoop constructed of plastic-coated trawl cable, swaged together with a 3/8-inch micropress sleeve, is installed five meshes behind the trailing edge of the large-mesh escape section. The extension webbing must be laced to the ring around the entire circumference and must be equally distributed on the hoop, that is, 30 meshes must be evenly attached to each quadrant.

(V) Installation. The extended funnel BRD is attached 8 inches (20.3 cm) behind the posterior edge of the TED. If it is attached behind a soft TED, a second semi-rigid hoop, as prescribed in subclause (IV) of this clause, must be installed in the front section of the BRD extension webbing at the leading edge of the funnel. The cod end of the trawl net is attached to the trailing edge of the BRD.

(iv) Extended Funnel (Inshore Size) must contain all of the following:

(I) Extension Material. The small-mesh sections used on both sides of the large-mesh escape section are constructed of No. 18 nylon webbing with a mesh size of 6-7/8 inches over 5 stretched meshes. The front section is 120 meshes around by 6-1/2 meshes deep. The back section is 120 meshes around by 23 meshes deep.

(II) Large-Mesh Escape Section. The large-mesh escape section is constructed of webbing with a mesh size of 40-50 inches over 5 stretched meshes. This section is cut on the bar to form a section that is 15 inches by 75 inches in circumference. The leading edge is attached to the 6-1/2-mesh extension section and the rear edge is attached to the 23-mesh extension section.

(III) Funnel. The funnel is constructed of with a mesh size of 6-7/8 inches over 5 stretched meshes, No. 18 depth-stretched and heat-set polyethylene webbing. The circumference of the leading edge is 120 meshes and the back edge is 78 meshes. The short side of the funnel is 30 to 32 inches long and the opposite side of the funnel extends an additional 20 to 22 inches. The circumference of the leading edge of the funnel is attached to the forward small-mesh section three meshes forward of the large-mesh escape section and is evenly sewn, mesh for mesh, to the small-mesh section. The after edge of the funnel is attached to the after small-mesh section at its top and bottom eight meshes back from the large-mesh escape panel. Seven meshes of the top and seven meshes of the bottom of the funnel are attached to eight meshes at the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, such eight meshes being located immediately adjacent to the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section on the side of the funnel's extended side. The extended side of the funnel is sewn at its top and bottom to the top and bottom of the small-mesh section, extending at an angle toward the top and bottom centers of the small-mesh section.

(IV) Semi-Rigid Hoop. A 24-inch diameter hoop constructed of plastic-coated trawl cable, swaged together with a 3/8-inch micropress sleeve, is installed five meshes behind the trailing edge of the large mesh section. The extension webbing must be laced to the ring around the entire circumference and must be equally distributed on the hoop, that is, 30 meshes must be evenly attached to each quadrant.

(V) Installation. The extended funnel BRD is attached 8 inches behind the posterior edge of the TED. If it is attached behind a soft TED, a second semi-rigid hoop, as prescribed in subclause (IV) of this clause, must be installed in the front section of the BRD extension webbing at the leading edge of the funnel. The cod end of the trawl net is attached to the trailing edge of the BRD.

(v) Expanded Mesh. The expanded mesh BRD is constructed and installed exactly the same as the standard size extended funnel BRD, except that one side of the funnel is not extended to form a lead panel.

(f) Turtle Excluder Device (TED) requirements.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all shrimp boats fishing in Texas outside waters must have an approved TED installed in each trawl that is rigged for fishing. A trawl is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp boat.

(2) Exemptions from the TED requirement. A shrimp boat is exempt from the TED requirements if it:

(A) has on board no power or mechanical-advantage trawl retrieval system (i.e., any device used to haul any part of the trawl aboard); or

(B) has only a pusher-head trawl, skimmer trawl, or wing net rigged for fishing.

(C) Special environmental conditions. Shrimp boats may substitute tow-time restrictions for the TED requirement of § 58.160(f) when the Assistant Administrator of NMFS has determined, under 50 CFR § 223.206(d)(3)(ii), that special environmental conditions in a particular area make trawling with TED-equipped nets impracticable. Compliance with tow-time restrictions in place of the TED requirement shall be subject to the limitations established by NMFS in its notice under 50 CFR § 223.206(d)(3)(iv), including time period, locations, and any other conditions or restrictions that NMFS establishes.

(3) Exempted gear or activities. The following fishing gear or activities are exempted from the TED requirements:

(A) A single test net (try net) that is 21 feet in total width or less, if it is either pulled immediately in front of another trawl or is not connected to another trawl in any way, if no more than one test net is used at a time, and if it is not towed as a primary trawl;

(B) A beam or roller trawl, if the frame is outfitted with rigid vertical bars, and if none of the spaces between the bars, or between the bars and the frame, exceeds 4 inches.

