Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, Jan. 25, 2006

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item No. Subject Public Hearing Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
Committee Only
2. 2006-2007 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation and Alligator Proclamation - Permission to Publish
Staff: Robin Riechers, Ken Kurzawski, Mike Berger
Committee Only
3. Proposed Harvest Regulations for Freshwater Mussels - Permission to Publish
Staff: Bill Provine
Committee Only
4. Proposed Repeal of the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Proclamation - Permission to Publish
Staff: Vickie Fite
Committee Only
5. Proposed Deer Permit Rules
  • Consolidation of Deer Permit Violations Provisions
  • Changes to Scientific Breeder Regulations
Staff: Clayton Wolf
16

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Regulations Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency’s efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Regulations Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan’s Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Regulations Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Ken Kurzawski
Robin Riechers
Mike Berger

Regulations Committee
2006-2007 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
and Alligator Proclamation
Proposed Changes – Permission to Publish
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item presents the proposed changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for the 2006-2007 seasons.

Wildlife
White-tailed Deer
Upland Game Birds
Alligator
Inland Fisheries
Marine Creek Reservoir (Tarrant County)

Current harvest regulations for largemouth bass consist of statewide 14-inch minimum length limit with a five fish daily bag limit. The regulation would be changed to an 18-inch minimum length limit. The five fish daily bag would be retained.

Statewide baitfish exceptions

Add Kinney County to current list of bait fish exceptions.

Bowfishing

Discuss regulations concerning the take of game and nongame fishes by means of lawful archery equipment.

Coastal Fisheries

Prohibit the take of largetooth sawfish (Pristis perotteti): National Marine Fisheries and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service have listed the smalltooth sawfish as endangered and, therefore, it is now endangered in Texas under PWC Chapter 68. Because of the extreme difficulty that anglers have in distinguishing the smalltooth sawfish from the largetooth sawfish, protection of both is believed to be the only way to protect the listed species.

Remove the requirement for the Tarpon tag. Recognizing that there are good business reasons to minimize the use of tags on hunting and fishing licenses, elimination of the use of the tarpon tag is proposed. In order to still allow for a state record fish to be retained there will be a one-fish bag limit per day with a minimum size limit that would allow for minimal landings of fish that are thought to be in contention for a state record (i.e., 80 inches).

Black Drum: Currently black drum are managed with a maximum size limit where anything greater than the size limit cannot be retained. We propose, similar to the tarpon proposal, that one fish over a maximum size limit (i.e., set at the state record = 52 inches) for black drum be allowed per day.

Reduce the possession limit for flounder to the daily bag limit: For flounder, we propose changing the possession limit so that it is equal to the bag limit for the recreational fishery. This is already the case in the commercial fishery. This will create some redistribution of the current catches in the recreational fishery and basically limit a person to 10-fish per trip instead of the 20-fish bag they can keep if they fish past midnight now.

Naming tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis) a game fish: We propose to list tripletail as a game fish and create a minimum size of 17 inches and daily bag limit of 3 fish [6 in possession].

II. 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. Similar responsibility with respect to alligator is delegated under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65. The proposed changes are based upon statutory requirements and Commission policy, including scientific investigation and required findings of fact where applicable. The potential changes are intended to increase recreational opportunity, decrease regulatory complexity where possible, promote enforcement, and provide for the sound biological management of the wildlife resources of the state.

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A - Proposed 2006-2007 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
  2. Exhibit B - Proposed Alligator Proclamation

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§65.3, 65.11, 65.24-65.26, 65.34, 65.42, 65.54, 65.56, 65.60, 65.62, 65.64, 65.66, 65.72, and 65.82, and new §65.49, concerning the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation.

The proposed amendment to §65.3, concerning Definitions, would alter the current definitions of ‘buck deer’ and ‘wildlife resources,’ add definition of ‘alligator gig’ and ‘alligator hide tag,’ and add a species of fish to the list of fishes designated as game fish. The current definition of ‘buck deer’ stipulates that a buck deer is an animal with a “hardened antler” protruding through the skin. It is possible for some buck deer to still be in velvet (i.e., antlers that are not yet completely hardened) when hunting is lawful. The proposed amendment would define a buck deer as “a deer with visible, polished or velvet covered bone showing above the hairline.” The amendment is necessary to ensure that regulations stipulating or restricting harvest to antlerless deer have the effect of resulting in the harvest of antlerless deer and not bucks.

Parks and Wildlife Code, §61.005, defines wildlife resources as, “all wild animals, wild birds, and aquatic animal life.” The current definition of ‘wildlife resources’ in this subchapter restricts the applicability of the subchapter to game animals and game birds only. The amendment is necessary to expand the applicability of the subchapter to include alligators, because provisions governing the recreational take of alligator are being relocated from another subchapter to this subchapter.

The definition of ‘alligator gig’ would be added as a result of the relocation of recreational hunting rules for alligators to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The proposed amendment is necessary because there are other types of gigs used in angling that are not lawful for the take of alligators; therefore, the regulations must stipulate the nature of a lawful alligator gig.

The definition of ‘alligator hide tag’ also would be added as a result of the relocation of the recreational hunting rules for alligators. The hide tag is a federal requirement intended to provide a means for identifying lawfully harvested alligators for purposes of international traded. The proposed amendment is necessary to distinguish the alligator hide tag from other types of tags referenced in the rules.

The proposed amendment also adds tripletail to the list of game fishes. The tripletail is becoming increasingly popular with recreational anglers and to offer greater protection to the species, the department proposes to designate tripletail as a game fish, which lawfully can be taken only by pole and line. The amendment is necessary to add further protection to an increasingly popular sport fish. The current proposed minimum size limit should protect young females from harvest prior to first spawn. The department intends to continue monitoring populations to see what effect the regulations change has on the populations of tripletail in Texas waters.

The proposed amendment to §65.11, concerning Lawful Means, would establish the means of take that are lawful for use on alligators. As addressed in the discussion of proposed new §65.49 elsewhere in this rulemaking, all provisions relating to the hunting of alligators are being relocated from 31 TAC Chapter 65, Subchapter P to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. In general, the provisions are being transferred without change; however, there are several exceptions, as follows.

The proposed amendment is taken verbatim from current §65.356, which the department proposes to repeal in a rulemaking published elsewhere in this issue, except for the provisions in proposed §65.356(1)(E) and (5)(A)(v), which provide for the limited use of firearms to take alligators on private lands and waters. Under current rules, firearms are a prohibited means for taking alligators, although an alligator may be dispatched with a firearm once the alligator has been caught on a lawful taking device. The proposed amendment to paragraph (1)(E) would allow the take of alligator by means of firearms on private lands except in Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria counties. The area represented by the named counties is the prime historical habitat for the American alligator in Texas, consisting primarily of freshwater swamps and marshes, but also nearby rivers, lakes and smaller bodies of water, in areas where freezing conditions are rare or of short duration. In this area of the state, alligator hunting is commercially viable and must be regulated, both to equitably distribute the harvest and to manage the species for sustainable harvest and prevention of depletion, since alligators in this area of the state are a key species in certain wetland ecosystems. Means of take otherwise remain limited to ‘capture’-type devices such as hook-and-line, snares, gigs, and archery equipment, with the requirement that all taking devices be connected to a line of at least 300-lb. test to ensure recovery of all alligators. When free-swimming alligators are shot with a firearm, they typically sink very quickly and become difficult or impossible to locate and recover. Therefore, the use of firearms to take alligators has been prohibited in these counties to minimize wounding loss and subsequent waste of meat and hides.

Elsewhere in the state, where alligator populations exist they are ephemeral or the result of population expansion into marginal or less-than-desirable habitats (with the notable exception of the greater Houston metropolitan area, which is geographically within the historic range of the American alligator, but heavily urbanized. In these areas of the state, alligators must move frequently as landscape water conditions change, and are often seen traveling across land in search of new waters. Alligators near human habitation are often found crossing roads, entering suburbs and finding shelter in artificial ponds and even an occasional swimming pool during the drier months. The proposed amendment to (1)(E) would maintain the prohibition on the use of firearms in the named counties, would allow the use of firearms to take alligators on private property, and would prohibit the take of alligators by means of firearms from, on, in, or over public water. The department reasons that the risk of wounding loss is negligible for the take of alligators on dry land and in private waters; however, the prohibition of take by firearm on public waters is to minimize wounding loss. The provision is necessary to provide additional hunting opportunity in areas of the state where alligator populations are expanding but where long-term viability of populations is unlikely because of erratic fluctuations in habitat conditions.

Additionally the proposed amendment would prohibit a person hunting alligator under an alligator endorsement to employ no more than one taking device at a time. The proposed amendment mirrors current provisions governing the use of taking devices and expands its applicability to include persons hunting under an alligator endorsement. The one-to-one ratio of taking devices to tags was established to prevent hunters from accidentally exceeding the number of alligators authorized for take, and to prevent the practice of ‘culling,’ whereby an unscrupulous person would take more alligators than authorized and retain the most desirable individuals for tagging purposes. The proposed amendment is necessary to prevent waste of the resource.

The proposed amendment to §65.24, concerning Permits, would clarify that the section does not apply to deer harvested under MLD permits. Under current rules, persons harvesting deer under an MLD permit are not required to possess an MLD tag on their person. The current rule acknowledges that landowners face logistical problems related to permit allotment and use. Hunters are not always successful, and to require each hunter to have a permit on their person while they are in the field means that unused permits would have to be returned to the landowner and reissued to subsequent hunters, which is inefficient, particularly on larger properties that might entertain dozens of hunters in a season. The department thus allows hunters to harvest a deer and then immediately take it by the most direct route to a location on the property where the MLD tag can then be attached to the carcass. The amendment is necessary to eliminate a conflict between the provisions of §65.24 and the provisions of §65.26 and §65.34.

The proposed amendment to §65.25, concerning Wildlife Management Plan, would allow for the establishment of special seasons and bag limits for upland game birds (turkey, quail, pheasant, lesser prairie chicken, and chachalaca), by species, on properties managed by the landowner under a department-approved wildlife management plan (WMP). The WMP would be required to include, at a minimum: population estimates, harvest data, a biological evaluation of the quality of existing habitat and the potential for maintaining or enhancing existing habitat or creating additional habitat, and department-approved habitat management practices deemed necessary by the department to maintain, increase, enhance, or connect habitat. Based on the information in the WMP and consistent with the tenets of sound biological management, the department would calculate a harvest quota and specify a time period during which harvest would be authorized for the property. The proposed amendment would require a landowner to remain in the program for a minimum of three years, and would stipulate that a landowner who fails to perform the activities stipulated in the WMP is ineligible to participate in the program for three years. The proposed amendment is necessary to advance the commission’s policy of emphasizing quality habitat management as the keystone of healthy ecosystems. The department believes that the use of incentives such as enhanced bag limits and extended season lengths, when they are biologically feasible and do not result in either depletion or waste of the resource, are useful tools to encourage landowners to engage in practices that are scientifically proven to maintain healthy ecosystems. Research indicates that hunting mortality is not a major factor in the expansion or contraction of upland game bird populations at the statewide scale. Therefore, a harvest quota based on the concept of the sustainable yield for a specific property is unlikely to result in population reductions below the annual recuperative potential, provided the required habitat management practices are conducted.

The proposed amendment to §65.26, concerning Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—White-tailed Deer, would reword subsection (d) to remove unintended potential for misunderstanding. The current rule provides that a ‘deer killed under the authority of an MLDP’ must immediately be tagged or taken to a tagging station on the property. The department has become aware that this provision has been interpreted by some to mean that when landowners or hunters are harvesting deer they have the option of using an MLDP or a tag from a hunting license, or that if all MLDPs have been used, additional harvest is acceptable. A core element of the biological effectiveness of the MLDP program is the harvest quota established in the wildlife management plan. At the point that MLDPs have been issued to a landowner, the harvest quota is not a suggestion or a recommendation; it is the total number of deer that may be lawfully harvested from the property for which the permits were issued. Under the provisions of §65.25, concerning Wildlife Management Plan (WMP), an approved WMP, specifying a harvest quota for antlerless deer or both buck and antlerless deer, is required for the issuance of Managed Lands Deer Permits. Additionally, under the provisions of §65.26(g), exceeding the harvest quota is sufficient reason for the department to deny further issuance of permits. Therefore, in order to eliminate potential confusion, the proposed amendment would make clear that all deer taken on a property for which MLDPs (buck, antlerless, or both) have been issued must be tagged with an applicable MLDP, and that when the harvest quota for the property has been achieved, no additional deer may be taken on the property. The amendment is necessary to prevent confusion and possible inadvertent misunderstandings.

The proposed amendment to §65.34, concerning Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—Mule Deer, effects changes to address the same situation discussed in the proposed amendment to §65.26, and is necessary for the same reason.

The proposed amendment to §65.42, concerning Deer, would implement special antler restrictions in Bell, Bosque, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Comal (east of IH 35), Comanche, Coryell, Delta, Eastland, Erath, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Hamilton, Harrison, Hays (east of IH 35), Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Lampasas, Leon, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Somervell, Titus, Travis (east of IH 35), Upshur, Williamson, Wilson, and Wood counties. Hunting pressure on buck deer in these counties has been excessive for many years. In 1971, the bag limit in most counties in the eastern third of the state was reduced from two bucks to one in an effort to mitigate excessive hunting pressure. Despite the reduction, the data continues to indicate excessive harvest of bucks, which results in very poor age structure. Although the one-buck bag limit redistributed the harvest among hunters, it did not produce a significant amount of older age bucks in the herd. Under the one-buck bag limit, very few bucks survive into the older age classes (older than three years). Research results indicate that poor age structure within a buck herd creates a longer breeding season, which in turn leads to a longer fawning season and a reduction in fawn production. Poor age structure also contributes to adverse hunter satisfaction.

In April of 2002, the commission adopted a three-year experimental antler restriction regulation in six counties in the Oak Prairie ecoregion, with the following goals: improve the age structure of the buck herd, increase hunter opportunity, and encourage landowners and hunters to become more actively involved in better habitat management. The antler restriction regulation was designed to protect the majority of younger bucks until those deer could reach a level of advanced physical maturity.

The experimental regulation gave the department considerable insight into the impact that it can have on a buck herd. Department data indicate that the experimental regulation has been effective. The proportion of bucks younger than 3.5 years old in the harvest dropped from 79% to 29% during the 2004-2005 hunting season. Prior to the implementation of the regulation, only 20% of the harvested bucks were at least 3.5 years old; however, by the third year of the experiment, 71% of the harvested bucks were at least 3.5 years old. It is important to note that while buck harvest dropped 38% during the first year of the experiment (compared to the average harvest from 1997-2001), the harvest during the second year of the experiment exceeded the five-year average prior to the regulation change. The data also showed a decline in the harvest of spike bucks and an increase in the harvest of bucks with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater, which means that one effect of maintaining a one-buck limit under the antler restrictions is that hunting pressure is deflected from the spike-buck segment of the population, which is undesirable. Therefore, in April 2004 the department implemented a two-buck bag limit in counties with antler restrictions, with the proviso that if a hunter took two bucks at least one of them had to have at least one unbranched antler. By adding the second buck to the bag, the department intended to encourage the harvest of spike bucks, which research has indicated are less likely to develop into lawful bucks (as defined for the counties with the antler-restriction rules in place).

Given the results of the experimental regulations, the department has endeavored to identify additional counties where implementation might yield similar results. The criteria used for candidate counties were: the county currently must be a one-buck county, 60% of the buck harvest in the county must consist of bucks less than 3.5 years of age, and the county must have a contiguous border with another county in which antler restriction regulations have been implemented. On this basis, the department identified the 40 counties affected by the proposed amendment.

