Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, May 24, 2006

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item No. Subject Commission Meeting Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
Committee Only
2. Coordination with Fish and Game Agencies
Staff: Scott Boruff, Commissioner Parker
Committee Only
3. 2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Staff: Vernon Bevill
Committee Only
4. Proposed Amendments to the Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish and Aquatic Plants Regulations – Permission to Publish
Staff: Joedy Gray
Committee Only
5. Status of Flounder
Staff: Larry McKinney
Committee Only
6. Pheasant Proclamation
Staff: Mike Berger
6
7. Proposed 2006-2007 Oyster Fishery Proclamation – Oyster Daily Sack Limit Rules
Staff: Bill Robinson
7
8. Public Lands Proclamation
  • Candidate State Parks
  • Open Seasons
Staff: Mike Berger
10

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

Regulations Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
May 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 Finance 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: Commissioner John Parker
Scott Boruff

Regulations Committee
Coordination with Fish and Game Agencies
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Commissioner John Parker recently attended a meeting with commissioners from other states' fish and game agencies, including commissioners from Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

II. Discussion: Commissioner Parker will report on his recent meeting with commissioners from other states' fish and game agencies and discuss ideas he brought back from the meeting


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item apprises the Committee of anticipated and potential changes to migratory game bird regulations as a result of staff recommendations and the federal regulatory process.

II. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, means, methods, and devices for harvesting migratory game birds within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) frameworks is delegated to the Commission under Chapter 64, Subchapter C, Parks and Wildlife Code. Parks and Wildlife Code, §64.022 authorizes the Executive Director, after notification of the Chairman, to engage in rulemaking. At present, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has not issued the annual regulatory frameworks for migratory game birds. Typically, the Service issues the preliminary early-season (dove, teal, etc) frameworks in late June and the preliminary late-season (waterfowl) frameworks in early August. As a rule, the Service issues the final early-season frameworks in early August and the final late-season frameworks in late September. Since the current regulations reflect the Commission's policy to provide the most liberal harvest provisions permissible under the federal frameworks, staff recommends retaining those provisions (adjusted for calendar shift) should the Service frameworks remain unchanged from last year. Should the Service issue frameworks that alter any existing options or offer new options for hunter opportunity, the department will adopt the most liberal provisions possible, while affording all necessary protection to the resource.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Joedy Gray

Regulations Committee
Proposed Amendments to the Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish and Aquatic Plants Regulations
Permission to Publish
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed amendments to the Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish and Aquatic Plants Regulations. The proposed amendments mostly reflect changes to the scientific nomenclature and reclassification of some species, correct errors, provide consistency and clarify certain provisions. Additions to the list of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish include two genera of carp, round gobies, the Temperate Basses, except for three species native to Texas waters, and the Chinese perches. With respect to the list of harmful or potentially harmful exotic shellfish, the prohibition on crayfishes has been expanded from a single genus to all southern hemisphere crayfishes and the prohibition on applesnails and giant rams-horn snails has been expanded from a single genus in each group to the entire family, except for one species popular in the pet trade. Finally, eight species have been added to the list of harmful or potentially harmful exotic aquatic plants in order to be consistent with USDA and Texas Department of Agriculture regulations.

II. Discussion: Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 66, Subchapter A, §66.007 authorizes the commission to regulate the importation, possession, sale and placing into water of this state of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. Additionally, the Agriculture Code, Chapter 134, Subchapter A, §134.020 gives the commission authority to regulate importation, possession, propagation and sale of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species by an aquaculturist.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Amendments to the Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish and Aquatic Plants Regulations

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish and Aquatic Plants
Proposed Amendments

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

(1) Aquaculture or fish farming—The business of producing and selling cultured species raised in private facilities.

(2) Aquaculturist or fish farmer-Any person engaged in aquaculture.

(3) Aquaculture facility-The property, including all drainage ditches and private facilities where cultured species are produced, held, propagated, transported or sold.

(4) Aquaculture complex-A group of two or more separately owned aquaculture facilities located at a common site and sharing privately owned water diversion or drainage structures.

(5)[(2)] Certified Inspector—An employee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department [or the Texas A&M Sea Grant College Program] who has satisfactorily completed a department approved course in clinical analysis of shellfish.

(6)[(3)] Cultured species—Aquatic plants or wildlife resources raised under conditions where at least a portion of their life cycle is controlled by an aquaculturist.

(7)[(4)] Clinical Analysis Checklist—A TPWD [an inspection] form [provided by the department] specifying sampling protocols and listing certain characteristics which may constitute manifestations of disease.

(8)[(5)] Department—The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or a designated employee of the department.