(4) Approved TEDs.

(A) Hard TEDs. Hard TEDs are TEDs with rigid deflector grids and are categorized as "hooped hard TEDs," such as the NMFS and Cameron TEDs, or "single-grid hard TEDs," such as the Matagorda and Georgia TEDs. Hard TEDs complying with the following generic design criteria are approved TEDs:

(i) Construction materials. A hard TED must be constructed of one or a combination of the following materials, with minimum dimensions as follows:

(I) Solid steel rod with a minimum outside diameter of 1/4 inch;

(II) Fiberglass or aluminum rod with a minimum outside diameter of 1/2 inch; or

(III) Steel or aluminum tubing with a minimum outside diameter of 1/2 inch and a minimum wall thickness of 1/8 inch (also known as schedule 40 tubing).

(ii) Method of attachment. A hard TED must be sewn into the trawl around the entire circumference of the TED with heavy twine.

(iii) Angle of deflector bars.

(I) The angle of the deflector bars must be between 30 degrees and 55 degrees from the normal, horizontal flow through the interior of the trawl, except:

(II) In a hard TED with the position of the escape opening at the bottom of the trawl when the trawl is in its deployed position, the angle of the deflector bars from the normal, horizontal flow through the interior of the trawl, at any point, must not exceed 55 degrees, and:

(-a-) If the deflector bars that run from top to bottom are attached to the bottom frame of the TED, the angle of the bottom-most 4 inches of each deflector bar, measured along the bars, must not exceed 45 degrees;

(-b-) If the deflector bars that run from top to bottom are not attached to the bottom frame of the TED, the angle of the imaginary lines connecting the bottom frame of the TED to the bottom end of each deflector bar which runs from top to bottom must not exceed 45 degrees.

(iv) Space between bars. The space between deflector bars and between the deflector bars and the frame must not exceed 4 inches.

(v) Direction of bars. The deflector bars must run from top to bottom of the TED, as the TED is positioned in the trawl, except that up to four of the bottom bars and two of the top bars, including the frame, may run from side to side of the TED.

(vi) Position of escape opening. The entire width of the escape opening from the trawl must be centered on and immediately forward of the frame at either the top or bottom of the trawl when the trawl is in its deployed position. The escape opening must be at the top of the trawl when the slope of the deflector bars from forward to aft is upward, and must be at the bottom when such slope is downward. For a single-grid TED, the escape opening must be cut horizontally along the same plane as the TED, and may not be cut in a fore-and-aft direction.

(vii) Size of escape opening.

(I) Hooped hard TED. The escape opening must not be smaller than 25 inches by 25 inches. A door frame may not be used over the escape opening.

(II) Single-grid hard TED — The cut in the trawl webbing for the escape opening cannot be narrower than the outside width of the grid minus 4 inches on both sides of the grid, when measured as a straight line width. The resulting escape opening in the trawl webbing must measure at least 32 inches in horizontal taut length and, simultaneously, 10 inches in vertical taut height. The vertical measurement must be taken at the midpoint of the horizontal measurement.

(viii) Size of hoop or grid.

(I) Hooped hard TED.

(-a-) An oval front hoop on a hard TED must have an inside horizontal measurement of at least 32 inches and an inside vertical measurement of at least 20 inches.

(-b-) A circular front hoop on a hard TED must have an inside diameter of at least 32 inches.

(II) Single-grid hard TED. A single-grid hard TED must have an inside horizontal and vertical measurement of at least 28 inches. The required inside measurements must be at the mid-point of the deflector grid.

(ix) Flotation. Flotation is required on all hard TEDs with bottom escape openings.

(I) Installation and construction requirements:

(-a-) floats must be attached to the top one-half of the TED;

(-b-) floats may be attached either outside or inside the trawl;

(-c-) floats must be attached with heavy twine or rope;

(-d-) floats must be constructed of aluminum, hard plastic, expanded polyvinyl chloride, or expanded vinyl acetate unless otherwise specified.

(II) Flotation compliance options. The requirements of this clause may be satisfied if any of the criteria below are met.

(-a-) Dimension requirements:

(-1-) For hard TEDs with a circumference of 120 inches or more, a minimum of either one round, aluminum or hard plastic float, no smaller than 9.8 inches in diameter, or two expanded polyvinyl chloride or expanded ethylene vinyl acetate floats, each no smaller than 6.75 inches in diameter by 8.75 inches in length, must be attached.

(-2-) For hard TEDs with a circumference of less than 120 inches, a minimum of either one round, aluminum or hard plastic float, no smaller than 9.8 inches in diameter, or one expanded polyvinyl chloride or expanded ethylene vinyl acetate float, no smaller than 6.75 inches in diameter by 8.75 inches in length, must be attached.