The proposed amendment to §65.42 also would implement a four-deer bag limit for the entirety of Upton County. Under current rules, the bag limit in the portions of Upton County that are either north of U.S. Highway 67 or both south of U.S. Highway 67 and west of State Highway 349 is three deer. Department data indicate that deer populations in the northern and western parts of the county are increasing and able to withstand additional hunting pressure. Additionally, the counties adjoining Upton County on the east and northeast (Glasscock and Reagan counties) contain deer densities similar to those found in Upton County but are under a more liberal regulation (5 deer; no more than 2 bucks) than that being proposed for Upton County. The regulations have been in effect in Glasscock and Reagan counties for five years, and the deer herds in these counties have experienced no adverse impacts. The department therefore does not anticipate that the proposed amendment will result in either waste or depletion of the resource.

Proposed new §65.49, concerning Alligators, would establish the open seasons, rules for tag issuance and use, reporting requirements, and provisions for the sale of alligators taken under a Texas hunting license. Prior to 2005, an alligator hunting license was required to hunt alligators in this state, and all provisions relating to the hunting of alligators were located in 31 TAC Chapter 65, Subchapter P. The passage of House Bill 2026 by the 79th Texas Legislature eliminated the alligator hunting license. As a consequence, the department has determined that it is appropriate to relocate all provisions relating to recreational alligator hunting from Subchapter P to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. In general, the provisions are being transferred without change; however, there are several exceptions, as follows.

The proposed new section would provide for the harvest of alligator by means of firearms under certain condition, which is addressed in the discussion of the proposed changes to §65.11.

The proposed new rule would create and articulate rules for the use of a hunting license bearing a CITES endorsement for alligators. Under federal law, all alligators harvested in the United States must be permanently tagged with a CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) tag. Although the American alligator is not endangered, it is similar in appearance to other reptilian species that are endangered. The CITES tag functions to distinguish legally taken reptiles from unlawfully taken reptiles. Under the current system, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues CITES tags to the department, which then issue the tags to landowners, who then use or distribute the tags as they see fit. In order to determine appropriate levels of tag issuance and subsequent harvest, the department conducts annual surveys of populations, nesting activity, and harvest in counties containing commercially viable alligator populations. From this data the department derives the annual harvest quotas that form the basis for the issuance of CITES tags to landowners. At this time, the overwhelming majority of tag issuance occurs in those areas of the state considered to be historic alligator habitat. In those counties (Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria), a licensed hunter may take one alligator per CITES tag in possession. Under the proposed new rule, tag issuance and harvest in those counties would continue to be conducted as is currently done. However, in the remainder of the state, a licensed hunter who has obtained a $20 alligator endorsement would be entitled to harvest one alligator (the fee is for a CITES tag, which will be mailed to each person who purchases an endorsement). The department’s limited resources do not allow for extensive survey efforts throughout the state; however, the federal issuance of CITES tags to Texas, which is based on overall harvest data submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on an annual basis, has never been exceeded; in fact, tag utilization does not typically exceed 80% of tag issuance. Therefore, the department reasons that additional demand is unlikely to exceed permit availability, and in any event, since the total permit issuance by the Service cannot be exceeded, harvest on a macro level will not be biologically significant.

The proposed new section also would require a person who obtains a license endorsement for alligators to either return the unused CITES tag to the department within ten days of the close of the season or, in the event of harvest, to complete and submit to the department a harvest report. The proposed new section also would provide for denial of future license endorsements to persons who fail to submit a report or return an unused hide tag. The proposed amendment is necessary to ensure that the department is able to maintain accurate harvest data for purposes of continued hide tag issuance by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The proposed amendments to §§65.54, concerning Game Birds: Open Seasons and Bag Limits; 65.56, concerning, Lesser Prairie Chicken: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits; 65.60, concerning Pheasant: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits; 65.62, concerning, Quail: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits; 65.64, concerning Turkey; and 65.66, concerning Chachalacas, would add language to each section to create exceptions for the provisions of proposed §65.11, which would implement special seasons and bag limits for upland game birds on properties under department-approved management plans. The amendments are necessary to prevent regulatory conflicts.

The proposed amendment to §65.72, concerning Fish, consists of several changes. The current harvest regulations for largemouth bass on Marine Creek Reservoir (Tarrant County) consist of statewide 14-inch minimum length limit and a five-fish daily bag limit. The proposed amendment would implement an 18-inch minimum length limit. The proposed amendment is necessary because Marine Creek Reservoir has been selected to be involved in the Operation World Record research project. The project will involve stocking coded-wire tagged largemouth bass and monitoring their growth for a minimum of five years following stocking. The stocked bass are ShareLunker offspring and are valuable, considering the limited number that will be produced and their importance to the project. The ShareLunker program allows anglers to loan largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more to the department for spawning and research purposes, which include the study of genetics, life history, growth, performance, behavior, and competition. The increased length limit will protect the stocked bass through at least 18 inches and will increase the department’s ability to evaluate their performance in natural systems.

The proposed amendment also would add Kinney County to current list of counties where bait fish are restricted to common carp, fathead minnows, gizzard and threadfin shad, golden shiners, goldfish, Mexican tetra, Rio Grande cichlid, silversides (Atherinidae family), and sunfish (Lepomis). The restrictions were promulgated to protect endangered pupfish (Cyprinodon) in the western Texas. The proposed amendment would also protect the Devils River minnow, which only occurs in Val Verde and Kinney counties.

The proposed amendment to §65.72 also would prohibit the take of largetooth sawfish (Pristis perotteti). The proposed amendment is necessary because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) as endangered. Due to the extreme difficulty in distinguishing the smalltooth sawfish from the largetooth sawfish, the department believes that protection of both species is the only way to protect the listed species.

The proposed amendment to §65.72 also would eliminate the requirement that tarpon be tagged and instead would implement a minimum length limit. Under current rules, no person may catch and retain a tarpon of less than 80 inches in length, but may retain one tarpon of more than 80 inches in length by tagging the fish with the trophy tarpon tag from the person’s fishing license. The proposed amendment would eliminate the tagging requirement and replace it with a bag limit of one tarpon of 80” in length or longer per person per year. The amendment is necessary because the department is seeking ways to reduce regulatory complexity and paperwork. The proposed amendment would offer the same protection to the resource while allowing for pursuit and retention of a record size tarpon.

The proposed amendment to §65.72 also would modify the rules governing possession of black drum. Currently, black drum are managed by means of a bag limit combined with minimum and maximum size limits. The proposed amendment would allow a person to keep one black drum of greater than 52 inches in length per day. The amendment is necessary because the department would like to make it possible for anglers to pursue and retain a state record black drum.

The proposed amendment to §65.72 also would reduce the possession limit for flounder taken under a recreational license. Under current rule, the possession limit for any fish is twice the daily bag limit, unless specified otherwise. Thus, with a daily bag limit of 10, the possession limit for flounder is 20, and for those flounder fishing trips which last past midnight the 20 fish per angler possession limit applies. The proposed amendment would make the possession limit identical to the daily bag limit. The proposed amendment is necessary because data indicate a long-term declining trend in abundance. The proposed amendment would exert a limited but positive impact on flounder stocks and should aid law enforcement by providing less of an incentive for recreational catches to enter the commercial market.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be the dispensation of the agency’s statutory duty to protect and conserve the wildlife resources of this state, the duty to equitably distribute opportunity for the enjoyment of those resources among the citizens, and the execution of the commission’s policy to maximize recreational opportunity within the precepts of sound biological management practices.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. The economic impact of hunting and fishing in Texas, particularly in rural areas of the state, is significant. The Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-related Recreation, conducted annually since 1955 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, estimates that approximately $3.5 billion was spent by hunters and anglers in Texas in 2001, the last year for which survey data is available. Of that total, nearly $1.5 billion was spent on food, lodging, transportation, and fuel; $1.3 billion was spent on equipment; and $366 million was spent on licenses, permits, and fees paid to landowners for hunting rights. From these data it is readily apparent that hunting and fishing represent a significant economic impact to many individuals and types of businesses in the state.

(C) Typically, the department’s annual changes to the regulations governing recreational fish and wildlife use are characterized by minor alterations, usually affecting bag limits, bag composition, season lengths, or provisions affecting licenses or permits. The proposed amendments and new section are believed to be typical in this regard. In assessing the effect of the proposed amendments and new section on small businesses, microbusinesses, and persons required to comply, the department has made the assumption that the majority of economic influence exerted by fish and wildlife regulations is a function of the presence or absence of opportunity, which is directly tied to the biological parameters (availability, viability, surplus, etc.) that determine whether or not the commission is able to provide an open season under the requirements of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61.

In order to assess these impacts, the department compared the results of the 2001 Fish and Wildlife Service survey with previous survey results. A comparison employing a 90 percent confidence interval around survey estimates from 1991 to 2001 reveals that economic activity (in adjusted dollars) surrounding hunting and angling has remained statistically stable during that time, the notable exception being an approximately 46% increase in travel expenses related to hunting. This comparison, when viewed against the backdrop of continual but slight changes to regulations, would seem to indicate that minor fluctuations in the regulations do not, in and of themselves, result in significant economic impacts to the economy as a whole or to any type of business in particular. While this comparison indicates little or no change at the macro (statewide level) there could be minor changes at the micro (local) level.

(D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(E) 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.

(F) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted by phone (area code 512) or e-mail to Robert Macdonald (Wildlife 389-4775; e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us), Ken Kurzawski (Inland Fisheries 389-4591; e-mail: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.state.tx.us), Jerry Cooke (Coastal Fisheries 389-4492; e-mail: jerry.cooke@tpwd.state.tx.us), David Sinclair (Wildlife Enforcement 389-4854; e-mail: david.sinclair@tpwd.state.tx.us), or Bill Robinson (Fisheries Enforcement 389-4628; e-mail: bill.robinson@tpwd.state.tx.us), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments and new section are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, which requires the commission to regulate the periods of time when it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to hunt, take, or possess game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life in this state; the species, quantity, age or size, and, to the extent possible, the sex of the game animals, game birds, or aquatic animal life authorized to be hunted, taken, or possessed; and the region, county, area, body of water, or portion of a county where gameanimals, game birds, or aquatic animal life may be hunted, taken, or possessed; and Chapter 65, which authorizes the commission to regulate the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, exportation, importation, sale, and offering for sale of alligators, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator that the commission considers necessary to manage this species, including regulations providing for permit application forms, fees, and procedures; the periods of time when it is lawful to take, possess, sell, or purchase alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator; and limits, size, means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to take or possess alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator.

The proposed amendments and new section affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 61 and 65.

§65.3. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms in this chapter shall have the meanings assigned in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

(1) Agent—A person authorized by a landowner to act on behalf of the landowner. For the purposes of this chapter, the use of the term "landowner" also includes the landowner's agent.

(2) Alligator gig—A pole or staff equipped with at least one of the following:

(A) immovable prongs;

(B) two or more spring-loaded grasping arms; or

(C) a detachable head.

(3)[(2)] Annual bag limit—The quantity of a species of a wildlife resource that may be taken from September 1 of one year to August 31 of the following year.

(4)[(3)] Antlerless deer—A deer having no hardened antler protruding through the skin.

(5)[(4)] Antler point—A projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine. The tip of a main beam is also a point.

(6)[(5)] Artificial lure—Any lure (including flies) with hook or hooks attached that is man-made and is used as a bait while fishing.

(7)[(6)] Bait—Something used to lure any wildlife resource.

(8)[(7)] Baited area—Any area where minerals, vegetative material or any other food substances are placed so as to lure a wildlife resource to, on, or over that area.

(9)[(8)] Bearded hen—A female turkey possessing a clearly visible beard protruding through the feathers of the breast.

(10)[(9)] Buck deer— A deer with visible, polished or velvet-covered bone showing above the hairline[A deer having a hardened antler protruding through the skin].

(11)[(10)] Cast net—A net which can be hand-thrown over an area.

(12) Alligator hide tag (hide tag) – a department-issued tag required by federal law pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to be affixed to all alligators taken in the state. All alligator hide tags issued by the department are CITES tags.

(13)[(11)] Coastal waters boundary—All public waters east and south of the following boundary are considered coastal waters: Beginning at the International Toll Bridge in Brownsville, thence northward along U.S. Highway 77 to the junction of Paredes Lines Road (F.M. Road 1847) in Brownsville, thence northward along F.M. Road 1847 to the junction of F.M. Road 106 east of Rio Hondo, thence westward along F.M. Road 106 to the junction of F.M. Road 508 in Rio Hondo, thence northward along F.M. Road 508 to the junction of F.M. Road 1420, thence northward along F.M. Road 1420 to the junction of State Highway 186 east of Raymondville, thence westward along State Highway 186 to the junction of U.S. Highway 77 near Raymondville, thence northward along U.S. Highway 77 to the junction of the Aransas River south of Woodsboro, thence eastward along the south shore of the Aransas River to the junction of the Aransas River Road at the Bonnie View boat ramp; thence northward along the Aransas River Road to the junction of F.M. Road 629; thence northward along F.M. Road 629 to the junction of F.M. Road 136; thence eastward along F.M. Road 136 to the junction of F.M. Road 2678; then northward along F.M. Road 2678 to the junction of F.M. Road 774 in Refugio, thence eastward along F.M. Road 774 to the junction of State Highway 35 south of Tivoli, thence northward along State Highway 35 to the junction of State Highway 185 between Bloomington and Seadrift, thence northwestward along State Highway 185 to the junction of F.M. Road 616 in Bloomington, thence northeastward along F.M. Road 616 to the junction of State Highway 35 east of Blessing, thence southward along State Highway 35 to the junction of F.M. Road 521 north of Palacios, thence northeastward along F.M. Road 521 to the junction of State Highway 36 south of Brazoria, thence southward along State Highway 36 to the junction of F.M. Road 2004, thence northward along F.M. Road 2004 to the junction of Interstate Highway 45 between Dickinson and La Marque, thence northwestward along Interstate Highway 45 to the junction of Interstate Highway 610 in Houston, thence east and northward along Interstate Highway 610 to the junction of Interstate Highway 10 in Houston, thence eastward along Interstate Highway 10 to the junction of State Highway 73 in Winnie, thence eastward along State Highway 73 to the junction of U.S. Highway 287 in Port Arthur, thence northwestward along U.S. Highway 287 to the junction of Interstate Highway 10 in Beaumont, thence eastward along Interstate Highway 10 to the Louisiana State Line. The waters of Spindletop Bayou inland from the concrete dam at Russels Landing on Spindletop Bayou in Jefferson County; public waters north of the dam on Lake Anahuac in Chambers County; the waters of Taylor Bayou and Big Hill Bayou inland from the saltwater locks on Taylor Bayou in Jefferson County; Lakeview City Park Lake, West Guth Park Pond, and Waldron Park Pond in Nueces County; Galveston County Reservoir and Galveston State Park ponds #1-7 in Galveston County; Lake Burke-Crenshaw and Lake Nassau in Harris County; Fort Brown Resaca, Resaca de la Guerra, Resaca de la Palma, Resaca de los Cuates, Resaca de los Fresnos, Resaca Rancho Viejo, and Town Resaca in Cameron County; and Little Chocolate Bayou Park Ponds #1 and #2 in Calhoun County are not considered coastal waters for purposes of this subchapter.

(14)[(12)] Community fishing lake—All public impoundments 75 acres or smaller located totally within an incorporated city limits or a public park, and all impoundments of any size lying totally within the boundaries of a state park.

(15)[(13)] Crab line—A baited line with no hook attached.

(16)[(14)] Daily bag limit—The quantity of a species of a wildlife resource that may be lawfully taken in one day.

(17)[(15)] Day—A 24-hour period of time that begins at midnight and ends at midnight.

(18)[(16)] Deer population data—Results derived from deer population surveys and/or from systematic data analysis of density or herd health indicators, such as browse surveys or other scientifically acceptable data, that function as direct or indirect indicators of population density

(19)[(17)] Dip net—A mesh bag suspended from a frame attached to a handle.

(20)[(18)] Final processing—the cleaning of a dead wildlife resource for cooking or storage purposes.

