Presenter: Paul Hammerschmidt

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Action
Proposed 2003-2004 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Fishing Guide License – Required Documentation
May 2003

I. Discussion: Responsibility for adopting rules governing the issuance and use of a fishing guide license is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 47, Commercial Fishing Licenses. During the scheduled meeting on April 3, 2003, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted changes to the price of a fishing guide license from $75 to $125 for guides operating in freshwater and from $75 to $200 for guides operating in saltwater. The Coast Guard currently requires persons operating for-hire vessels fishing in saltwater to possess an operator’s license, but does not require an operator’s license for vessels in freshwater, except those that are defined (by the Coast Guard) as navigable. This distinction between freshwater and saltwater fish guide operations needed to be clarified in rule.

Changes to new §65.73, as proposed, concerning Fishing Guide License – Required Documentation would require any person seeking a fishing guide license for use in coastal waters to possess a valid, appropriate U.S. Coast Guard Operator’s License. The rule is necessary to clarify that persons who guide in saltwater are required to show proof of possession of a Coast Guard operator’s license in order to obtain a fishing guide license for use in saltwater, and that they are subject to a higher license fee.

At the direction of the Executive Director, staff filed the proposed rule changes with the Texas Register which were published in the April 24, 2003 issue for 30-day public comment (28 TexReg 3482-3483). To date, staff has received no comments by phone, e-mail, or letter regarding these proposals.

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

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§65.73 (located in Exhibit A), concerning Fishing Guide License - Required Documentation as published in the April 25, 2003 issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 3482-3483)."

Attachments – 2

  1. Exhibit A - Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. §65.73
  2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note (Available Upon Request)

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

§65.73.Fishing Guide License--Required Documentation.

(a) No person shall engage in business as a fishing guide in the coastal waters of this state unless that person possesses a fishing guide license and has paid the appropriate licensure fee for saltwater use.

(b) No person operating a vessel or boat as a fishing guide on or in the coastal waters of this state may be issued a Fishing Guide license unless the person presents documentation to the license deputy that the applicant possesses a valid and appropriate U. S. Coast Guard Operator’s License.


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