(-b-) Float buoyancy requirements. Floats of any size and in any combination must be attached such that the combined buoyancy of the floats, as marked on the floats, equals or exceeds the weight of the hard TED, as marked on the TED. The buoyancy of the floats and the weight of the TED must be clearly marked on the floats and the TED as follows:

(-1-) Float buoyancy markings. Markings on floats must be made in clearly legible raised or recessed lettering by the original manufacturer. The marking must identify the buoyancy of the float in water, expressed in grams or kilograms, and must include the metric unit of measure. The marking may additionally include the buoyancy in English units. The marking must identify the nominal buoyancy for the manufactured float.

(-2-) TED weight markings. The marking must be made by the original TED manufacturer and must be permanent and clearly legible. The marking must identify the in-air, dry weight of the TED, expressed in grams or kilograms, and must include the metric unit of measure. The marking may additionally include the weight in English units. The marked weight must represent the actual weight of the individual TED as manufactured. Previously manufactured TEDs may be marked upon return to the original manufacturer. Where a TED is comprised of multiple detachable components, the weight of each component must be separately marked.

(-c-) Buoyancy-dimension requirements. Floats of any size and in any combination, provided that they are marked pursuant to clause (ix)(II)(-a-) of this subparagraph, must be attached such that the combined buoyancy of the floats equals or exceeds the following values:

(-1-) For floats constructed of aluminum or hard plastic, regardless of the size of the TED grid, the combined buoyancy must equal or exceed 14 lb. (6.4 kg);

(-2-) For floats constructed of expanded polyvinyl chloride or expanded ethylene vinyl acetate, where the circumference of the TED is 120 inches or more, the combined buoyancy must equal or exceed 20 lb. (9.1 kg); or

(-3-) For floats constructed of expanded polyvinyl chloride or expanded ethylene vinyl acetate, where the circumference of the TED is less than 120 inches, the combined buoyancy must equal or exceed 10 lb. (4.5 kg).

(B) Jones TED. The Jones TED must be constructed of at least 1-1/4 inch outside diameter aluminum or steel pipe, and the pipe must have a wall thickness of at least 1/8 inch. It must be generally oval in shape with a flattened bottom. The deflector bars must be attached to the frame at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal positioning downward and each bar must be attached at only one end to the frame. The deflector bars must be attached and lie in the same plane as the frame. The space between the ends of the bottom deflector bars and the bottom frame bar must be no more than 3 inches. The spacing between the bottom three deflector bars on each side must be no greater than 2-1/2 inches. The spacing between all other deflector bars must not exceed 3-1/2 inches and spacing between ends of opposing deflector bars also must not exceed 3-1/2 inches. This TED must comply with subparagraphs (A)(ii), (iii), (vi), (vii)(II), (viii)(II), and (ix) of this paragraph with respect to the method of attachment, the angle of the deflector bars, the position of the escape opening, the size of the escape opening, the size of the grid, and flotation.

(C) Soft TEDs. Soft TEDs are TEDs with deflector panels made from polypropylene or polyethylene netting. The Parker TED is the only approved TED. The Parker TED is a soft TED, consisting of a single triangular panel, composed of webbing of two different mesh sizes, that forms a complete barrier inside a trawl and that angles toward an escape opening in the top of the trawl.

(i) Excluder Panel. The excluder panel of the Parker TED must be constructed of a single triangular piece of webbing with a mesh size of 40 inches over 5 stretched meshes and two trapezoidal pieces of webbing with a mesh size of 20 inches over 5 stretched meshes. The webbing must consist of No. 48 (3-mm thick) or larger polypropylene or polyethylene webbing that is heat-set knotted or braided. The leading edge of the triangular panel must be 36 meshes wide and be tapered on each side with all-bar cuts to converge on an apex, such that the length of each side is 36 bars. The leading edges of the trapezoidal panel must be 8 meshes wide and must be cut with all-bar cuts running parallel to each other, such that the length of the inner edge is 72 bars and the length of the outer edge is 89 bars and the resulting fore-and-aft edge is 8 meshes deep. The two trapezoidal panels must be sewn to the triangular panel to create a single triangular excluder panel. The 72-bar edge of each trapezoidal panel must be securely joined with twine to one of the 36-bar edges of the triangular panel, tied with knots at each knot of the trapezoidal webbing and at least two wraps of twine around each bar of trapezoidal and the adjoining bar of the 8-inch (20.3-cm) mesh. The adjoining fore-and-aft edges of the two trapezoidal panels must be sewn together evenly.