(21)[(19)] Fish—

(A) Game fish—Blue catfish, blue marlin, broadbill swordfish, brown trout, channel catfish, cobia, crappie (black and white), flathead catfish, Guadalupe bass, king mackerel, largemouth bass, longbill spearfish, pickerel, red drum, rainbow trout, sailfish, sauger, sharks, smallmouth bass, snook, Spanish mackerel, spotted bass, spotted seatrout, striped bass, tarpon, tripletail, wahoo, walleye, white bass, white marlin, yellow bass, and hybrids or subspecies of the species listed in this subparagraph.

(B) Non-game fish—All species not listed as game fish, except endangered and threatened fish, which are defined and regulated under separate proclamations.

(22)[(20)] Fishing—Taking or attempting to take aquatic animal life by any means.

(23)[(21)] Fish length—That straight-line measurement (while the fish is lying on its side) from the tip of the snout (jaw closed) to the extreme tip of the tail when the tail is squeezed together or rotated to produce the maximum overall length.

(24)[(22)] Fish species names—The names of fishes are those prescribed by the American Fisheries Society in the most recent edition of "A List of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes of The United States and Canada."

(25)[(23)] Fishing guide—a person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports a person or persons engaged in fishing in the water of this state.

(26)[(24)] Fishing guide deck hand—a person in the employ of a fishing guide who assists in operating a boat for compensation to accompany or to transport a person or persons engaged in fishing in the water of this state.

(27)[(25)] Folding panel trap—a metallic or non-metallic mesh trap, the side panels hinged to fold flat when not in use, and suspended in the water by multiple lines.

(28)[(26)] Fully automatic firearm—Any firearm that is capable of firing more than one cartridge in succession by a single function of the trigger.

(29)[(27)] Gaff—Any hand-held pole with a hook attached directly to the pole.

(30)[(28)] Gear tag—A tag constructed of material as durable as the device to which it is attached. The gear tag must be legible, contain the name and address of the person using the device, and, except for saltwater trotlines and crab traps, the date the device was set out.

(31)[(29)] Gig—Any hand-held shaft with single or multiple points.

(32)[(30)] Jug line—A fishing line with five or less hooks tied to a free-floating device.

(33)[(31)] Lawful archery equipment—Longbow, recurved bow, and compound bow.

(34)[(32)] License year—The period of time for which an annual hunting or fishing license is valid.

(35)[(33)] Muzzleloader—Any firearm that is loaded only through the muzzle.

(36)[(34)] Natural bait—A whole or cut-up portion of a fish or shellfish or a whole or cut-up portion of plant material in its natural state, provided that none of these may be altered beyond cutting into portions.

(37)[(35)] Permanent residence—One's principal or ordinary home or dwelling place. This does not include a temporary abode or dwelling such as a hunting/fishing club, or any club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house used as a hunting/fishing club, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used during a hunting, fishing, pleasure, or business trip.

(38)[(36)] Pole and line—A line with hook, attached to a pole. This gear includes rod and reel.

(39)[(37)] Possession limit—The maximum number of a wildlife resource that may be lawfully possessed at one time.

(40)[(38)] Purse seine (net)—A net with flotation on the corkline adequate to support the net in open water without touching bottom, with a rope or wire cable strung through rings attached along the bottom edge to close the bottom of the net.

(41)[(39)] Sail line—A type of trotline with one end of the main line fixed on the shore, the other end of the main line attached to a wind-powered floating device or sail.

(42)[(40)] Sand Pump—A self-contained, hand-held, hand-operated suction device used to remove and capture Callianassid ghost shrimp (Callichirus islagrande, formerly Callianassa islagrande) from their burrows.

(43)[(41)] Seine—A section of non-metallic mesh webbing, the top edge buoyed upwards by a floatline and the bottom edge weighted.

(44)[(42)] Silencer or sound-suppressing device—Any device that reduces the normal noise level created when the firearm is discharged or fired.

(45)[(43)] Spear gun—Any hand-operated device designed and used for propelling a spear, but does not include the crossbow.

(46)[(44)] Spike-buck deer—A buck deer with no antler having more than one point.

(47)[(45)] Throwline—A fishing line with five or less hooks and with one end attached to a permanent fixture. Components of a throwline may also include swivels, snaps, rubber and rigid support structures.

(48)[(46)] Trap—A rigid device of various designs and dimensions used to entrap aquatic life.

(49)[(47)] Trawl—A bag-shaped net which is dragged along the bottom or through the water to catch aquatic life.

(50)[(48)] Trotline—A nonmetallic main fishing line with more than five hooks attached and with each end attached to a fixture.

(51)[(49)] Umbrella net—A non-metallic mesh net that is suspended horizontally in the water by multiple lines attached to a rigid frame.

(52)[(50)] Unbranched antler—An antler having no more than one antler point.

(53)[(51)] Upper-limb disability—A permanent loss of the use of fingers, hand or arm in a manner that renders a person incapable of using a longbow, compound bow or recurved bow.

(54)[(52)] Wildlife resources—All wild[game] animals, wild[game] birds, and aquatic animal life.

(55)[(53)] Wounded deer—A deer leaving a blood trail.

65.11. Lawful Means. It is unlawful to hunt any of the wildlife resources of this state except by the means authorized by this section and as provided in §65.19 of this title (relating to Hunting Deer with Dogs).

(1) Firearms.

(A) It is lawful to hunt alligators, game animals, and game birds with any legal firearm, including muzzleloading weapons, except as specifically restricted in this section.

(B) Special muzzleloader-only deer seasons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms only.

(C) It is unlawful to use rimfire ammunition to hunt deer, antelope, or desert bighorn sheep.

(D) It is unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds with a fully automatic firearm or any firearm equipped with a silencer or sound-suppressing device.

(E) In Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria counties, alligators may not be hunted by means of firearms. In all other counties, alligators may by hunted by means of firearms on private property, including private waters, but may not be hunted by means of firearms from, on, in, across, or over public water.

(F) Alligators lawfully caught on a taking device may dispatched by means of firearms in all counties.

(2) Archery.

(A) A person may hunt by means of lawful archery equipment during any open season; however, no person shall hunt deer by lawful archery equipment or crossbow during a special muzzleloader-only deer season.

(B) Arrows that are treated with poisons or drugs, or that contain explosives are not lawful devices for hunting any species of wildlife resource in this state.

(C) While hunting turkey and all game animals other than squirrels by means of longbow, compound bow, or recurved bow:

(i) the bow must have a minimum peak draw weight of 40 pounds at the time of hunting; and

(ii) the arrow must be equipped with a broadhead hunting point at least 7/8-inch in width upon impact, with a minimum of two cutting edges. A mechanical broadhead must begin to open upon impact and when open must be a minimum of 7/8-inch in width.

(D) It is unlawful to hunt deer or turkey with a broadhead hunting point while in possession of a firearm during an archery-only season.

(E) Special archery-only seasons are restricted to lawful archery equipment only, except as provided in paragraph (3) of this section.

(3) Crossbow. Crossbows are lawful during any general open season. A person having an upper-limb disability may use a crossbow to hunt deer and turkey during an archery-only season, provided the person has in their immediate possession a physician's statement certifying the extent of the disability. When hunting turkey and all game animals other than squirrels by means of crossbow:

(A) the crossbow must have a minimum of 125 pounds of pull;

(B) the crossbow must have a mechanical safety;

(C) the crossbow stock must be not less than 25 inches in length; and

(D) the bolt must conform with paragraphs (2)(B) and (2)(C)(ii) of this section.

(4) Falconry. It is lawful to hunt any game bird or game animal by means of falconry under the provisions of Subchapter K of this chapter (relating to Raptor Proclamation).

(5) Alligator.

(A) Legal devices for taking alligators in the wild are as follows:

(i) hook and line (line set);

(ii) alligator gig;

(iii) lawful archery equipment and barbed arrow;

(iv) hand-held snare with integral locking mechanism; and

(v) lawful firearms, in counties where take by firearm is allowed.

(B) A person hunting alligator under an alligator endorsement shall employ no more than one taking device at any time.

(C) A line of at least 300-pound test shall be securely attached to all taking devices used to hunt alligators, other than firearms. Except as provided in this subsection, hook-bearing lines must be attached to a stationary object capable of maintaining a portion of the line above water when an alligator is caught on the line. A line attached to an arrow, snare, or gig must have a float attached when used to take alligators. The float shall be no less than six inches by six inches by eight inches, or, if the float is spherical, no less than eight inches in diameter.

(D) Line-set provisions.

(ii) Hook-bearing lines may not be set prior to the general open season and shall be removed no later than sunset of the last day of the open season.

(i) From sunset to one-half hour before sunrise:

(I) no person shall use any taking device other than line sets to hunt alligators; and

(II) no person shall set any baited line capable of taking an alligator and no person shall remove alligators from line sets.

(iii) In the counties listed in paragraph (1)(E) of this section, no person shall set more than one line per unused hide tag in possession. In all other counties, no person shall:

(I) set more than one line per unused hide tag in possession; or

(II) set more than one line while hunting under an alligator endorsement.

(ii) Line sets shall be inspected daily, and alligators shall be, killed, tagged or documented, and removed immediately upon discovery.

(iv) All line sets shall be secured at one end on the tract of land or water specified for the hide tags.

(v) Each baited line shall be labeled with a plainly visible, permanent, and legibly marked gear tag that contains:

(I) the full name and current address of the person who set the line;

(II) the hunting license number of the person who set the line; and

(III) a valid hide tag number, if the person is in possession of or has been issued hide tags.

(6)[(5)] Special Provisions.

(A) Desert bighorn sheep. Except as provided in this paragraph, no motorized conveyance of any type shall be used to herd or harass desert bighorn sheep.

(B) Hunting by remote control. It is an offense for any person to hunt a wildlife resource by the means listed in this section if that person is not physically present and personally operating the means of take at the location where the hunting occurs during the time that the hunting occurs.

§65.24. Permits.

(a) Permits shall be issued only to the landowner.

(b) Except as provided in §65.26 of this title (relating Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—White-tailed Deer and §65.34 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—Mule Deer, no[No] person may hunt white-tailed deer, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, or antelope when permits are required unless that person has received from the landowner and has in possession a valid permit issued by the department.

(c) When permits are required to hunt or possess the wildlife resources listed in subsection (b) of this section, it is unlawful to:

(1) use a permit more than once;

(2) use a permit on a tract of land other than the tract for which the permit was issued;

(3) falsify or fail to fully complete any information required by a permit application; or

(4) possess the wildlife resource without attaching a valid, properly executed permit, except as provided in §65.26 and §65.34 of this title, which shall remain attached until the wildlife resource reaches its final destination.

(d) No state-issued permit is required to hunt antlerless white-tailed deer on a National Wildlife Refuge.

(e) An applicant for a permit issued under §65.26 of this title [(relating Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP))], §65.27 of this title (relating to Antlerless and Spike Buck Control Permits (control permits)), or §65.34 of this title [(relating to Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—Mule Deer)] may request a review of a decision by the department to deny issuance of those permits.

(1) An applicant seeking review of a decision of the department under this subsection shall contact the department within ten working days of being notified by the department of permit denial.

(2) The department shall conduct the review and notify the applicant of the results within ten working days of receiving a request for a review.

(3) The request for review shall be presented to a review panel. The review panel shall consist of the following:

(A) the Director of the Wildlife Division;

(B) the Regional Director with jurisdiction;

(C) the Big Game Program Director; and

(D) the White-tailed Deer or Mule Deer program leader, as appropriate.

(4) The decision of the review panel is final.

(5) The department shall report on an annual basis to the White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee the number and disposition of all reviews under this subsection that involve white-tailed deer.

§65.25. Wildlife Management Plan (WMP).

(a) Deer.

(1) An approved WMP, specifying a harvest quota for antlerless deer or both buck and antlerless deer, is required for the issuance of Managed Lands Deer Permits and Antlerless/Spike-Buck Deer Control Permits.

(2) MLD permit issuance shall be determined by the WMP as follows.

(A) Level 1 MLD permits shall be issued to a landowner whose WMP includes current deer population data.

(B) Level 2 MLD permits shall be issued to a landowner whose WMP includes:

(i) deer population data for both the current year and the immediately preceding year;

(ii) deer harvest data from the immediately preceding year; and

(iii) at least two recommended habitat management practices.

(C) Level 3 MLD permits shall be issued to a landowner whose WMP includes:

(i) deer population data for the current year and the immediately preceding two years;

(ii) deer harvest data from the immediately preceding two years; and

(iii) at least four recommended habitat management practices.

(3) A WMP is not valid unless it is:

(A) consistent with Parks and Wildlife Code, §61.053 and §61.056; and

(B) signed by a Wildlife Division biologist or technician. A WMP is valid for one year following the date of such signature.

The amendment to §65.56, concerning Lesser Prairie Chicken: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits, allows the hunting of lesser prairie chicken only on properties for which the department has approved a wildlife management plan that contains specific provisions for lesser prairie chicken conservation. Long-term data indicate a declining population trend for lesser prairie chicken, not only in Texas but also throughout much of their historic range. Current hunter-harvest surveys indicate that fewer than 200 lesser prairie chickens are harvested annually in Texas. Staff attributes the decline in lesser prairie chicken numbers primarily to habitat loss, not hunting. Nonetheless, because there is an ongoing multi-state effort to manage the remaining lesser prairie chickens, the implementation of an extremely conservative hunting regime is necessary. The amendment also eliminates the lesser prairie chicken hunting permit. The permit was implemented to allow the department to survey prairie chicken hunters. With the implementation of hunting under management plans, the department would no longer need to survey hunters to determine harvest numbers, as that information will now be supplied by the landowner as part of the management plan.

(b) Managed Lands - upland game birds. The department may authorize special Managed Lands seasons and bag and possession limits for turkey, quail, pheasant, lesser prairie chicken, or chachalaca on properties for which the department has approved WMP as set forth under this subsection.

(1) A WMP required by this subsection shall include the following, for each species the landowner designates:

(A) a population estimate for the current year;

(B) accurate harvest data from the property for the initial hunting season and each season thereafter that the landowner participates under this subchapter;

(C) a biological evaluation of the quality of existing habitat and the potential for maintaining or enhancing existing habitat or creating additional habitat;

(D) department-recommended habitat management practices deemed necessary by the department to maintain, increase, enhance, or connect habitat;

(E) a time period during which harvest is authorized; and

(F) a recommended harvest quota.

[(b) Lesser Prairie Chicken. No person may hunt a lesser prairie chicken in this state except on a property for which the department has approved a WMP as set forth under this subsection that contains a recommended harvest for lesser prairie chicken.]

[(1) The WMP required by this subsection shall include:]

[(A) a lesser prairie chicken population estimate for the current year (April breeding-ground counts);]

[(B) accurate harvest data from the property for the initial hunting season and each season thereafter that the landowner seeks to hunt lesser prairie chicken on the property;]

[(D) at least five department-recommended habitat management practices designed to increase, enhance, or connect lesser prairie chicken habitat; and]

[(E) a recommended harvest not to exceed five percent of the estimated lesser prairie chicken population on the property.]

(2) No person may hunt a lesser prairie chicken in this state except on a property for which the department has approved a WMP as set forth under this subsection that contains a recommended harvest for lesser prairie chicken.

(3) A harvest recommendation for turkey shall specify separate quotas for gobblers and hens.

(4)[(2)] The landowner agrees, by signing the WMP, to perform data collection for a minimum of three years for the purposes of meeting the requirements of this subsection [paragraph (1) of this subsection]. A landowner who does not fulfill the obligations of this paragraph is ineligible to participate in the Managed Lands program under this subsection for a period of three years.

(5)[(3)] A WMP under this subsection is not valid unless it has been signed by a department employee authorized to approve management plans. A WMP under this subsection is valid for one year following such signature. The department may refuse to approve a WMP if the landowner has not complied with the provisions of this subsection.