(9)[(6)] Director—The executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

(10)[(7)] Disease—Contagious pathogens or injurious parasites which may be a threat to the health of natural populations of aquatic organisms.

(11)[(8)] Disease-Free—A status, based on the results of an examination conducted by a department approved shellfish disease specialist that certifies a group of aquatic organisms as being free of disease.

(12)[(9)] Exotic species—A nonindigenous plant or wildlife resource not normally found in public water of this state.

[(10) Fish farm—The property including all drainage ditches and private facilities from which cultured species are produced, held, propagated, transported, or sold.]

[(11) Fish farm complex—A group of two or more separately owned fish farms located at a common site and sharing privately owned water diversion or drainage structures.]

[(12) Fish farmer—Any person holding a valid license to engage in aquaculture or fish farming under Agriculture Code, Chapter 134.]

(13) Grass carp—The species Ctenopharyngodon idella.

(14) Harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish—

(A) Lampreys Family: Petromyzontidae—all species except Ichthyomyzon castaneus and I. gagei;

(B) Freshwater Stingrays Family: Potamotrygonidae—all species;

(C) Arapaima Family: Osteoglossidae—Arapaima gigas;

(D) South American Pike Characoids Family: Characidae—all species of genus Acestrorhyncus;

(E) African Tiger Fishes Subfamily: Hydrocyninae—all species;

(F) Piranhas and Pirambebas: Family Serrasalmideae,[Priambebus] Subfamily: Serrasalminae—all species except pacus of the genus Piaractus;

(G) Payara and other wolf or vampire tetras: Family Characidae, [Rhaphiodontid Characoids] Subfamily: Rhaphiodontinae—all species of genera Hydrolycus and Rhaphiodon, including[(synonymous with] Cynodon);

(H) Dourados Family Characidae, Subfamily: Bryconinae—all species of genus Salminus;

(I) South American Tiger Fishes Family: Erythrinidae—all species;

(J) South American Pike Characoids Family: Ctenolucidae—all species of genera Ctenolucius and Boulengerella (including Luciocharax [(synonymous with Boulengerella] and Hydrocinus);

(K) African Pike Characoids Families: Hepsetidae and Ichthyboridae—all species;

(L) Electric Eels Family: Electrophoridae—Electrophorus electricus;

(M) Carps and Minnows Family: Cyprinidae—all species and hybrids of species of genera: Aspius, Pseudoaspius, Aspiolucius (Asps); Abramis, Blicca, Megalobrama, Parabramis (Old World Breams); Hypophthalmichthys or Aristichthys (Bighead Carp); Mylopharyngodon (Black Carp); Ctenopharyngodon (Grass Carp); Cirrhinus (Mud Carp); Thynnichthys (Sandkhol Carp); Hypophthalmichthys (Silver Carp); Catla (Catla); Leuciscus (Old World Chubs, Ide, Orfe, Daces); Tor, including the species Barbus hexiglonolepsis (Giant Barbs abd Mahseers); Rutilus (Roaches); Scardinius (Rudds); Elopichthys (Yellowcheek); Catlocarpio (Giant Siamese Carp); all species of the genus Labeo (Labeos) except Labeo chrysophekadion (black sharkminnow)[Aspius, Aspiolucius, Blicca, Catla, Cirrhina, Ctenopharyngodon, Elopichthys, Hypophthalmichthys, Leuciscus, Megalobrama, Mylopharyngodon, Parabramis, Pseudaspius, Rutilus, Scardinius, Thynnichthys, Tor, and the species Barbus tor (synonymous with Barbus hexoagoniolepis)];

(N) Walking Catfishes Family: Clariidae—all species;

(O) Electric Catfishes Family: Malapteruridae—all species;

(P) South American Parasitic Candiru Catfishes Subfamilies: Stegophilinae and Vandelliinae—all species;

(Q) Pike Killifish Family: Poeciliidae—Belonesox belizanus;

(R) Marine Stonefishes Family: Synanceiidae—all species;

(S) Tilapia Family: Cichlidae—all species of genera [genus] Tilapia, Oreochromis and Saratherodon[(including Sarotherodon and Oreochromis)];

(T) Asian Pikeheads Family: Luciocephalidae—all species;

(U) Snakeheads Family: Channidae—all species;

(V) Old World Pike-Perches[Walleyes] Family: Percidae—all species of the genus Sander except Sander vitreum[Stizostedion except Stizostedion vitreum and S.] canadense;

(W) Nile Perch Family: Centropomidae (also called Latidae)—all species of genera Lates and Luciolates;

(X) Seatrouts and Corvinas[Drums] Family: Sciaenidae—all species of genus Cynoscion except Cynoscion nebulosus, C. nothus, and C. arenarius;

(Y) Whale Catfishes Family: Cetopsidae—all species;

(Z) Ruffe[Ruff] Family: Percidae—all species of genus Gymnocephalus;

(AA) Air sac Catfishes Family: Heteropneustidae-all species;

(BB) Swamp Eels, Rice Eels or One-Gilled Eel Family: Synbranchidae—all species;

(CC) Freshwater Eels family: Anguilliidae—all species except Anguilla rostrata;

(DD) Round Gobies Family: Gobiidae—all species of genus Neogobius, including N. melanostoma[Heteropneustidae—All species of genus Heteropneustes].