(ii) Limitations on which trawls may have a Parker TED installed. The Parker TED must not be installed or used in a two-seam trawl with a tongue, nor in a triple-wing trawl (a trawl with a tongue along the headrope and a second tongue along the footrope). The Parker TED may be installed and used in any other trawl if the taper of the body panels of the trawl does not exceed 4 bars, 1 point and if it can be properly installed in compliance with subparagraph (C)(iii) of this paragraph.

(iii) Panel installation:

(I) Leading edge attachment. The leading edge of the excluder panel must be attached to the inside of the bottom of the trawl across a straight row of meshes. For a two-seam trawl or a four-seam, tapered-wing trawl, the row of meshes for attachment to the trawl must run the entire width of the bottom body panel, from seam to seam. For a four-seam, straight-wing trawl, the row of meshes for attachment to the trawl must run the entire width of the bottom body panel and half the height of each wing panel of the trawl. Every mesh of the leading edge of the excluder panel must be evenly sewn to this row of meshes; meshes may not be laced to the trawl.

(II) Apex attachment. The apex of the triangular excluder panel must be attached to the inside of the top body panel of the trawl at the centerline of the trawl.

(III) Side attachment. The sides of the excluder panel must be attached evenly to the inside of the trawl from the outside attachment points of the excluder panel's leading edge to the apex of the excluder panel. Each side must be sewn with the same sewing sequence, and, if the sides of the excluder panel cross rows of bars in the trawl, the crossings must be distributed evenly over the length of the side attachment.

(iv) Escape opening for the Parker soft TED must be a longitudinal cut and meet the following specifications. A slit at least 56 inches in taut length must be cut along the centerline of the top body panel of the trawl immediately forward of the apex of the panel webbing. The slit must not be covered or closed in any manner. The edges and end points of the slit must not be reinforced in any way; for example, by attaching additional rope or webbing or by changing the orientation of the webbing.

(D) Allowable modifications to hard TEDs and special hard TEDs. Unless otherwise prohibited in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, only the following modifications may be made to an approved hard TED or an approved special hard TED:

(i) Floats. In addition to floats required pursuant to subparagraph (A)(ix) of this paragraph, floats may be attached to the top one-half of the TED, either outside or inside the trawl, but not to a flap. Floats attached inside the trawl must be behind the rear surface at the top of the TED.

(ii) Accelerator funnel. An accelerator funnel may be installed in the trawl, if it is made of net webbing material with a stretched mesh size not greater 8-1/4 inches over a series of 5 stretched meshes if it has an inside horizontal opening of at least 39 inches when measured in a taut position, if it is inserted in the trawl immediately forward of the TED, and if its rear edge does not extend past the bars of the TED. The trailing edge of the accelerator funnel may be attached to the TED on the side opposite the escape opening if not more than 1/3 of the circumference of the funnel is attached, and if the inside horizontal opening of at least 39 inches is maintained. In a bottom-opening TED, only the top 1/3 of the circumference of the funnel may be attached to the TED. In a top-opening TED, only the bottom 1/3 of the circumference of the funnel may be attached to the TED.

(iii) Webbing flap. A webbing flap may be used to cover the escape opening under the following conditions: No device holds it closed or otherwise restricts the opening; it is constructed of webbing with a stretched mesh size not greater 8-1/4 inches over a series of 5 stretched meshes; it lies on the outside of the trawl; it is attached along its entire forward edge forward of the escape opening; it is not attached on the sides beyond the row of meshes that lies 6 inches behind the posterior edge of the grid; and it does not extend more than 24 inches beyond the posterior edge of the grid, except for boats fishing with a hard TED with the position of the escape opening at the bottom of the trawl when the trawl is in its deployed position, in which case the webbing flap must not extend beyond the posterior edge of the grid.

(iv) Chafing webbing. A single piece of nylon webbing, with a twine size no smaller than size 36 (2.46 mm in diameter), may be attached outside of the escape opening webbing flap to prevent chafing on bottom opening TEDs. This webbing may be attached along its leading edge only. This webbing may not extend beyond the trailing edge or sides of the existing escape opening webbing flap, and it must not interfere or otherwise restrict the turtle escape opening.

(v) Roller gear. Roller gear may be attached to the bottom of a TED to prevent chafing on the bottom of the TED and the trawl net. When a webbing flap is used in conjunction with roller gear, the webbing flap must be of a length such that no part of the webbing flap can touch or come in contact with any part of the roller gear assembly or the means of attachment of the roller gear assembly to the TED, when the trawl net is in its normal, horizontal position. Roller gear must be constructed according to one of the following design criteria:

(I) A single roller consisting of hard plastic shall be mounted on an axle rod, so that the roller can roll freely about the axle. The maximum diameter of the roller shall be 6 inches, and the maximum width of the axle rod shall be 12 inches. The axle rod must be attached to the TED by two support rods. The maximum clearance between the roller and the TED shall not exceed 1 inch at the center of the roller. The support rods and axle rod must be made from solid steel or solid aluminum rod no larger than 1/2 inch in diameter. The attachment of the support rods to the TED shall be such that there are no protrusions (lips, sharp edges, burrs, etc.) on the front face of the grid. The axle rod and support rods must lie entirely behind the plane of the face of the TED grid.