(6)[(4)] The department may authorize a recommended harvest in the absence of population or harvest data only for the year 2007[2005]; thereafter, a property must meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(7) [(5)] In the event that unforeseeable developments such as floods, droughts, or other natural disasters make the attainment of recommended habitat management practices impractical or impossible, the department may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the requirements of this section, provided, however, that the department may also adjust special seasons and bag limits accordingly as the situation dictates. [The bag and possession limits for the harvest of lesser prairie chicken shall be as provided in §65.56 of this title (relating to Lesser Prairie Chicken: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits).]

§65.26. Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—White-tailed Deer

(a) MLDPs for white-tailed deer may be issued only to a landowner who has a current WMP in accordance with §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan). In the case that a landowner is otherwise in fulfillment of the provisions of §65.25 of this title but does not have current population data, the department may conditionally authorize partial issuance of MLDPs, not to exceed 30 per cent of the total MLDPs to be issued for that property during the affected license year, with the balance of MLDPs to be issued upon submission of the required population data.

(b) An applicant may request the issuance of any type of MLDP listed in this section.

(1) Level 1. Level 1 MLDPs authorize only the take of antlerless white-tailed deer. A Level 1 permit is valid during any open deer season in the county for which it is issued and the provisions of §65.42(b)(8) of this title (relating to Archery-Only Open Season), §65.42(b)(9) of this title (relating to Muzzleloader-Only Open Season), and the stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I apply. There is no bag limit for antlerless deer on properties for which Level 1 permits have been issued; however, the county and statewide bag limits for buck deer apply.

(2) Level 2.

(A) Level 2 MLDPs authorize the take of buck or antlerless white-tailed deer as specified by the permit.

(i) A Level 2 antlerless permit is valid from the Saturday closest to September 30 through the last day in February on the property for which it is issued;

(ii) A Level 2 buck permit is valid:

(I) for spike bucks taken by any lawful means, for all bucks taken by means of lawful archery equipment, and for any buck taken by a hunter 16 years of age or younger during a youth-only open deer season: from the Saturday closest to September 30 through the last day in February on the property for which it is issued; and

(II) for any buck, irrespective of means: from the opening day of the general open deer season in the county for which it is issued through the last day in February on the property for which it is issued.

(B) On all tracts of land for which Level 2 permits have been issued there is no bag limit for buck or antlerless deer and the provisions of §65.42(b)(8) of this title (relating to Archery-Only Open Season), §65.42(b)(9) of this title (relating to Muzzleloader-Only Open Season), and the stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I do not apply.

(C) By acceptance of Level 2 permits a landowner agrees to accomplish at least two habitat management recommendations contained in the WMP within three years of permit issuance, and agrees to maintain the habitat management practices for as long as Level 2 permits are accepted thereafter. A landowner who fails to accomplish at least two habitat management recommendations of the WMP within three years is not eligible for Level 2 permits the following year, but is eligible for Level 1 MLDPs or may choose to cease accepting MLDPs.

(3) Level 3. Level 3 MLDPs authorize the take of buck and antlerless white-tailed deer as specified by the permit. A Level 3 permit is valid from the Saturday nearest September 30 through the last day in February on the property for which it is issued. On all tracts of land for which Level 3 permits have been issued:

(A) there is no bag limit for buck or antlerless deer and the provisions of §65.42(b)(8) of this title, §65.42(b)(9) of this title, and the stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I do not apply.

(B) By acceptance of Level 3 permits a landowner agrees to accomplish at least four habitat management recommendations contained in the WMP within three years of permit issuance, and agrees to maintain the habitat management practices for as long as Level 3 permits are accepted thereafter. A landowner who fails to accomplish at least four habitat management recommendations of the WMP within three years is not eligible for Level 3 permits the following year, but may be eligible for other levels of MLDPs or may choose to cease accepting MLDPs.

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

(d) If MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for a property, each antlerless deer harvested on the property must be immediately tagged with a valid MLDP antlerless permit. If MLDP buck permits have been issued for a property, each buck deer harvested on the property must be immediately tagged with a valid MLDP buck permit. If an appropriate MLDP is not attached immediately at the time of kill, the person who killed the deer shall immediately take the carcass to a location on the property where an appropriate MLDP shall be attached. [A deer killed under the authority of an MLDP must be tagged with an MLDP immediately by the person who killed the deer or the person who killed the deer shall immediately take the carcass by the most direct route to a tagging station (location where permits are maintained on the permitted property) where an appropriate MLDP shall be attached.]

(e) If a landowner in possession of MLDPs does not wish to abide by the harvest quota or habitat management practices specified by the WMP, the landowner must return all MLDPs to the department by the Saturday closest to September 30.

(f) In the event that unforeseeable developments such as floods, droughts, or other natural disasters make the attainment of recommended habitat management practices impractical or impossible, the department may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the requirements of this section.

(g) The department reserves the right to deny issuance of MLDPs:

(1) for one year for a property upon which the harvest quota specified by the WMP has been exceeded; and

(2) for three years for a property that otherwise is not in compliance with the WMP.

(h) Administratively complete applications received by the department before August 15 of each year shall be approved or denied by October 1 of the same year.

§65.34. Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—Mule Deer.

(a) MLDPs for mule deer may be issued only to a landowner who has a current wildlife management plan (WMP) in accordance with subsection (b) of this section that specifies a harvest quota for both buck and antlerless mule deer or antlerless mule deer only. A WMP is not valid unless it is:

(1) consistent with Parks and Wildlife Code, §§61.053 and 61.056; and

(2) signed by a Wildlife Division biologist or technician authorized to write wildlife management plans. A WMP is valid for one year following the date of such signature.

(b) MLDP issuance for mule deer shall be determined by the WMP as follows. MLDPs shall be issued to a landowner whose WMP includes:

(1) deer population data for both the current year and the two immediately preceding years;

(2) deer harvest data from the immediately preceding two years; and

(3) at least three recommended habitat improvements.

(c) An MLDP issued under this section permits the take of antlerless and/or buck mule deer, as specified on the permit. An MLDP issued under this paragraph is valid:

(1) only on the property for which it is issued (as described in the WMP); and

(2) from the first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(d) There is no bag limit for antlerless deer on properties for which antlerless permits have been issued.

(e) There is no bag limit for buck deer on properties for which buck permits have been issued.

(f) The provisions of §65.42(c)(5) of this title (relating to Archery-Only Open Season) and the stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I, do not apply on properties for which both buck and antlerless permits have been issued.

(g) If MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for a property, each antlerless deer harvested on the property must be immediately tagged with a valid MLDP antlerless permit. If MLDP buck permits have been issued for a property, each buck deer harvested on the property must be immediately tagged with a valid MLDP buck permit [Except as provided in this subsection, all deer harvested by MLDP must immediately be tagged with an appropriate MLDP]. If an appropriate MLDP is not attached immediately at the time of kill, the person who killed the deer shall immediately take the carcass to a location on the property where an appropriate MLDP shall be attached.

(h) If a landowner in possession of MLDPs does not wish to abide by the harvest quota or habitat management practices specified by the WMP, the landowner must return all MLDPs to the department no later than one day prior to the date that the permits are valid under subsection (c) of this section.

(i) In the event that unforeseeable developments such as floods, droughts, or other natural disasters make the attainment of recommended habitat management practices or harvest goals impractical or impossible, the department may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the requirements of this section.

(j) The department reserves the right to deny further issuance of MLDPs to a landowner who exceeds the harvest quota specified by the WMP or who does not otherwise abide by the WMP. A property for which the department denies further permit issuance under this subsection is ineligible to receive MLDPs for a period of three years from the date of denial.

(k) MLDP requests received by the department before August 15 of each year shall be approved or denied by November 1 of the same year.

§65.42. Deer.

(a) No person may exceed the annual bag limit of five white-tailed deer (no more than three bucks) and two mule deer (no more than one buck), except as provided by:

(1) §65.26 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—White-tailed Deer);

(2) §65.34 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer Permits (MLDP)—Mule Deer);

(3) §65.27 of this title (relating to Antlerless and Spike-Buck Deer Control Permits);

(4) §65.28 of this title (relating to Landowner Assisted Management Permits (LAMPS));

(5) special permits under the provisions of Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Public Lands Proclamation); or

(6) special antlerless permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use on USFS lands that are part of the department's public hunting program.

(b) White-tailed deer. The open seasons and annual bag limits for white-tailed deer shall be as follows.

(1) In Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Frio, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kinney (south of U.S. Highway 90), Kleberg, LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina (south of U.S. Highway 90), Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Uvalde (south of U.S. Highway 90), Val Verde (that southeastern portion located both south of U.S. Highway 90 and east of Spur 239), Webb, Willacy, Zapata, and Zavala counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: the first Saturday in November through the third Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: five deer, no more than three bucks.

(C) Special Late General Season. In the counties listed in this paragraph there is a special late general season for the take of antlerless and spike-buck deer only.

(i) Open season: 14 consecutive days starting the first Monday following the third Sunday in January.

(ii) Bag limit: five antlerless or spike-buck deer in the aggregate, no more than three of which may be spike bucks.

(D) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.

(2) In Bandera, Bexar, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Coke, Coleman, Comal (west of Interstate 35), Concho, Crockett, Edwards, Gillespie, Glasscock, Hays (west of Interstate 35), Howard, Irion, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney (north of U.S. Highway 90), Llano, Mason, McCulloch, Medina (north of U.S. Highway 90), Menard, Mills, Mitchell, Nolan, Real, Reagan, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, Tom Green, Travis (west of Interstate 35), Uvalde (north of U.S. Highway 90) and Val Verde (north of U.S. Highway 90; and that portion located both south of U.S. 90 and west of Spur 239) counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: five deer, no more than two bucks.

(C) Special Late General Season. In the counties listed in this paragraph there is a special late general season for the take of antlerless and spike-buck deer only.

(i) Open season: 14 consecutive days starting the first Monday following the first Sunday in January.

(ii) Bag limit: five antlerless or spike-buck deer in the aggregate, no more than two of which may be spike bucks.

(D) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.

(3) In Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, and Upton [(that southeastern portion located both south of U.S. Highway 67 and east of State Highway 349)] counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: four deer, no more than two bucks.

(C) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.

(4) In Angelina, Chambers, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, and Walker counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: four deer, no more than two bucks and no more than two antlerless.

(C) From opening day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless, LAMPS, or USFS antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. On USFS, Corps of Engineers, Sabine River Authority, and Trinity River Authority lands, the take of antlerless deer shall be by permit only. If USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the Monday following Thanksgiving, antlerless deer may be taken only by USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits. On tracts of land for which LAMPS permits have been issued, no LAMPS permit is required for the harvest of antlerless deer during the archery-only or muzzleloader-only open season.

(5) In Bell (west of IH 35), Bosque, Comanche, Coryell, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Lampasas, Somervell, Williamson (west of IH 35) counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:

(i) at least one unbranched antler; or

(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(D) Antlerless bag limit: two.

(E) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.

(6) In Brazoria, Fort Bend, Goliad (south of U.S. Highway 59), Jackson (south if U.S. Highway 59), Matagorda, Victoria (south of U.S. Highway 59), and Wharton (south of U.S. Highway 59) counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:

(i) at least one unbranched antler; or

(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(D) Antlerless bag limit: two.

(E) From opening day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. If MLDP antlerless permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the Monday following Thanksgiving, antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP antlerless permit.

(7) In Cass, Harrison, Marion, Nacogdoches, Panola, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby, counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:

(i) at least one unbranched antler; or

(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(D) Antlerless bag limit: two.

(E) During the first 16 days of the general season, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP, LAMPS, or USFS antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. On USFS, Corps of Engineers, and Sabine River Authority lands, the take of antlerless deer shall be by permit only. If USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. After the first 16 days of the general season, antlerless deer may be taken only by USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits.

(8) In Bowie, Camp, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Morris, Red River, Rusk, Titus, Upshur, and Wood counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:

(i) at least one unbranched antler; or

(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(D) Antlerless bag limit: two.

(E) From Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless or LAMPS permits have been issued for the tract of land. On USFS, Corps of Engineers, and Sabine River Authority lands, the take of antlerless deer shall be by permit only. If USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the first Saturday in November through the day before Thanksgiving Day, and from the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving Day through the first Sunday in January, antlerless deer may be taken only by USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits.

(9)[(5)] In Austin, Bastrop, Bell (east of IH 35), Burleson, Caldwell, Colorado, Comal (east of IH 35), De Witt, Fayette, Goliad (north of U.S. Highway 59), Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays (east of IH 35), Jackson (north of U.S. Highway 59), Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Rains, Travis (east of IH 35), Victoria (north of U.S. Highway 59), Waller, [Wilson,] Washington, [and] Wharton (north of U.S. Highway 59), Williamson (east of IH 35), and Wilson counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:

(i) at least one unbranched antler; or

(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.

(D) Antlerless bag limit: two, by MLDP antlerless or LAMPS permit only.

[(6) In Brazoria, Fort Bend, Goliad (south of U.S. Highway 59), Jackson (south if U.S. Highway 59), Matagorda, Victoria (south of U.S. Highway 59), and Wharton (south of U.S. Highway 59) counties, there is a general open season.]

[(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.]

[(B) The provisions of this clause do not apply on properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued. In the counties listed in this paragraph, a legal buck is a buck deer having:]

[(i) at least one unbranched antler; or]

[(ii) an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.]

[(C) Buck bag limit: two bucks, to include no more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.]

[(D) Antlerless bag limit: two.]

[(E) From opening day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. If MLDP antlerless permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the Monday following Thanksgiving, antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP antlerless permit.]

(10)[(7)] In Archer, Armstrong, Baylor, [Bell (west of IH 35),] Borden, [Bosque,] Briscoe, Callahan, Carson, Childress, Clay, Collingsworth, [Comanche, Coryell,] Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Donley, [Eastland, Erath,] Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, [Hamilton,] Hansford, Haskell, Hemphill, Hood, Hutchinson, Jack, Jones, Kent, King, Knox, [Lampasas,] Lipscomb, McLennan, Montague, Motley, Ochiltree, Palo Pinto, Parker, Randall, Roberts, Scurry, Shackelford, [Somervell,] Stephens, Stonewall, Swisher, Taylor, Throckmorton, Wheeler, [Williamson (west of IH 35),] Wise, and Young counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: three deer, no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless.

(C) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land.

(11)[(8)] In Cooke, Hardeman, Hill, Johnson, Wichita, and Wilbarger counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: three deer, no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless.

(C) From opening day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. If MLDP antlerless permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the Monday following Thanksgiving, antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP antlerless permit.

(12)[(9)] In [Cass,] Denton[, Harrison, Marion, Nacogdoches, Panola, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby,] and Tarrant counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: three deer, no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless.

(C) During the first 16 days of the general season, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP, LAMPS, or USFS antlerless permits have been issued for the tract of land. On USFS, Corps of Engineers, and Sabine River Authority lands, the take of antlerless deer shall be by permit only. If USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. After the first 16 days of the general season, antlerless deer may be taken only by USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits.

(13)[(10)] In [Bowie,] Brazos, [Camp, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin,] Grayson, [Gregg,] Grimes, [Hopkins, Houston, Lamar,] Madison, and [Morris, Red River,] Robertson[, Rusk, Titus, Upshur, and Wood] counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: three deer, no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless.

(C) From Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antlerless deer may be taken without antlerless deer permits unless MLDP antlerless or LAMPS permits have been issued for the tract of land. On USFS, Corps of Engineers, and Sabine River Authority lands, the take of antlerless deer shall be by permit only. If USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits have been issued, they must be attached to all antlerless deer harvested on the tract of land. From the first Saturday in November through the day before Thanksgiving Day, and from the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving Day through the first Sunday in January, antlerless deer may be taken only by USFS antlerless, MLDP antlerless, or LAMPS permits.