(EE) Temperate Basses Family: Moronidae-all species except for Morone saxatilis, M. Chrysops and M. Mississippiensis and hybrids of these three species;

(FF) Temperate Perches Family: Percichthyidae-all species, including species of the genus Siniperca (Chinese perches).

(15) Harmful or potentially harmful exotic shellfish—

(A) Crayfishes Family: Parastacidae—all species [of the genus Astacopsis];

(B) Mittencrabs Family: Grapsidae—all species of genus Eriocheir;

[(C) Giant Ram's-horn Snails Family: Piliidae (synonymous with Ampullariidae)—all species of genus Marisa;]

(C)[(D)] Zebra Mussels Family: Dreissenidae—all species of genus Dreissena;

(D)[(E)] Penaeid Shrimp Family: Penaeidae—all species of genera[genus] Penaeus, Litopenaeus, Farfantepenaeus, Fenneropenaeus, Marsupenaeus, and Melicertus (all previously considered Penaeus) except L. setiferus, Far.[F.] aztecus and Far.[F.] duorarum.

(E)[(F)] Oyster Family: Ostreidae—all species except Crassostrea virginica and Ostrea equestris.

(F)[(G)] Applesnails and Giant Rams-Horn Snail: all genera and species of the Family Ampullariidae (previously called Pilidae), including Pomacea and Marisa, except spiketop applesnail (Pomacea bridgesii)[Applesnails Family: Ampullariidae—Channeled Applesnail (Pomacea canaliculata)].

(16) Harmful or potentially harmful exotic plants—

(A) Giant or Dotted Duckweed Family: Lemnaceae—Landolita punctata[Spirodela oligorhiza];

(B) Salvinia Family: Salviniaceae—all species of genus Salvinia;

(C) Waterhyacinth Family: Pontederiaceae—Eichhornia crassipes (floating waterhyacinth) and E. azurea (rooted waterhyacinth);

(D) Waterlettuce Family: Araceae—Pistia stratiotes;

(E) Hydrilla Family: Hydrocharitaceae—Hydrilla verticillata;

(F) Lagarosiphon Family: Hydrocharitaceae—Lagarosiphon major;

(G) Eurasian Watermilfoil Family: Haloragaceae—Myriophyllum spicatum;

(H) Alligatorweed Family: Amaranthaceae—Alternanthera philoxeroides;

[(I) Rooted Waterhyacinth Family: Pontederiaceae—Eichhornia azurea;]

(I)[(J)] Paperbark Family: Myrtaceae—Melaleuca quinquenervia;

(J)[(K)] Torpedograss Family: Gramineae—Panicum repens;

(K)[(L)] Water spinach (also called ong choy, rau mong and kangkong) Family: Convolvulaceae—Ipomoea aquatica [aquatic].

(L) Ambulia—Limnophila sessiflora;

(M) Narrowleaf False Pickerelweed—Monochoria hastate;

(N) Heartshaped False Pickerelweed—Monochoria vaginalis;

(O) Duck-lettuce—Ottelia alismoides;

(P) Wetland Nightshade—Solanum tampicense;

(Q) Exotic Bur-reed—Sparganium erectum;

(R) Brazilian Peppertree—Schinus terebinthifolius;

(S) Purple Loosestrife—Lythrum salicaria.

(17) Harmful or potentially harmful exotic species exclusion zone—That part of the state that is both [area] south of SH 21 and east of I-35, but[, from its intersection with the Texas/Louisiana border, approximately five miles due east of Milam, Texas,] not including [that area of] Brazos County [south of SH 21, to San Marcos; thence south of IH 35 to Laredo].

(18) Immediately—Without delay; with no intervening span of time.

(19) Manifestations of disease—Manifestations of disease include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: heavy or unusual predator activity, empty guts, emaciation, rostral deformity, digestive gland atrophy or necrosis, gross pathology of shell or underlying skin typical of viral infection, fragile or atypically soft shell, gill fouling, or gill discoloration.

(20) Nauplius or nauplii—A larval crustacean having no trunk segmentation and only three pairs of appendages.