(II) A single roller consisting of hard plastic tubing shall be tightly tied to the back face of the TED grid with rope or heavy twine passed through the center of the roller tubing. The roller shall lie flush against the TED. The maximum outside diameter of the roller shall be 3-1/2 inches, the minimum outside diameter of the roller shall be 2 inches, and the maximum length of the roller shall be 12 inches. The roller must lie entirely behind the plane of the face of the grid.

(g) Other aquatic life taken incidental to legal shrimping operations.

(1) Licensed Commercial Shrimp Boats.

(A) Other aquatic life taken incidental to legal shrimping operations may not be retained except as provided in these rules.

(B) On board a licensed commercial shrimp boat a catch of finfish or other aquatic life, in any combination, may be retained in an amount not to exceed 50% by weight of the total trawl catch of shrimp by weight.

(i) Within the provision provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, species regulated by bag and size limits by proclamation of the Parks and Wildlife Commission may not be retained in numbers in excess of the recreational daily bag limit established for those species, and may not be retained in protected length limits established for those species.

(ii) From May 1 through September 30 of each year, in addition to the provision of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph:

(I) up to 1,500 live non-game fish, not regulated by bag or size limits, may be retained on board a licensed commercial bait-shrimp boat for bait purposes only; and

(II) up to 3,600 (300 dozen) Atlantic cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus) (also known as ribbonfish) may be retained on board a licensed commercial bait-shrimp boat for bait purposes only.

(2) Non-commercial shrimping. A person using an individual bait shrimp trawl for non-commercial purposes may retain for bait purposes only up to 200 non-game fish, not regulated by bag or size limits.

§ 58.161. Shrimping in Outside Waters.

(a) Gulf net restrictions.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no trawls may have a mesh size smaller than 8-3/4 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the presence of a shrimp trawl (excluding doors) not stored within the confines of the hull of a vessel in outside water during the closed periods provided by subsection (d) of this section is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.

(3) Electro-trawls.

(A) Until December 1, 2000, in outside waters of more than seven fathoms, an electro-trawl having an applied voltage of no more than three volts may be used for taking shrimp.

(B) Effective December 1, 2000, in In outside waters beyond 5 nautical miles, an electro-trawl having an applied voltage of no more than three volts may be used for taking shrimp.

(4) Until December 1, 2000 Number of trawls

(A) There are no restrictions on the number of trawls that may be used in outside waters except as provided in this section;

(B) Effective immediately following the ending date of the summer Gulf closure 2001, no No more than two trawls may be used in the outside waters from shoreline out to three nautical miles except as provided in this section.

(5) Effective immediately following the ending date of the summer Gulf closure 2001, except Except as otherwise provided in this section, in the outside waters from shoreline out to three nautical miles, the main trawl:

(A) must have doors at least 3 feet long as measured along the door centerline from leading tip to the trailing edge of the door; and

(B) must not exceed any of the following dimensions, as measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline:

Door Length Total Net Width
3' or more but less than 4' 71’
4' or more but less than 5' 73’
5' or more but less than 6' 75’
6' or more but less than 7' 77’
7' or more but less than 8' 79’
8' or more but less than 9' 81’
9' or more but less than 10' 83’
10' or more but less than 11' 85’
11' or more but less than 12' 87’
12' or more 89’

(b) Bag and possession limits. During the gulf open season there are no bag and possession limits on shrimp.

(c) Size limits. Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully in the outside waters.

(d) Gulf shrimping seasons. The outside waters are open to shrimping except:

(1) From December 1, 2000 and thereafter, that portion of the The Southern Shrimp Zone from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles is closed to shrimping from February 16 to the start date of the summer Gulf closure.

(2) Night:

(A) Until December 1, 2000, the outside waters within seven fathoms are closed to night shrimping (30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise) throughout the year;

(B) Effective December 1, 2000, the The outside waters from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles is closed to night shrimping (30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise).

(3) Summer closed season:

(A) The outside waters are closed from 30 minutes after sunset on May 15 to 30 minutes after sunset July 15.

(B) The commission may change the opening and closing dates to provide an earlier, later, or longer season not to exceed 75 days.

(C) The department will provide 72 hours public notice prior to a change in the closing date, and 24 hours public notice prior to reopening the season.