(D) Special regulation. In Grayson County:

(i) lawful means are restricted to lawful archery equipment and crossbows only, including MLDP properties; and

(ii) antlerless deer shall be taken by MLDP only, except on the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.

(14)[(11)] In Anderson, [Bell (east of Interstate 35), Burleson, Comal (east of Interstate 35),] Crane, Ector, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, [Hays (east of Interstate 35),] Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, [Leon,] Limestone, Loving, Midland, Milam, Navarro, [Rains,] Smith, [Travis (east of Interstate 35), Upton (that portion located north of U.S. Highway 67; and that area located both south of U.S. Highway 67 and west of state highway 349),] Van Zandt, and Ward[, and Williamson (east of Interstate 35)] counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(B) Bag limit: one buck, no more than two antlerless. Antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP antlerless or LAMPS permits.

(15)[(12)] In Dallam, Hartley, Moore, Oldham, Potter, and Sherman counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: Saturday before Thanksgiving for 16 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: one buck, no more than two antlerless. Antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP antlerless permit.

(16)[(13)] In Andrews, Bailey, Castro, Cochran, Collin, Dallas, Dawson, Deaf Smith, El Paso, Gaines, Galveston, Hale, Hockley, Hudspeth, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Parmer, Rockwall, Terry, Winkler, and Yoakum counties, there is no general open season.

(17)[(14)] Archery-only open seasons. In all counties where there is a general open season for white-tailed deer, there is an archery-only open season during which either sex of white-tailed deer may be taken as provided for in §65.11(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Means and Methods).

(A) Open season: the Saturday closest to September 30 for 30 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: the bag limit in any given county is as provided for that county during the general open season.

(C) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP permits have been issued for the property.

(18)[(15)] Muzzleloader-only open seasons, and bag and possession limits shall be as follows.

(A) In Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, and Upton (that portion located both south of U.S. Highway 67 and east of state highway 349) counties, there is an open season during which only antlerless and spike-buck deer may be taken only with a muzzleloader.

(i) Open Season: from the first Saturday following the closing of the general open season for nine consecutive days.

(ii) Bag limit: four antlerless or spike-buck deer in the aggregate, no more than two spike bucks.

(B) In Angelina, Chambers, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, and Walker counties, there is an open season during which only antlerless and spike-buck deer may be taken only with a muzzleloader.

(i) Open Season: from the first Saturday following the closing of the general open season for nine consecutive days.

(ii) Bag limit: four antlerless or spike-buck deer in the aggregate, no more than two spike bucks and no more than two antlerless.

(C) No permit is required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLDP permits have been issued for the property.

(19)[(16)] Special Youth-Only Seasons. There shall be special youth-only general hunting seasons in all counties where there is a general open season for white-tailed deer.

(A) early open season: the Saturday and Sunday immediately before the first Saturday in November.

(B) late open season: the third weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in January.

(C) Bag limits, provisions for the take of antlerless deer, and special requirements in the individual counties listed in paragraphs (1) - (11) of this subsection shall be as specified for the first two days of the general open season in those counties, except as provided in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph.

(D) Provisions for the take of antlerless deer in the individual counties listed in paragraph (10) of this subsection shall be as specified in those counties for the period of time from Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day.

(E) Licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger may hunt deer by any lawful means during the seasons established by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, except in Grayson County, where legal means are restricted to crossbow and lawful archery equipment.

(F) A licensed hunter 16 years of age or younger may hunt any deer on any property (including MLDP properties) during the seasons established by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph.

(G) The stamp requirement of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter I, does not apply during the seasons established by this paragraph.

(c) Mule deer. The open seasons and annual bag limits for mule deer shall be as follows.

(1) In Armstrong, Borden, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Coke, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, Hardeman, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Kent, King, Lipscomb, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Scurry, Stonewall, and Swisher counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: Saturday before Thanksgiving for 16 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: two deer, no more than one buck.

(C) Antlerless deer may be taken only by Antlerless Mule Deer or MLD Permits.

(2) In Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Ector, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: last Saturday in November for 16 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: two deer, no more than one buck.

(C) Antlerless deer may be taken only by Antlerless Mule Deer or MLD Permits.

(3) In Andrews (west of U.S. Highway 385), Bailey, Cochran, Hockley, Lamb, Terry, and Yoakum counties, there is a general open season.

(A) Open season: Saturday before Thanksgiving for nine consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: two deer, no more than one buck.

(C) Antlerless deer may be taken by permit only.

(4) In all other counties, there is no general open season for mule deer.

(5) Archery-only open seasons and bag and possession limits shall be as follows. During an archery-only open season, deer may be taken only as provided for in §65.11(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Means and Methods). No antlerless permit is required unless MLD antlerless permits have been issued for the property.

(A) In Armstrong, Borden, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Coke, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Ector, El Paso, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hall, Hardeman, Hartley, Hemphill, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Jeff Davis, Kent, King, Lipscomb, Loving, Midland, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Presidio, Randall, Reagan, Reeves, Roberts, Scurry, Stonewall, Swisher, Upton, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties, there is an open season.

(i) Open season: from the Saturday closest to September 30 for 30 consecutive days.

(ii) Bag limit: one buck deer.

(B) In Brewster, Pecos, and Terrell counties, there is an open season.

(i) Open season: from the Saturday closest to September 30 for 30 consecutive days.

(ii) Bag limit: two deer, no more than one buck.

(C) In all other counties, there is no archery-only open season for mule deer.

§65.49. Alligators.

(a) Open seasons and bag limits. In all counties there is a general open season for alligator.

(1) In Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria counties, the open season is from September 10 through September 30.

(2) In all other counties, the open season is from April 1 – June 30.

(3) Bag limit:

(A) one alligator per unused hide tag in possession; or

(B) in counties with the season provided under paragraph (2) of this subsection: one alligator per person per license year, unless hide tags have been issued for the property.

(b) Tag issuance and usage.

(1) Except as provided in this subchapter or Subchapter P of this chapter, no person may possess an untagged alligator hide or undocumented alligator part.

(2) A hide tag issued as a result of a department survey or site inspection is valid only on the property or tract of water for which it was issued. A hide tag obtained via purchase of an alligator endorsement is valid anywhere other than:

(A) the counties listed in subsection (a) of this section; and

(B) a property for which hide tags have been issued.

(3) No person may hunt an alligator in this state unless that person:

(A) possesses a valid alligator endorsement; or

(B) is in physical possession of at least one valid, unused alligator hide tag per taking device employed by the person.

(4) Landowners may obtain hide tags from the department by submitting a completed application form (PWD 369) to the department. In Angelina, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler and Victoria counties, tag issuance shall be based on annual surveys of alligator habitat and populations. In all other counties, tag issuance to landowners shall be on a case-by-case basis following a site visitation by a department biologist.

(5) Except as provided in paragraph (6) of this subsection, hunters shall obtain hide tags from the landowner.

(6) A person may kill an alligator without possessing a hide tag, provided the person:

(A) possesses a valid alligator endorsement; and

(B) the alligator is taken on private land or water with the consent of the owner of the private land or water.

(7) A person who kills an alligator under the provisions of paragraph (6) of this subsection shall:

(A) immediately tag the alligator with a hide tag within 10 inches of the tip of the alligator’s tail; or

(B) if a hide tag is not in possession, immediately affix a completed Wildlife Resource Document to the alligator and tag the alligator immediately upon receipt of a hide tag. The tag shall be placed within ten inches of the tip of the alligator's tail.

(8) An alligator captured on a taking device must be immediately killed and permanently tagged as provided in this section with a hide tag issued by the department. The tag shall be placed within ten inches of the tip of the alligator's tail.

(c) Management Tag. The department may issue management tags to a landowner with a department-approved alligator management plan that specifies a harvest quota of sub-adult alligators. All provisions of this subchapter pertaining to tags and tagging also apply to management tags.

(d) Reports; return of unused tags.

(1) Any person harvesting an alligator shall complete an alligator hide tag report (PWD-304) immediately upon harvest. The report shall be submitted to the department within seven days of harvest.

(2) A person who obtains a hide tag or tags by any method other than by purchase of an alligator endorsement shall file an annual report (PWD 370) accounting for all tags within 10 working days following the close of the open season in the county for which the tags were issued. All unused tags shall be returned with this report.

(3) A person who receives a hide tag via purchase of an alligator endorsement and does not harvest an alligator shall return the tag to the department by no later than July 1 of the license year for which the endorsement is valid.

(4) The department may refuse to issue additional hide tags to any person who:

(A) does not file the reports as required by this section; or

(B) does not return unused hide tags as required by this section.

(e) Sale. Alligators taken under this subchapter may be sold only to a person possessing either a valid wholesale alligator dealer permit or a valid alligator farmer permit.

(f) Exception.

(1) This subchapter shall not prohibit a person from killing an alligator:

(A) in immediate defense of his or her life or the lives of others; or

(B) to protect livestock or other domestic animals from imminent injury or death.

(2) Alligators killed under this subsection shall be immediately reported to the department.

(g) Alligator feeding. It is an offense for any person to intentionally feed a free-ranging alligator, except for a licensed hunter or control hunter lawfully engaged at the time in the activity of hunting alligators. This paragraph does not apply to federal, state, or local government employees in the performance of official duties.

65.54. Game Birds: Open Seasons and Bag Limits. Except as provided in this subchapter and Subchapter K of this chapter (relating to Raptor Proclamation), it is unlawful to hunt a game bird at any time other than during the open seasons provided in this chapter, or to take more than the daily bag limits, or to have in possession a game bird taken at any time other than during the open seasons. On the first day of any open season the possession limit is the same as the daily bag limit.

65.56. Lesser Prairie Chicken: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits.

(a) The season lengths and bag limits established in this section do not apply on properties for which the department has established special seasons and bag limits for lesser prairie chicken under the provisions of §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)).[There is no open season for lesser prairie chicken except on properties for which the department has approved a wildlife management plan that contains a component specifically addressing the management of lesser prairie chicken.]

(1) Open season: Third Saturday in October for two consecutive days.

(2) Daily bag limit: Two lesser prairie chickens.

(3) Possession limit: Four lesser prairie chickens.

(b) It is unlawful to hunt prairie chicken by any means other than shotgun or falconry.

§65.60. Pheasant. Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits.

(a) The season lengths and bag limits established in this section do not apply on properties for which the department has established special seasons and bag limits for pheasant under the provisions of §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)).

(b)[(a)] In Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Floyd, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Lamb, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler, and Wilbarger counties, there is an open season for pheasants.

(1) Open season: First Saturday of December for 30 consecutive days.

(2) Daily Bag limit: Two cock pheasants.

(3) Possession limit: Four cock pheasants.

(c)[(b)] In Chambers, Jefferson, and Liberty, counties, there is an open season for pheasants.

(1) Open season: Saturday nearest November 1 through the last Sunday in February.

(2) Daily bag limit: Three cock pheasants.

(3) Possession limit: Six cock pheasants.

(d)[(c)] In all other counties, there is no open season on pheasants.

(e)[(d)] It is unlawful to hunt pheasant with the aid of a cable, chain, rope, or other device connected to or between a moving object or objects.

§65.62. Quail: Open Seasons, Bag, and Possession Limits.

(a) The season lengths and bag limits established in this section do not apply on properties for which the department has established special seasons and bag limits for quail under the provisions of §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)).

(b)[(a)] In all counties there is an open season for quail beginning the Saturday closest to October 28 through the last Sunday in February.

(c)[(b)] Daily bag limit: 15 quail.

(d)[(c)] Possession limit: 45 quail.

(e)[(d)] There is no open season on Mearns' quail (commonly called fool's quail).

§65.64. Turkey.

(a) The season lengths and bag limits established in this section do not apply on properties for which the department has established special seasons and bag limits for turkey under the provisions of §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)).

(b)[(a)] The annual bag limit for Rio Grande and Eastern turkey, in the aggregate, is four, no more than one of which may be an Eastern turkey.

(c)[(b)] Rio Grande Turkey. The open seasons and bag limits for Rio Grande turkey shall be as follows.

(1) Fall seasons and bag limits:

(A) In Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Frio, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kinney (south of U.S. Highway 90), LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina (south of U.S. Highway 90), Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Uvalde (south of U.S. Highway 90), Val Verde (in that southeastern portion located both south of U.S. Highway 90 and east of Spur 239), Webb, Zapata, and Zavala counties, there is a fall general open season.

(i) Open season: first Saturday in November through the third Sunday in January.

(ii) Bag limit: four turkeys, gobblers or bearded hens.

(B) In Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg, and Willacy counties, there is a fall general open season.

(i) Open season: first Saturday in November through the last Sunday in February.

(ii) Bag limit: four turkeys, either sex.

(C) In Archer, Armstrong, Bandera, Baylor, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Briscoe, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Carson, Childress, Clay, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Dawson, Denton, Dickens, Donley, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Erath, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gray, Hall, Hamilton, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hays, Hemphill, Hill, Hood, Howard, Hutchinson, Irion, Jack, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kendall, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney (north of U.S. Highway 90), Knox, Lipscomb, Lampasas, Llano, Lynn, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, McLennan, Medina (north of U.S. Highway 90), Menard, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Ochiltree, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Parker, Pecos, Potter, Randall, Reagan, Real, Roberts, Runnels, Sutton, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Swisher, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Uvalde (north of U.S. Highway 90), Ward, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Val Verde (that portion located north of U.S. Highway 90; and that portion located both south of U.S. 90 and west of Spur 239), and Young counties, there is a fall general open season.

(i) Open season: first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.

(ii) Bag limit: four turkeys, either sex.

(2) Archery-only season and bag limits. In all counties where there is a general fall season for turkey there is an open season during which turkey may be taken only as provided for in §65.11(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Means and Methods).

(A) Open season: from the Saturday closest to September 30 for 30 consecutive days.

(B) Bag limit: in any given county, the annual bag limit is as provided by this section for the fall general season in that county.

(3) Spring season and bag limits.

(A) In Archer, Armstrong, Aransas, Atascosa, Bandera, Baylor, Bell, Bee, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Brooks, Brewster, Briscoe, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Calhoun, Cameron, Carson, Childress, Clay, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Dawson, Denton, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Ellis, Erath, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Frio, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gray, Hall, Hamilton, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hays, Hemphill, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Howard, Hutchinson, Irion, Jack, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lampasas, LaSalle, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Llano, Lynn, Martin, Mason, Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Parker, Pecos, Potter, Randall, Reagan, Real, Refugio, Roberts, Runnels, San Saba, San Patricio, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, Webb, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Young, Zapata, and Zavala counties, there is a spring general open season.

(i) Open season: Saturday closest to April 1 for 44 consecutive days.

(ii) Bag limit: four turkeys, gobblers only.

(B) In Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, De Witt, Fayette, Guadalupe, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Milam, and Victoria counties, there is a spring general open season.

(i) Open season: from April 1 through April 30.

(ii) Bag limit: one turkey, gobblers only.

(4) Special Youth-Only Seasons. Only licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger may hunt during the seasons established by this subsection.

(A) There shall be a special youth-only fall general hunting season in all counties where there is a fall general open season.

(i) open season : the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) immediately preceding the first Saturday in November, and the third weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in January.

(ii) bag limit: as specified for individual counties in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(B) There shall be special youth-only spring general open hunting seasons for Rio Grande turkey in the counties listed in paragraph (3)(A) of this section.

(i) open seasons: the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) immediately preceding the first Saturday in April and the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) immediately following the close of the general open spring season.

(ii) bag limit: as specified for individual counties in paragraph (3)(A)(ii) of this subsection.

(d)[(c)] Eastern turkey. The open seasons and bag limits for Eastern turkey shall be as follows. In Angelina, Bowie, Brazoria, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Fort Bend, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jasper, Lamar, Liberty, Marion, Matagorda, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, Wharton, and Wood counties, there is a spring season during which both Rio Grande and Eastern turkey may be lawfully hunted.