(4) Winter closed season: From December 1, 2000 and thereafter, the The outside waters from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles are closed from December 1 through February 15 the following year unless taking seabobs in the Northern Zone.

(5) Seabob season:

(A) Seabobs may be taken:

(i) during daylight hours only (30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset);

(ii) during the gulf open season; and

(iii) during the winter closed season (in the North Zone only).

(B) No person catching seabobs may catch or have on board a boat any other species of shrimp which exceed 10%, in weight or number, of the entire catch.

(C) Not more than one trawl may be used for taking Seabobs. , except a try net may also be used.

(D) Trawl restrictions for taking seabobs: Net restrictions.

(i) Try nets.

(I) A trawl used as a try net may not exceed 12 feet in width as measured from the trailing edge of one door to the trailing edge of the other door.

(II) Try net trawl doors may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(ii) Main trawl

(i) (I) Trawl width may not exceed any of the following dimensions, as measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline:

Door Length Total Net Width
3' or more but less than 4' 48'
4' or more but less than 5' 50'
5' or more but less than 6' 52'
6' or more but less than 7' 54'
7' or more but less than 8' 56'
8' or more but less than 9' 58
9' or more but less than 10' 60'
10' or more 62'

(ii) (II) Mesh size: trawls used for seabobs must have a mesh size of 6 -1/2 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in a consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used.

§ '58.162. Shrimping in Inside Waters - General Rules.

(a) It is unlawful:

(1) during the period April 1 through August 14, to take or attempt to take shrimp from the inside water except between the hours of 30 minutes before sunrise to 2:00 p.m.;

(2) to use a trawl at a time when shrimping is prohibited;

(3) to fail to have the spreading devices:

(A) out of the water and on the deck of the vessel, and the trawl bag untied at a time when shrimping is prohibited; or

(B) out of the water and at the towing block, and the trawl bag untied at a time when shrimping is prohibited.

(4) to take or attempt to take shrimp from inside water from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise except as provided in this subchapter;

(5) to take or attempt to take shrimp with a trawl at any other time or in any other place in the Laguna Madre north of a line starting on the mainland at the most northeasterly point on the north side of the entrance to Whiteley Channel then proceeding in a straight line to the north end of Pita Island; then continuing on a line to the southernmost point on the westerly most spoil island bordering the north side of the New Humble Channel (commonly referred to as Hap's Channel); then continuing on a line along the north edge of the New Humble Channel (commonly referred to as Hap's Channel) to its junction with the gulf Intracoastal Waterway; then continuing on a straight line to the Nueces/Kleberg County line marker on Padre Island;

(6) to use or have on board more than one set of doors or spreading device for the main trawl;

(7) to use or have on board more than one set of doors or spreading device for the try net; or

(8) use more than one trawl at a time except a try net may also be used.

(b) Dual licensed boats. During the period May 15 through July 15, it is unlawful for the operator of a boat licensed both as a commercial bay shrimp boat and a commercial bait shrimp boat to:

(1) take more than 600 pounds of shrimp per boat per calendar day in major bays;

(2) possess or have on board a boat in the inside water or unload or attempt to unload at any point in this state more than 600 pounds of shrimp; or

(3) to take or attempt to take shrimp in both a major bay and any other water within the same calendar day.

§ '58.163. Shrimping in Inside Waters - Commercial Bay Shrimping.

(a) General rules.

(1) Open waters—commercial bay shrimp boats may shrimp only in major bays.

(2) It is unlawful for any person:

(A) aboard a vessel licensed as a commercial bay shrimp boat to off-load, transfer, sell, or barter any amount of live or dead shrimp to a person aboard another vessel; or

(B) aboard a vessel to off-load, transfer, purchase or barter from a person aboard a vessel licensed as a commercial bay shrimp boat any amount of live or dead shrimp.

(b) Spring open season.

(1) The spring open season extends from May 15 through July 15 in major bays only.

(2) Legal shrimping hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 2:00 p.m.

(3) Bag and possession limits: No more than 600 pounds of whole shrimp per day may be taken or possessed on board.

(4) Size limits: Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully during spring open season in inside waters

(5) Net restrictions.

(A) Try nets.

(i) A trawl used as a try net may not exceed 21 feet in total width.

(ii) Try net trawl doors or boards may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(iii) A beam trawl used as a try net may not exceed ten feet in width.

(B) Main trawl:

(i) must have doors at least three feet long as measured along the door centerline from leading tip to the trailing edge of the door; and

(ii) must not exceed any of the following dimensions, as measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline:

Door Length Total Net Width
3' or more but less than 4' 40'
4' or more but less than 5' 42'
5' or more but less than 6' 44'
6' or more but less than 7' 46'
7' or more but less than 8' 48'
8' or more but less than 9' 50
9' or more but less than 10' 52'
10' or more 54'

(C) A beam trawl used as a main trawl may not exceed 25 feet in total width.