(1) Open season: from April 1 for 30 consecutive days.

(2) Bag limit (both species combined): one turkey, gobbler only.

(3) In the counties listed in this subsection:

(A) it is unlawful to hunt turkey by any means other than a shotgun, lawful archery equipment, or crossbows;

(B) it is unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take turkeys by the aid of baiting, or on or over a baited area; and

(C) all turkeys harvested during the open season must be registered at designated check stations within 24 hours of the time of kill. Harvested turkeys may be field dressed but must otherwise remain intact.

(e)[(d)] In all counties not listed in subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the season is closed for hunting turkey.

§65.66. Chachalacas.

(a) The season lengths and bag limits established in this section do not apply on properties for which the department has established special seasons and bag limits for chachalaca under the provisions of §65.25 of this title (relating to Wildlife Management Plan (WMP)).

(b) In Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties, there is an open season for chachalacas.

(1) Open season: Saturday nearest November 1 through the last Sunday in February.

(2) Daily bag limit: Five chachalacas.

(3) Possession limit: Ten chachalacas.

§65.72. Fish.

(a) General rules.

(1) There are no public waters closed to the taking and retaining of fish, except as provided in this subchapter.

(2) Game fish may be taken only by pole and line, except as provided in this subchapter.

(3) It is unlawful:

(A) to take or attempt to take, or possess fish within a protected length limit, in greater numbers, by other means, or at any time or place, other than as permitted under this subchapter;

(B) while fishing on or in public waters to have in possession fish in excess of the daily bag limit or fish within a protected length limit as established for those waters;

(C) to land by boat or person any fish within a protected length limit, or in excess of the daily bag limit or possession limit established for those fish;

(D) to use game fish or any part thereof as bait;

(E) to possess a finfish of any species, except broadbill swordfish, shark or king mackerel, taken from public water that has the head or tail removed until such person finally lands the catch on the mainland, a peninsula, or barrier island not including jetties or piers and does not transport the catch by boat;

(F) to use airboats or jet-driven devices to pursue and harass or harry fish; or

(G) to release into the public waters of this state a fish with a device or substance implanted or attached that is designed, constructed or adapted to produce an audible, visual, or electronic signal used to monitor, track, follow, or in any manner aid in the location of the released fish.

(4) Finfish tags: Prohibited Acts.

(A) No person may purchase or use more finfish (red drum or tarpon) tags during a license year than the number and type authorized by the commission, excluding duplicate tags issued under Parks and Wildlife Code, §46.006.

(B) It is unlawful to:

(i) use the same finfish tag for the purpose of tagging more than one finfish;

(ii) use a finfish tag in the name of another person;

(iii) use a tag on a finfish for which another tag is specifically required;

(iv) catch and retain a finfish required to be tagged and fail to immediately attach and secure a tag, with the day and month of catch cut out, to the finfish at the narrowest part of the finfish tail, just ahead of the tail fin;

(v) have in possession both a Red Drum Tag and a Duplicate Red Drum Tag issued to the same license or salt water stamp holder;

(vi) have in possession both a Red Drum Tag or a Duplicate Red Drum Tag and a Bonus Red Drum Tag issued to the same license or salt water stamp holder;

(vii) have in possession both an Exempt Red Drum Tag and a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag issued to the same license holder; or

(viii) have in possession both an Exempt Red Drum Tag or a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag and a Bonus Red Drum Tag issued to the same holder.

(5) Commercial fishing seasons.

(A) The commercial seasons for finfish species listed in this paragraph and caught in Texas waters shall run concurrently with commercial seasons established for the same species caught in federal waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

(B) The commercial fishing season in the EEZ will be set by the National Marine Fisheries Service for:

(i) red snapper under guidelines established by the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources for the Gulf of Mexico;

(ii) king mackerel under guidelines established by the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; and

(iii) sharks (all species, their hybrids and subspecies) under guidelines established by the Fishery Management Plan for Highly Migratory Species).

(C) When federal and/or state waters are closed, it will be unlawful to:

(i) purchase, barter, trade or sell finfish species listed in this paragraph landed in this state;

(ii) transfer at sea finfish species listed in this paragraph caught or possessed in the waters of this state; and

(iii) possess finfish species listed in this paragraph in excess of the current recreational bag or possession limit in or on the waters of this state.

(6) In Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Ector, El Paso, Jeff Davis, Hudspeth, Kinney, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties, the only fishes that may be used or possessed for bait while fishing are common carp, fathead minnows, gizzard and threadfin shad, sunfish (Lepomis), goldfish, golden shiners, Mexican tetra, Rio Grande cichlid, and silversides (Atherinidae family).

(b) Bag, possession, and length limits.

(1) The possession limit does not apply to fish in the possession of or stored by a person who has an invoice or sales ticket showing the name and address of the seller, number of fish by species, date of the sale, and other information required on a sales ticket or invoice.

(2) There are no bag, possession, or length limits on game or non-game fish, except as provided in these rules.

(A) Possession limits are twice the daily bag limit on game and non-game fish except as provided in these rules.

(B) For flounder, the possession limit is the daily bag limit.

(C)[(B)] Statewide daily bag and length limits shall be as follows.

Species Daily Bag Minimum Length (Inches) Maximum Length (Inches)
Amberjack, greater. 1 32 No limit
Bass: Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and Guadalupe bass. 5 (in any combination)
Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. 14 No limit
Bass, striped, its hybrids, and subspecies. 5 (in any combination) 18 No limit
Bass, white 25 10 No limit
Catfish: channel and blue catfish, their hybrids, and subspecies. 25 (in any combination) 12 No limit
Catfish, flathead. 5 18 No limit
Catfish, gafftopsail. No limit 14 No limit
Cobia. 2 37 No limit
Crappie: white and black crappie, their hybrids, and subspecies. 25 (in any combination) 10 No limit
Drum, black. 5 14 30*
*Special Regulation: One black drum over 52 inches may be retained per day.
Drum, red. 3* 20 28*
*Special Regulation: During a license year, one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly executed Red Drum Tag, a properly executed Exempt Red Drum Tag or with a properly executed Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag and one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be retained when affixed with a properly executed Bonus Red Drum Tag. Any fish retained under authority of a Red Drum Tag, an Exempt Red Drum Tag, a Duplicate Exempt Red Drum Tag, or a Bonus Red Drum Tag may be retained in addition to the daily bag and possession limit as stated in this section.
Flounder: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies. 10* 14 No limit
*Special Regulation: The daily bag and possession limit for the holder of a valid Commercial Finfish Fisherman's license is 60 flounder, except on board a licensed commercial shrimp boat.
Grouper, goliath. 0
Mackerel, king. 2 27 No limit
Mackerel, Spanish. 15 14 No limit
Marlin, blue. No limit 131 No limit
Marlin, white. No limit 86 No limit
Mullet: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies. No limit No limit *
*Special regulation: During the period October through January, no mullet more than 12 inches in length may be taken from public waters or possessed on board a vessel.
Sailfish No limit 84 No limit
Saugeye 3 18 No limit
Seatrout, spotted. 10 15 25*
*Special Regulation: One spotted seatrout greater than 25 inches may be retained per day.
Shark: all species, their hybrids, and subspecies. 1 24 No limit
Sheepshead. 5 12 No limit
Snapper, lane. No limit 8 No limit
Snapper, red. 4 15 No limit
Snapper, vermilion. No limit 10 No limit
Snook. 1 24 28
Tarpon. 1[0] 80 No limit[Catch and release only*].
[*Special Regulation: One tarpon 80 inches in length or larger may be retained during a license year when affixed with a properly executed Tarpon Tag.]
Trout: rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids, and subspecies. 5 (in any combination) No limit No limit
Tripletail. 3 17 No limit.
Walleye. 5* No limit No limit
*Special regulation: Two walleye of less than 16 inches may be retained per day.

(D)[(C)] Exceptions to statewide daily bag, possession, and length limits shall be as follows:

(i) The following is a figure:

Location (County) Daily Bag Minimum Length (Inches) Special Regulation
Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and Guadalupe bass, their hybrids, and subspecies.
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson). 5 (in any combination) 14
In all waters in the Lost Maples State Natural Area (Bandera) 0 No Limit Catch and release only.
Bass: largemouth and smallmouth
Lake Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine and Shelby). 8 (in any combination with spotted bass) 14 Possession Limit is 10.
Bass: largemouth.
Conroe (Montgomery and Walker), Fort Phantom Hill (Jones), Granbury (Hood), Possum Kingdom (Palo Pinto, Stephens, Young), Proctor (Comanche), and Ratcliff (Houston). 5 16
Lakes Aquilla (Hill) , Bellwood (Smith), Braunig (Bexar), Bright (Williamson), Brushy Creek (Williamson), Bryan (Brazos), Calaveras (Bexar), Casa Blanca (Webb), Cleburne State Park (Johnson), Cooper (Delta and Hopkins), Fairfield (Freestone), Gilmer (Upshur), Jacksonville (Cherokee), Marine Creek Reservoir (Tarrant), Meridian State Park (Bosque), Old Mount Pleasant City (Titus), Pflugerville (Travis), Rusk State Park (Cherokee), and Welsh (Titus) 5 18
Nelson Park Lake (Taylor) and Buck Lake (Kimble). 0 No Limit Catch and release and only.
Lakes Alan Henry (Garza) and O.H. Ivie (Coleman, Concho, and Runnels). 5 No Limit It is unlawful to retain more than two bass of less than 18 inches in length.
Purtis Creek State Park Lake (Henderson and Van Zandt), and Raven (Walker). 0 No Limit Catch and release only except that any bass 21 inches or greater in length may be retained in a live well or other aerated holding device and immediately transported to the Purtis Creek or Huntsville State Park, or Gibbons Creek weigh stations. After weighing, the bass must be released immediately back into the lake or donated to the ShareLunker Program.
Lakes Bridgeport (Jack and Wise), Burke-Crenshaw (Harris), Caddo (Marion and Harrison), Davy Crockett (Fannin) , Grapevine (Denton and Tarrant), Georgetown (Williamson), Madisonville (Madison), San Augustine City (San Augustine), and Sweetwater (Nolan) 5 14 - 18 Inch Slot Limit It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 18 inches in length.
Lakes Athens (Henderson), Bastrop (Bastrop), Buescher State Park (Bastrop), Houston County (Houston), Joe Pool (Dallas, Ellis, and Tarrant), Mill Creek (Van Zandt), Murvaul (Panola), Nacogdoches (Nacogdoches), Pinkston (Shelby), Timpson (Shelby), Town (Travis), and Walter E. Long (Travis). 5 14 - 21 Inch Slot Limit It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 21 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 21 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.
Lakes Fayette County (Fayette), Gibbons Creek Reservoir (Grimes), Monticello (Titus), and Ray Roberts (Cooke, Denton, and Grayson). 5 14 - 24 Inch Slot Limit It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 14 and 24 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.
Lake Fork (Wood, Rains and Hopkins) 5 16 - 24 Inch Slot Limit It is unlawful to retain largemouth bass between 16 and 24 inches in length. No more than 1 bass 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.
Bass: smallmouth.
Lakes O. H. Ivie (Coleman, Concho, and Runnels), Alan Henry (Garza), and Devil's River (Val Verde) from State Highway 163 bridge crossing near Juno downstream to Dolan Falls. 3 18
Lake Meredith (Hutchinson, Moore, and Potter). 3 12 - 15 Inch Slot Limit It is unlawful to retain smallmouth bass between 12 and 15 inches in length.
Bass: spotted
Lake Alan Henry (Garza) 3 18
Lake Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine and Shelby). 8 (in any combination with largemouth bass) No Limit Possession Limit is 10.
Bass: striped and white bass, their hybrids, and subspecies.
Lake Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine and Shelby). 5 No Limit No more than 2 striped bass 30 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson). 10 (in any combination) No Limit No more than 2 striped or hybrid striped bass 20 inches or greater in length may be retained each day. Striped or hybrid striped bass caught and placed on a stringer, in a live well or any other holding device become part of the daily bag limit and may not be released. Possession limit is 10.
Red River (Grayson) from Denison Dam downstream to and including Shawnee Creek (Grayson). 5 (in any combination) No Limit Striped bass caught and placed on a stringer, in a live well or any other holding device become part of the daily bag limit and may not be released.
Lake Possum Kingdom (Palo Pinto, Stephens, Young) and Trinity River (Polk and San Jacinto) from the Lake Livingston dam downstream to the F.M. Road 3278 bridge. 2 (in any combination) 18
Bass: white
Lakes Texoma (Cooke and Grayson) and Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby). 25 No Limit
Catfish: channel and blue catfish, their hybrids, and subspecies.
Lake Livingston (Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker). 50 (in any combination) 12 Possession limit is 50. The holder of a commercial fishing license may not retain channel or blue catfish less than 14 inches in length.
Trinity River (Polk and San Jacinto) from the Lake Livingston dam downstream to the F.M. Road 3278 bridge. 10 (in any combination) 12 No more than 2 channel or blue catfish 24 inches or greater in length may be retained each day.
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson). 15 (in any combination) 12
North Concho River (Tom Green) from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam, South Concho River (Tom Green) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam 5 (in any combination) No limit
Community fishing lakes 5 (in any combination) No limit
Bellwood (Smith), Dixieland (Cameron), and Tankersley (Titus). 5 (in any combination) 12
Catfish: flathead
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson) and the Red River (Grayson) from Denison Dam to and including Shawnee Creek (Grayson). 5 20
Crappie: black and white crappie, their hybrids and subspecies.
Lake Toledo Bend (Newton, Sabine, and Shelby). 50 (in any combination) 10 Possession limit is 50. From December 1, through the last day in February, there is no minimum length limit. All crappie caught during this period must be retained.
Lake Fork (Wood, Rains, and Hopkins) and Lake O'The Pines (Camp, Harrison, Marion, Morris, and Upshur). 25 (in any combination) 10 From December 1, through the last day in February, there is no minimum length limit. All crappie caught during this period must be retained.
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson). 37 (in any combination) 10 Possession limit is 50.
Drum, red.
Lakes Braunig and Calaveras (Bexar), Coleto Creek Reservoir (Goliad and Victoria), Colorado City (Mitchell), Fairfield (Freestone), and Tradinghouse Creek (McLennan). 3 20 No maximum length limit.
Nasworthy (Tom Green) No Limit No Limit
Shad: gizzard and threadfin shad.
The Trinity River below Lake Livingston in Polk and San Jacinto Counties. 500 (in any combination) No Limit Possession Limit 1,000 in any combination.
Trout: Rainbow and brown trout, their hybrids, and subspecies.
Guadalupe River (Comal) from the second bridge crossing on the River Road upstream to the easternmost bridge crossing on F.M. Road 306. 1 18
Walleye.
Lake Texoma (Cooke and Grayson). 5 18

(ii) Bag and possession limits for black drum and sheepshead do not apply to the holder of a valid Commercial Finfish Fisherman's License.

(iii) Fish caught in federal waters in compliance with a federal fishery management plan may be landed in Texas.

(iv) The bag limit for a guided fishing party is equal to the total number of persons in the boat licensed to fish or otherwise exempt from holding a license minus each fishing guide and fishing guide deckhand multiplied by the bag limit for each species harvested.

(c) Devices, means and methods.

(1) In fresh water only, it is unlawful to fish with more than 100 hooks on all devices combined.

(2) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line only in:

(A) community fishing lakes;

(B) sections of rivers lying totally within the boundaries of state parks;

(C) Lake Pflugerville (Travis County);

(D) the North Concho River (Tom Green County) from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam; and

(E) the South Concho River (Tom Green County) from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam.

(3) It is unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess fish caught in public waters of this state by any device, means, or method other than as authorized in this subsection.

(4) In salt water only, it is unlawful to fish with any device that is marked with a buoy made of a plastic bottle(s) of any color or size.

(5) Device restrictions.

(A) Cast net. It is unlawful to use a cast net exceeding 14 feet in diameter.

(i) Only non-game fish may be taken with a cast net.

(ii) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken for bait purposes only.

(B) Dip net.

(i) It is unlawful to use a dip net except:

(I) to aid in the landing of fish caught on other legal devices; and

(II) to take non-game fish.

(ii) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken for bait purposes only.

(C) Gaff.

(i) It is unlawful to use a gaff except to aid in landing fish caught by other legal devices, means or methods.

(ii) Fish landed with a gaff may not be below the minimum, above the maximum, or within a protected length limit.

(D) Gig. Only non-game fish may be taken with a gig.

(E) Jugline. For use in fresh water only. Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a jugline. It is unlawful to use a jugline:

(i) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within six inches of the free-floating device, are valid for 30 days after the date set out, and must include the number of the permit to sell non-game fish taken from freshwater, if applicable;

(ii) for commercial purposes that is not marked with an orange free-floating device;

(iii) for non-commercial purposes that is not marked with a white free-floating device;

(iv) in Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

(F) Lawful archery equipment. Only non-game fish may be taken with lawful archery equipment or crossbow.

(G) Minnow trap (fresh water and salt water).

(i) Only non-game fish may be taken with a minnow trap.

(ii) It is unlawful to use a minnow trap that exceeds 24 inches in length or with a throat larger than one by three inches.

(H) Perch traps. For use in salt water only.

(i) Perch traps may be used only for taking non-game fish.

(ii) It is unlawful to fish a perch trap that:

(I) exceeds 18 cubic feet in volume;

(II) is not equipped with a degradable panel. A trap shall be considered to have a degradable panel if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:

(-a-) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand #530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand # 390). The trap lid must be secured so that when the twine degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

(-b-) the trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a loop of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. The trap lid must be secured so that when the wire degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed; or

(-c-) the trap contains at least one sidewall, not including the bottom panel, with a rectangular opening no smaller than 3 inches by 6 inches. Any obstruction placed in this opening may not be secured in any manner except:

(-1-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand # 530) or sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand # 390) knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar. When the twine degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

(-2-) it may be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the wire degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed; or

(-3-) the obstruction may be loosely hinged at the bottom of the opening by no more than two untreated steel hog rings and secured at the top of the obstruction in no more than one place by a single length of untreated jute twine (comparable to Lehigh brand # 530), sisal twine (comparable to Lehigh brand # 390), or by a single length of untreated steel wire with a diameter of no larger than 20 gauge. When the twine or wire degrades, the obstruction will hinge downward and the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed.

(III) that is not marked with a floating visible orange buoy not less than six inches in height and six inches in width. The buoy must have a gear tag attached. Gear tags are valid for 30 days after date set out.

(I) Pole and line.

(i) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take fish with one or more hooks attached to a line or artificial lure used in a manner to foul-hook a fish (snagging or jerking). A fish is foul-hooked when caught by a hook in an area other than the fish's mouth.

(ii) Game and nongame fish may be taken by pole and line. It is unlawful to take fish with a hand-operated device held underwater except that a spear gun and spear may be used to take nongame fish.

(iii) Game and non-game fish may be taken by pole and line, except that in the Guadalupe River in Comal County from the second bridge crossing on River Road upstream to the easternmost bridge crossing on F.M. Road 306, rainbow and brown trout may not be retained when taken by any method except artificial lures. Artificial lures cannot contain or have attached either whole or portions, living or dead, of organisms such as fish, crayfish, insects (grubs, larvae, or adults), or worms, or any other animal or vegetable material, or synthetic scented materials. This does not prohibit the use of artificial lures that contain components of hair or feathers. It is an offense to possess rainbow and brown trout while fishing with any other device in that part of the Guadalupe River defined in this paragraph.

(J) Purse seine (net).

(i) Purse seines may be used only for taking menhaden, only from that portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state extending from one-half mile offshore to nine nautical miles offshore, and only during the period of time beginning the third Monday in April through the first day in November each year.

(ii) Purse seines used for taking menhaden may not be used within one mile of any jetty or pass.

(iii) The purse seine, not including the bag, shall not be less than three-fourths inch square mesh.

(K) Sail line. For use in salt water only.

(i) Non-game fish, red drum, spotted seatrout, and sharks may be taken with a sail line.

(ii) Line length shall not exceed 1,800 feet from the reel to the sail.

(iii) The sail and most shoreward float must be a highly visible orange or red color. All other floats must be yellow.

(iv) No float on the line may be more than 200 feet from the sail.

(v) A weight of not less than one ounce shall be attached to the line not less than four feet or more than six feet shoreward of the last shoreward float.

(vi) Reflectors of not less than two square inches shall be affixed to the sail and floats and shall be visible from all directions for sail lines operated from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.

(vii) There is no hook spacing requirement for sail lines.

(viii) No more than one sail line may be used per fisherman.

(ix) Sail lines may not be used by the holder of a commercial fishing license.

(x) Sail lines must be attended at all times the line is fishing.

(xi) Sail lines may not have more than 30 hooks and no hook may be placed more than 200 feet from the sail.

(L) Seine.

(i) Only non-game fish may be taken with a seine.

(ii) It is unlawful to use a seine:

(I) which is not manually operated.

(II) with mesh exceeding 1/2-inch square.

(III) that exceeds 20 feet in length.

(iii) In salt water, non-game fish may be taken by seine for bait purposes only.

(M) Shad trawl. For use in fresh water only.

(i) Only non-game fish may be taken with a shad trawl.

(ii) It is unlawful to use a shad trawl longer than six feet or with a mouth larger than 36 inches in diameter.

(iii) A shad trawl may be equipped with a funnel or throat and must be towed by boat or by hand.

(N) Spear. Only non-game fish may be taken with a spear.

(O) Spear gun. Only non-game fish may be taken with spear gun.

(P) Throwline. For use in fresh water only.

(i) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish may be taken with a throwline.

(ii) It is unlawful to use a throwline in Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

(Q) Trotline.

(i) Non-game fish, channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish may be taken by trotline.

(ii) It is unlawful to use a trotline:

(I) with a mainline length exceeding 600 feet;

(II) with invalid gear tags. Gear tags must be attached within three feet of the first hook at each end of the trotline and are valid for 30 days after date set out, except on saltwater trotlines, a gear tag is not required to be dated;

(III) with hook interval less than three horizontal feet;

(IV) with metallic stakes; or

(V) with the main fishing line and attached hooks and stagings above the water's surface.

(iii) In fresh water, it is unlawful to use a trotline:

(I) with more than 50 hooks;

(II) in Gibbons Creek Reservoir in Grimes County, Lake Bastrop in Bastrop County, Lakes Coffee Mill and Davy Crockett in Fannin County, Fayette County Reservoir in Fayette County, Pinkston Reservoir in Shelby County, Lake Bryan in Brazos County, Bellwood Lake in Smith County, Dixieland Reservoir in Cameron County, Boerne City Park Lake in Kendall County, and Tankersley Reservoir in Titus County.

(iv) In salt water:

(I) it is unlawful to use a trotline:

(-a-) in or on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state;

(-b-) from which red drum, sharks or spotted seatrout caught on the trotline are retained or possessed;

(-c-) placed closer than 50 feet from any other trotline, or set within 200 feet of the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway or its tributary channels. No trotline may be fished with the main fishing line and attached hooks and stagings above the water's surface;

(-d-) baited with other than natural bait, except sail lines;

(-e-) with hooks other than circle-type hook with point curved in and having a gap (distance from point to shank) of no more than one-half inch, and with the diameter of the circle not less than five-eighths inch. Sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause; or

(-f-) in Aransas County in Little Bay and the water area of Aransas Bay within one-half mile of a line from Hail Point on the Lamar Peninsula, then direct to the eastern end of Goose Island, then along the southern shore of Goose Island, then along the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula, then along the eastern shoreline of the Live Oak Peninsula past the town of Fulton, past Nine-Mile Point, past the town of Rockport to a point at the east end of Talley Island, including that part of Copano Bay within 1,000 feet of the causeway between Lamar Peninsula and Live Oak Peninsula.

(II) No trotline or trotline components, including lines and hooks, but excluding poles, may be left in or on coastal waters between the hours of 1 p.m. on Friday through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday of each week, except that attended sail lines are excluded from the restrictions imposed by this clause. Under the authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.206(b), in the event small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service are in place at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until 6:00 p.m. on Friday. If small craft advisories are in place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, trotlines may remain in the water until Saturday. When small craft advisories are lifted by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. When small craft advisories are lifted by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines must be removed by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. When small craft advisories or higher marine weather advisories are still in place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, trotlines may remain in the water through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. It is a violation to tend, bait, or harvest fish or any other aquatic life from trotlines during the period that trotline removal requirements are suspended under this provision for adverse weather conditions. For purposes of enforcement, the geographic area customarily covered by marine weather advisories will be delineated by department policy.

(III) It is unlawful to fish for commercial purposes with:

(-a-) more than 20 trotlines at one time;

(-b-) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to end fixtures;

(-c-) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a yellow buoy bearing the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to end fixtures;

(-d-) any trotline that is marked with yellow flagging or with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat;

(IV) It is unlawful to fish for non-commercial purposes with:

(-a-) more than 1 trotline at any time; or

(-b-) any trotline that is not marked with a floating yellow buoy not less than six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide stripe of contrasting color, attached to end fixtures.

(R) Umbrella net.

(i) Only non-game fish may be taken with an umbrella net.

(ii) It is unlawful to use an umbrella net with the area within the frame exceeding 16 square feet.

§65.82. Other Aquatic Life.

(a) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly take, kill, or disturb sea turtles or sea turtle eggs in or from the waters of the State of Texas.

(b) There is no open season on porpoises, dolphins (mammals), [and] whales, or largetooth sawfishes (Pristis perotteti).

(c) It is unlawful for any person to take or kill shell-bearing mollusks, hermit crabs, starfish, or sea urchins from November 1 through April 30 within the following boundary: the bay and pass sides of South Padre Island from the East end of the north jetty at Brazos Santiago Pass to the West end of West Marisol drive in the town of South Padre Island, out 1,000 yards from the mean high-tide line, and bounded to the south by the centerline of the Brazos Santiago Pass.

(d) It is unlawful for any person to take, kill, or possess more than 15 univalve snails (all species), to include no more than two of each of the following species: lightening whelk, horse conch, Florida fighting conch, pear whelk, banded tulip, and Florida rocksnail.

(e) Any other aquatic life (except threatened and endangered species) not addressed in this subchapter may be taken only by hand or with the devices defined as lawful for taking fish, crabs, oysters, or shrimp in places and at times as provided by proclamations of the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the 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 authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit B

Alligator Proclamation
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) proposes the repeal of §§65.354, 65.355, 65.356, and 65.364, and amendments to §§65.351, 65.353, 65.357, 65.358, 65.360, and 64.363, concerning the Statewide Alligator Proclamation.

Prior to 2005, an alligator hunting license was required to hunt alligators in this state, and all provisions relating to the hunting of alligators were located in 31 TAC Chapter 65, Subchapter P. The passage of House Bill 2026 by the 79th Texas Legislature eliminated the alligator hunting license. As a consequence, the department has determined that it is appropriate to relocate all provisions relating to recreational alligator hunting from Subchapter P to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The repeals and portions of the amendments effect this change.

The proposed amendments also add references, make housekeeping-type changes, and alter provisions relating to the control of nuisance alligators.

The proposed amendment to §65.351, concerning Application, would modify the applicability of the subchapter by adding the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Chapter 65, Subchapter A)to the list of exceptions. The proposed amendment is necessary because the relocation of all recreational hunting provisions to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation means that the Alligator Proclamation is no longer the only repository for regulations governing the take of alligator; therefore, that must be noted.

The proposed amendment to §65.353, concerning General Provisions, also would provide an exception for the provisions of the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The proposed amendment is necessary because the new rules for recreational hunting of alligators (which are proposed elsewhere in this issue) would provide for the possession of an untagged alligator under certain circumstances. Therefore, §65.353 must be modified to prevent conflict.

The proposed amendment to §65.357, concerning Purchase and Sale of Alligators, would eliminate current subsection (a), which governs the sale of alligators taken by recreational hunters. The proposed amendment is necessary because all regulatory provisions governing the recreational take of alligators are being relocated in the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation.

The proposed amendment to §65.358, concerning Alligator Egg Collectors, would correct a misuse of a term in subsection (b). Technically, the department issues nest collection stamps to egg collectors, who then utilize the stamp. The proposed amendment would correct the misuse of the term ‘issue’ by replacing it with ‘utilize,’ which is correct. The proposed amendment is necessary to maintain factually accurate regulations.

The proposed amendment to §65.360, concerning Report Requirements, would eliminate subsection (a) and replace the term ‘nuisance alligator hunter’ with the term ‘control hunter.’ The amendment is necessary because the contents of subsection (a) address requirements for recreational hunters and, as noted, the department is relocating all provisions governing the recreational take of alligators to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The amendment is also necessary because ‘control hunter’ is the term the department has chosen to describe those persons under contract with the department to remove nuisance alligators.

The proposed amendment to §65.363, concerning Alligator Control, would allow political subdivisions and homeowner’s associations to contract directly with control hunters for the removal of nuisance alligators. As alligator populations expand and suburban development increasingly encroaches on alligator habitat, human-alligator interactions have increased dramatically. Under current rule, a department employee must respond to each complaint received concerning nuisance alligators and make a determination of the degree of threat posed to humans and other animals. If the department determines that a true nuisance situation exists, a control hunter under contract to the department is notified for removal of the alligator. The control hunter may sell a nuisance alligator to an alligator farmer, or may kill the alligator and sell the meat and skin, paying the department a fee based on the length of the alligator. In recent years, there have been certain areas of the state, primarily subdivisions and recreational areas, that have been the source of repeated nuisance alligator calls, resulting in multiple visits by department personnel. The department wishes to implement a new approach designed specifically for high-density areas. Following a site visitation and appraisal of the alligator population, a political subdivision (for instance, a town) or homeowners association experiencing repeated nuisance alligator complaints would be able to contract directly with a control hunter or hunters for the removal of a specified number of alligators. The proposed amendment is necessary to reduce the amount of time spent by department staff in handling multiple individual complaints from the same places.

The proposed repeal of §§65.354, concerning Hunting and Tagging, 65.355, concerning Open Season and Bag Limit, 65.356, concerning Means and Methods, and 65.364, concerning Exceptions, would eliminate provisions that are no longer necessary or appropriate for the subchapter, as all provisions governing the recreational hunting of alligators are being moved to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The repeals are necessary to effect that change.

2. Fiscal Note.

Mr. Robert Macdonald, Regulations Coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be elimination of unnecessary rules, the clarification of existing rules, and the provision of a more efficient method for dealing with nuisance alligators.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

(C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

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

(E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4775 (e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65, which authorizes the commission to regulate the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, exportation, importation, sale, and offering for sale of alligators, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator that the commission considers necessary to manage this species, including regulations providing for permit application forms, fees, and procedures; the periods of time when it is lawful to take, possess, sell, or purchase alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator; and limits, size, means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to take or possess alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator.

The proposed amendments and new section affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65.

§65.351. Application. Except as may be provided under the terms and conditions of[for] special permits or contracts issued under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 43 or 81, or under the provisions of Subchapter A of this chapter, this subchapter governs the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, exportation, importation, and sale of alligators in this state.

§65.353. General Provisions.

(a) Except as provided in this subchapter or Subchapter A of this chapter, no person may possess an untagged alligator hide or undocumented alligator part.

(b) No person may possess a live alligator without possessing a valid alligator farming permit, except:

(1) as provided in this subchapter or by the Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C; or

(2) a common carrier or person transporting legally documented live alligators for purposes of shipping the alligators to a final destination that is outside this state.