(D) Mesh size may not be less than 6 - 1/2 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used.

(c) Fall open season.

(1) The fall open season extends from August 15 through November 30 in major bays only.

(2) Legal shrimping hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

(3) Bag and possession limits are not restricted.

(4) Size limits:

(A) From August 15 through October 31, the legal shrimp count is 50 heads on per pound.

(B) From November 1 through December 15 November 30 there are no count or size requirements.

(5) Net restrictions.

(A) Try nets.

(i) A trawl used as a try net may not exceed 21 feet in total width.

(ii) Try net trawl doors or boards may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(iii) A beam trawl used as a try net may not exceed ten feet in width.

(B) Main trawl may not exceed 95 feet in total width.

(C) Mesh size in the main trawl: mesh size may not be less than 8-3/4 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used, EXCEPT from November 1 through December 15 November 30, mesh size may not be less than 6-1/2 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been used.

(d) Winter open season.

(1) The winter open season extends from February 1 through April 15 in major bays only south of the Colorado River.

(2) Legal shrimping hours: 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise;

(3) Bag and possession limits are not restricted.

(4) Size limits: Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully during winter open season in inside waters.

(5) Net restrictions.

(A) Try nets.

(i) A trawl used as a try net may not exceed 21 feet in total width.

(ii) Try net trawl doors or boards may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(iii) A beam trawl used as a try net may not exceed ten feet in width.

(B) Main trawl:

(i) must have doors at least three feet long as measured along the door centerline from leading tip to the trailing edge of the door; and

(ii) must not exceed any of the following dimensions, as measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline:

Door Length Total Net Width
3' or more but less than 4' 40'
4' or more but less than 5' 42'
5' or more but less than 6' 44'
6' or more but less than 7' 46'
7' or more but less than 8' 48'
8' or more but less than 9' 50
9' or more but less than 10' 52'
10' or more 54'

(C) A beam trawl used as a main trawl may not exceed 25 feet in total width.

(D) Mesh size may not be less than 6 - 1/2 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been placed in use.

§ '58.164. Shrimping in Inside Waters - Commercial Bait Shrimping.

(a) General rules.

(1) A person who has on board or displays a commercial bait-shrimp boat license must operate only under the bait-shrimp rules of this section.

(2) Open waters: commercial bait shrimp boats may shrimp only in bait bays and major bays, except as otherwise provided in this subchapter.

(3) It is unlawful for any person:

(A) aboard a vessel licensed as a commercial bait-shrimp boat to off-load, transfer, sell, or barter any amount of live or dead shrimp, except an amount of live or dead shrimp not to exceed two quarts per sport fisherman or one gallon (by volume) for two or more sport fishermen may be off-loaded, transferred, sold or bartered to a person aboard a sport fishing vessel; or

(B) aboard a vessel to off-load, transfer, purchase, or barter from a person aboard a vessel licensed as a commercial bait-shrimp boat any amount of live or dead shrimp, except a person aboard a sport fishing vessel may off-load, transfer, purchase, or barter an amount of live or dead shrimp not to exceed two quarts per sport fisherman or one gallon (by volume) for two or more sport fishermen.

(b) Commercial bait-shrimp season.

(1) Commercial bait-shrimp season is open year-round.

(2) Legal shrimping hours.

(A) From August 15 through March 31 legal shrimping hours are 30 minutes before sunrise 30 minutes after sunset.

(B) From April 1 through August 14 legal shrimping hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 2:00 p.m.

(C) In the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between markers 17 and 57 in the Laguna Madre in Nueces County, bait-shrimp may be taken only from 1:00 a.m. to 30 minutes before sunrise each day.

(c) Bag and possession limits.

(1) No more than 200 pounds of whole shrimp per day may be taken or possessed on board.

(2) At least 50% of the on-board catch must be kept in a live condition, except during the period August 16 through November 14.

(3) All shrimp on board must have heads attached.

(d) Size limits Size limits: Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully during commercial bait-shrimp operations in inside waters.

(e) Net restrictions.

(1) Try nets.

(A) A trawl used as a try net may not exceed 12 feet in total width.

(B) Try net trawl doors or boards may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(C) A beam trawl used as a try net may not exceed five feet in width.