(c) Any person transporting live alligators shall take reasonable precautions to maximize the humane treatment of and minimize stress to the alligators being transported.

§65.357. Purchase and Sale of Alligators.

[(a) Sale by hunter. Alligators taken under an alligator hunting license in this state may be sold only to a person possessing either a valid wholesale alligator dealer permit or a valid alligator farmer permit.]

(a)[(b)] Sale by control hunter.

(1) A control hunter may possess a dead alligator indefinitely, but may sell the alligator only to a farmer or wholesale dealer. While in possession of a dead alligator taken under a control contract, a control hunter shall maintain possession of the contract under which the alligator was taken and a copy of the Nuisance Alligator Hide Tag Report (PWD 305). The control hunter shall present the contract upon request of a department employee acting within the scope of official duties.

(2) A control hunter may temporarily possess a live nuisance alligator, but must sell the alligator to a licensed alligator farmer within 14 days from the time the alligator is first captured.

(b)[(c)] Purchase and sale by retail dealer.

(1) A retail dealer may purchase an alligator only from a valid wholesale dealer or lawful out-of-state source.

(2) Except as provided in this subchapter, no person may purchase an alligator from a wholesale dealer for the purpose of resale without possessing either a valid retail dealer's permit or a valid wholesale dealer's permit.

(3) Except as provided in this subchapter, no person may sell processed alligator parts such as skulls, feet, or teeth unless that person possesses a valid retail dealer permit.

(4) A person possessing a valid retail dealer permit may sell legally obtained and documented processed alligators only to consumers.

(5) A retail dealer permit is not required of a:

(A) person selling processed products so long as alligator hide is the only alligator part used (e.g., footwear, belts, wallets, luggage, etc.); or

(B) person that sells alligator ready for immediate consumption in individual portion servings; or

(C) person selling alligator meat processed and packaged in accordance with applicable local, state and federal laws governing the processing of food for sale to the public.

(6) A retail dealer permit is required for each place of business, mobile or permanent, where activities that require a retail dealer permit are conducted.

(c)[(d)] Purchase and sale by wholesale dealer.

(1) A person possessing a wholesale dealer permit may sell:

(A) legally obtained and documented processed alligators to anyone; and

(B) legally obtained and documented unprocessed alligators only to another wholesale dealer or to an alligator farmer.

(2) A wholesale dealer may purchase legally taken alligators from any [alligator] hunter, dealer, farmer, import permit holder, or control hunter.

(d)[(e)] Purchase and sale by farmer.

(1) A farmer may purchase:

(A) live or dead alligators from a farmer, wholesale dealer, hunter, or control hunter; and

(B) alligator eggs from an egg collector.

(2) A farmer may sell:

(A) live alligators to another farmer or to the holder of a permit issued under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C; and

(B) lawfully documented, unprocessed, dead alligators only to a wholesale dealer or another farmer.

(3) It is an offense for any alligator farmer to:

(A) transport or receive a live alligator unless a game warden at the point of origin (if in Texas) and the destination (if in Texas) are notified at least 24 hours prior to transport; or

(B) transport live alligators for exhibition purposes unless authorized by a permit issued under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C.

§65.358. Alligator Egg Collectors.

(a) Landowners may obtain alligator nest stamps by submitting a completed Nest Stamp Application (PWD-459) to the department.

(b) It is unlawful for a landowner to utilize[issue] a nest stamp for a tract of land or water other than the tract for which the stamp was originally issued.

(c) An alligator egg collector shall collect only on tracts designated for the stamps in their possession.

(d) Alligator eggs shall be collected from the wild only by hand.

(e) No person may possess alligator eggs without possessing an egg collection permit or a valid alligator farmer permit.

(f) When collecting, an alligator egg collector must possess on his or her person one or more current nest stamps and an Alligator Nest Stamp Authorization (PWD-453). At least one person in a collecting party must possess a current nest stamp and PWD-453.

(g) No person may collect alligator eggs without possessing a valid [alligator] hunting license.

(h) Immediately upon collection and throughout transportation and incubation each clutch of eggs must be accompanied by a completed nest stamp.

(i) No less than 24 hours prior to each collection trip, an egg collector shall notify a game warden in the collection area of the date, time, and location of the collection.

(j) An alligator egg collector may sell alligator eggs only to a farmer(s) designated by permit.

(k) No alligator eggs collected or obtained under authority of this subchapter may be shipped out of state.

§65.360. Report Requirements.

[(a) An alligator Hide Tag Report (PWD-304) shall be completed by an alligator hunter immediately upon harvest and shall be submitted to the department within seven days. A dealer or person possessing the alligator hide shall retain a copy of the PWD-304 until the hide is shipped or sold out of state, at which time the copy shall be forwarded to the department.]

(a)[(b)] A Nuisance Alligator Hide Tag Report (PWD-305) shall be completed by a control [nuisance alligator] hunter immediately upon take and shall be submitted to the department within seven days. A dealer or person possessing the alligator hide shall retain a copy of the PWD-305 until the hide is shipped or sold out of state, at which time the copy shall be forwarded to the department.

(b)[(c)] A person receiving hide tags from the department shall file an annual report (PWD 370) accounting for all tags by October 10 following the end of the open season for which tags were issued. Unused tags shall be returned with this report.

(c)[(d)] A wholesale dealer shall file reports (PWD 306) by October 31 and by the last day of every third month thereafter detailing purchase and sale transactions during the license year. A wholesale dealer shall retain a copy of each PWD-306 so filed for a minimum of two years and shall produce such records upon demand by the department.

(d)[(e)] A retail dealer shall retain records of all purchases from wholesale dealers for a minimum of two years.

(e)[(f)] An alligator import permit holder shall report all import activities during a reporting period within 30 days following permit period termination.

§65.363. Alligator Control.

(a) The department may contract with a qualified individual for the removal of nuisance alligators.

(b) A control hunter under contract to the department may contract directly with a political subdivision, governmental entity, or property owner’s association (as defined by Property Code, §2004.004) for the removal of nuisance alligators, provided:

(1) the control hunter’s contract with the department provides for such arrangements; and

(2) a Wildlife Division employee authorized to approve the removal of nuisance alligators has performed an initial site visitation, evaluated the proposed nuisance-removal activities, and authorized the removal of a specific number of nuisance alligators.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, complaints [Complaints] concerning alligators shall be investigated by the department prior to approval for removal by a control hunter.

(e)[(c)] Control hunters may take alligators only by means or methods specified by the department at the time of authorization for take.

(f)[(d)] Control hunters may take alligators approved for removal at any time.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on

The repeals are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65, which authorizes the commission to regulate the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, exportation, importation, sale, and offering for sale of alligators, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator that the commission considers necessary to manage this species, including regulations providing for permit application forms, fees, and procedures; the periods of time when it is lawful to take, possess, sell, or purchase alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator; and limits, size, means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to take or possess alligators, alligator hides, alligator eggs, or any part of an alligator.

The proposed amendments and new section affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 65.

§65.354. Hunting and Tagging.

§65.355. Open Season and Bag Limit.

§65.356. Means and Methods.

§65.364. Exceptions.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Bill Provine

Regulations Committee
Proposed Harvest Regulations for Freshwater Mussels
Permission to Publish
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Currently Texas regulations allow essentially unlimited commercial harvest of mussels and clams, of a defined size, in the public waters of Texas. This regulation, especially in years of high demand, has allowed considerable harvest pressure on many mussel populations already reduced by environmental habitat degradation. This action will limit the taking or possessing of whole mussels and clams to 25 pounds per day or 12 pounds per day of mussel and clam shells from the public waters of the state. This action will effectively eliminate the large-scale commercial removal of mussels and clams, which has occurred and could occur in the future during years of high demand for shells. This action will not, however, eliminate the small-scale harvest from public waters of freshwater pearls and shells that supports a long-standing cottage industry in Texas in the sale of ornamental items.

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits and means and methods for harvest of mussels and clams is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 78. Currently, commercial harvest of mussels and clams is allowed under specific size limits for different species. Mussels and clams are very long-lived animals, some living over 100 years, and are very slow growing. Some commercial species take as long as 10 years to reach our legal size. Mussels, therefore, do not recover quickly from over- harvest or reductions in populations caused by environmental degradation. Although commercial harvest has been relatively intense during past years, with up to 488 commercial licenses sold in 1996, pressure during the last several years has fallen off considerably. Only 11 resident and non-resident mussel harvest licenses were sold in 2005. Even these licenses may have not been used, as no resident or non-resident Shell Buyer Licenses were sold that year. Attempts have been made to contact 2005 license holders to determine their activity and only three could be located Two of these were involved in periodic pearl harvest and one reported harvesting mussels for pearls, implant nuclei and arts and crafts inlay work. None of these activities would be eliminated under the proposed rules. Therefore, this action is being proposed to reduce large-scale commercial harvest, the only factor we have control over, which may if demand returns, place pressure on environmentally sensitive and slow recovering wildlife resources in Texas waters.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Statewide Freshwater Mussel and Clam Proclamation

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Statewide Freshwater Mussel and Clam Proclamation

§57.157. Mussels and Clams.

(a) The Commission finds that the publication “Freshwater Mussels of Texas” (Robert G. Howells, Raymond W. Neck, and Harold D. Murray Authors, 1996), represents the best available scientific information and incorporates this publication by reference into the findings of fact as follows:

(1) the regulations prevent the depletion of mussels and clams;

(2) the regulations are based on the best scientific information available;

(3) the regulations represent management methods for mussels and clams;

(4) the regulations, to the extent practicable, minimize cost and avoid unnecessary duplication in administration; and

(5) the regulations enhance enforcement of the protection of mussels and clams.

(b) General rules.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to take or possess mussels and clams, within a protected size limit, in greater numbers, by other means, or at any time or place, other than as permitted under these rules.

(2) No person may take mussels, clams, or their shells from the public waters of this state for personal use without being licensed under provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 46, Subchapter A, or Chapter 43, Subchapter M.

(3) No person may take mussels, clams, or their shells from the public waters of this state for commercial purposes except as provided in these regulations.

(c) Bag, possession, and size limits.

(1) It is unlawful for any person while fishing on public waters to have in his possession mussels and clams in excess of the daily bag limit or within a protected size limit.

(2) No person may take or possess more than 25 pounds, per day, of whole mussels and clams, or 12 pounds of mussel and clam shells from the public waters of this state.

(3) A person may take or possess mussels and clams, including their shells, of the following species provided their shells will not pass through a ring with an inside diameter (I.D.) specified for that species.

Species Ring ID in inches
Washboard, Megalonaias nervosa 4.00
Threeridges and roundlakes, Amblema spp. 2.75
Mapleleafs and pimplebacks, Quadrula spp. 2.75
Tampico pearlymussel, Cyrtonaias tampicoenisis 2.75
Bleufer, Potamilus purpuratus 2.75
All Other Species of Freshwater Mussels 2.50

(d) Means, and methods.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to take or possess mussels and clams taken by any means or method other than as authorized in these rules or in this subsection.

(2) Mussels and clams may be taken only by hand.

(e) Seasons, times, and places.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to take mussels and clams from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise of each day.

(2) All public waters of the state are open to mussel and clam harvest except that mussels and clams may not be taken from the following reservoirs, rivers creeks and tributaries:

(A) Big Cypress Creek from the Dam at Lake Bob Sandlin downstream to U. S. Highway 271 in Camp County;

(B) Sabine River from the dam at Lake Tawakoni downstream to State Highway 19 in Rains and Van Zandt Counties, from FM 14 to State Highway 155 in Smith County and from State Highway 43 downstream to U.S. Highway 59 in Harrison and Panola Counties;

(C) Angelina from its source in Rusk County to its confluence with the Neches River to and including B. A. Steinhagen Reservoir in Jasper County;

(D) Neches River from the Dam at Lake B. A. Steinhagen downstream to its confluence with Pine Island Bayou in Orange County;

(E) Trinity River from State Highway 7 in Leon and Houston Counties downstream to the SH10 in Walker and Trinity Counties;

(F) Live Oak Creek from U. S. Highway 290 west of Fredericksburg in Gillespie County downstream to the confluence of the Pedernales River in Gillespie County;

(G) Brazos River from the dam at Possum Kingdom Reservoir in palo Pinto County downstream to FM 258 in Parker County.

(H) The Guadalupe River from UGRA dam in Kerr county downstream Flat Rock Dam in Kerr County.

(I) The North Concho River from the State Highway 163 in Sterling County to the city limits of Water Valley in Tom Green County;

(J) The Concho River from the mouth of Kickapoo Creek downstream to the U. S. Highway 83 Bridge in Concho County;

(K) The San Saba River from FM 864 in Menard County downstream to the U. S. Highway 87 Bridge in Menard County;

(L) The Guadalupe River from the dam at Lake Wood in Gonzales County downstream to the confluence of the San Marcos River in Gonzales County;

(M) The San Marcos River from its source in Hays County downstream to the confluence with the Guadalupe River in Gonzales County;

(N) Pine Creek from its source in Lamar County to its confluence with the Red River, in Red River County;

(O) Sanders Creek from its source in Fannin County to the confluence with the Red River in Lamar County; and

(P) Elm Creek from its source downstream to the dam at Elm Creek Lake at Ballinger City Park in Runnels County.

(Q) The Rio Grande River from Columbia Bridge in Webb County downstream to the Webb/Zapata County line.

(f) Mussel and clam shells and pearls which have been harvested legally under the recreational bag limit of 25 pounds, per day, of whole mussels and clams, or 12 pounds of mussel and clam shells, may be used and sold in jewelry, and as collectibles.

§57.158. Penalties.

Penalties for violation of §§57.156-57.157 are prescribed in Parks and Wildlife Code, §78.007.

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Vickie Fite

Regulations Committee
Proposed Repeal fo the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Proclamation
Permission to Publish
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item presents the proposed repeal of the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Proclamation.

II. Discussion: Prior to the creation of the public hunting program, all hunting, fishing, and trapping activities on Sea Rim State Park were regulated under the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Proclamation. Because all hunting, fishing, and trapping activities on Sea Rim are now regulated under the Public Lands Proclamation, the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Proclamation is superfluous and should be repealed.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Proposed Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Proclamation

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Sea Rim State Park
Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Proclamation
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §§59.201-59.215, concerning the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Proclamation. Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.0631, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) may provide an open season for recreational hunting in Sea Rim State Park that is not inconsistent with sound biological management practices normally exercised to protect or utilize the wildlife resources occurring therein. In 1976, the Commission promulgated the Sea Rim State Park Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Proclamation. The department has determined that the rules are no longer necessary, because Sea Rim State Park is a unit of public hunting lands. All hunting, fishing, and trapping activity within the park is regulated under the provisions of 65 TAC Subchapter H, which governs hunting on lands owned, leased, or administered by the department. The proposed repeal is necessary to eliminate unnecessary and superfluous regulations.

2. Fiscal Note.

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

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the repeals as proposed will be the elimination of rules that no longer have a useful application.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the repeals as proposed.

(C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the repeals 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 repeals.

(E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed repeals.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Vickie Fite, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4773 (e-mail: vickie.fite@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.0631, which authorizes the commission to provide an open season for recreational hunting in Sea Rim State Park that is not inconsistent with sound biological management practices normally exercised to protect or utilize the wildlife resources occurring therein.

The proposed repeals affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62.

§59.201. Application.

§59.202. Authority.

§59.203. Finding of Fact.

§59.204. Consent.

§59.205. Definitions.

§59.206. Means and Methods: Migratory Birds.

§59.207. Means and Methods: Fur-Bearing Animals.

§59.208. Hunting from Vehicle.

§59.209. Hunting Permits.

§59.210. Checking Game.

§59.211. Open Seasons and Bag Limits: Migratory Birds.

§59.212. Open Seasons and Bag Limits: Fur-Bearing Animals.

§59.213. Fish: Means and Methods; Open Seasons; Bag and Size Limits.

§59.214. General.

§59.215. Effective Date.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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