(2) Main trawl:

(A) must have doors at least three feet long as measured along the door centerline from leading tip to the trailing edge of the door; and

(B) must not exceed any of the following dimensions, as measured along an uninterrupted corkline from leading tip of door to leading tip of door including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline:


Door Length

Total Net Width
3' or more but less than 4' 40'
4' or more but less than 5' 42'
5' or more but less than 6' 44'
6' or more but less than 7' 46'
7' or more but less than 8' 48'
8' or more but less than 9' 50
9' or more but less than 10' 52'
10' or more 54'

(C) A beam trawl used as a main trawl may not exceed 25 feet in total width.

(3) Mesh size may not be less than 6-1/2 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been placed in use.

(4) In the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between markers 17 and 57 (as indicated on the most current United States Coastal Survey Charts on the effective date of these rules) in the Laguna Madre in Nueces County, bait-shrimp may be taken with a legal beam trawl only.

§ '58.165. Non-commercial (recreational) Shrimping.

(a) General rules.

(1) It is unlawful for any person:

(A) to take or attempt to take non-commercial shrimp in coastal waters by any means except an individual bait-shrimp trawl, cast net, or minnow seine not larger than 20 feet in length that is manually operated without the use of any mechanical means or devices;

(B) to buy, sell, offer for sale, or handle in any way for profit non-commercial shrimp caught with an individual bait-shrimp trawl, cast net, or minnow seine not larger than 20 feet; or

(C) to possess or have on board more than one individual bait-shrimp trawl.

(2) Net restrictions—Individual bait-shrimp trawls.

(A) Trawls may not exceed 20 feet in width as measured between the doors and along the uninterrupted corkline, including any and all add-on devices or attachments to the corkline.

(B) Trawl doors or boards may not exceed 450 square inches each.

(C) Mesh size may not be less than 8 - 3/4 inches in length between the two most widely separated knots in any consecutive series of five stretched meshes after the trawl has been placed in use.

(b) Shrimping for personal use and bait—Outside waters.

(1) Open waters—the outside waters are open to shrimping except:

(A) Night:

(i) Until December 1, 2000, the outside waters within seven fathoms are closed to night shrimping (30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise) throughout the year;

(ii) Effective December 1, 2000, in In the outside waters from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles is closed to night shrimping (30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise).

(B) From December 1, 2000 and thereafter, that That portion of the Southern Shrimp Zone from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles is closed to shrimping from February 16 to the start date of the summer Gulf closure.

(C) Summer closed season.

(i) The outside waters are closed from 30 minutes after sunset on May 15 to 30 minutes after sunset July 15.

(ii) The commission may change the opening and closing dates to provide an earlier, later, or longer season not to exceed 75 days.

(iii) The department will provide 72 hours public notice prior to a change in the closing date, and 24 hours public notice prior to reopening the season.

(D) Winter closed season:

(i) Until December 1, 2000, the outside waters up to and including seven fathoms are closed from December 1 through February 15 the following year;

(ii) Effective December 1, 2000, the The outside waters from the shoreline out to 5 nautical miles are closed from December 1 through February 15 the following year.

(2) Bag and possession limits.

(A) Personal use: No more than 100 pounds of shrimp (in their natural state with heads attached) per day may be taken or possessed on board.

(B) Bait: No more than two quarts of shrimp (in their natural state with heads attached) per person or four quarts of shrimp per boat may be on board or possessed.

(3) Size limits: shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully in the outside waters.

(c) Shrimping for personal use—Inside waters.

(1) Open waters. Major bays only are open to taking of shrimp for food for personal use.

(2) Spring open season.

(A) The spring open season extends from May 15 through July 15.

(B) Legal shrimping hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 2:00 p.m.

(C) Bag and possession limits: No more than 15 pounds of shrimp (in their natural state with heads attached) per person per day may be taken or possessed on board.

(D) Size limits: Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully during spring open season in inside waters.

(3) Fall open season.

(A) The fall open season extends from August 15 through November 30.

(B) Legal shrimping hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

(C) Bag and possession limits: No more than 15 pounds of shrimp (in their natural state with heads attached) per person per day may be taken or possessed on board.

(D) Size limits. :

(i) From August 15 through October 31, the legal shrimp count is 50 heads on per pound.

(ii) From November 1 through December 15 there are no count or size requirements.

(d) Shrimping for bait—Inside waters.

(1) Open waters: Bait bays and major bays only are open to taking of shrimp for bait.

(2) Non-commercial bait-shrimp season. Bait bays and major bays are open year-round for non-commercial bait shrimping.

(3) Legal shrimping hours.

(A) From August 15 through March 31 legal shrimping hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

(B) From April 1 through August 14 legal shrimping hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 2:00 p.m.

(4) Bag and possession limits: No more than two quarts of shrimp (in their natural state with heads attached) per person or four quarts of shrimp per boat may be on board or possessed.

(5) Size limits: Shrimp of any size may be retained when caught lawfully for bait in the inside waters.

 


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