(21) Operator—The person responsible for the overall operation of a wastewater treatment facility.

(22) Place of business—A permanent structure on land where aquatic products or orders for aquatic products are received or where aquatic products are sold or purchased.

(23) Post-larva[Postlarva]—A juvenile crustacean having acquired a full complement of functional appendages.

(24)Private facility—A pond, tank, cage, or other structure capable of holding cultured species in confinement wholly within or on private land or water, or within or on permitted public land or water.

(25) Private facility effluent—Any and all water which has been used in aquaculture activities.

(26) Private pond—A pond, tank, lake, or other structure capable of holding cultured species in confinement wholly within or on private land.

(27) Public aquarium—An American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums accredited facility for the care and exhibition of aquatic plants and animals.

(28) Public waters—Bays, estuaries, and water of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state, and the rivers, streams, creeks, bayous, reservoirs, lakes, and portions of those waters where public access is available without discrimination.

(29) Quarantine condition—Confinement of exotic shellfish such that neither the shellfish nor the water in which they are or were maintained comes into contact with water in the state and with other fish and/or [or] shellfish.

(30) Shellfish disease specialist-A person with a degree in veterinary medicine or a Ph.D. who specializes in disease of shellfish

(31)[(30)] Triploid grass or black carp—A grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) or black carp (Mylophryngodon piceus) that [which] has been certified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as having 72 chromosomes and as being functionally sterile.

(32)[(31)] Waste—Waste shall have the same meaning as in Chapter 26, §26.001(6) of the Texas Water Code.

(33)[(32)] Water in the state—Water in the state shall have the same meaning as in Chapter 26, §26.001(5) of the Texas Water Code.

(34)[(33)] Wastewater treatment facility—All contiguous land and fixtures, structures or appurtenances used for treating wastewater pursuant to a valid permit issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

§57.113. Exceptions.

(a) A person who holds a valid Exotic Species Permit issued by the department may possess, propagate, sell and transport to the permittee's private facilities exotic harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish and aquatic plants only as authorized in the permit provided the harmful or potentially harmful exotic species are to be used exclusively:

(1) as experimental organisms in a department approved research program; or

(2) for exhibit in a public aquarium approved for display of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish and aquatic plants.

(b) A person may possess exotic harmful or potentially harmful fish or shellfish, exclusive of grass carp, without a permit, if the [intestines of the] fish or shellfish have been gutted or beheaded[removed], or in the case of oysters, if the oysters have been shucked or otherwise removed from their shells.

(c) A person may possess grass carp harvested from public waters that have not been permitted for triploid grass carp, without a permit, if the grass carp[intestines] have been gutted or beheaded[removed].

(d) An aquaculturist[A fish farmer] who holds a valid exotic species permit issued by the department may possess, propagate, transport or sell water spinach, triploid grass carp [(Ctenopharyngodon idella)], silver carp [(Hypophthalmicthys molitrix)], triploid black carp [(Mylophryngogon piceus, also] commonly known as snail carp), bighead carp [(Aristichthys/Hypophthalmicthys nobilis)], blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureusa [Tilapia aurea]), Mozambique tilapia (O. mossambica[Tilapia mossambica]), Nile tilapia (O. nilotocusa[Tilapia nilotica]), [water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica),] or hybrids between the three tilapia species, unless otherwise provided by conditions of the permit or these rules.

(e) An aquaculturist[A fish farmer] who holds a valid exotic species permit issued by the department may possess, propagate, transport, or sell Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) provided the exotic shellfish meet disease free certification requirements listed in §57.114 of this title (relating to Health Certification of Exotic Shellfish) and as provided by conditions of the permit and these rules.

(f) An operator of a wastewater treatment facility in possession of a valid exotic species permit issued by the department may possess and transport permitted exotic species to their facility only for the purpose of wastewater treatment.

(g) A person may possess Mozambique tilapia in a private pond or private facility subject to compliance with §57.116(d) of this title (relating to Exotic Species Transport Invoice).

(h) The holder of a valid triploid grass carp permit issued by the department may possess triploid grass carp as provided by conditions of the permit and these rules.

(i) A licensed retail or wholesale fish dealer is not required to have an exotic species permit to purchase or possess:

(1) live individuals of triploid grass carp, silver carp, triploid black carp, bighead carp, blue tilapia, Mozambique tilapia, Nile tilapia [species] or hybrids of those species [listed in subsection (d) of this section] held in the place of business, unless the retail or wholesale fish dealer propagates one or more of these species. However, such a dealer may sell or deliver these species to another person only if the fish have been gutted or beheaded [the intestines or head of the fish are removed]; or

(2) Live Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) held in the place of business if the place of business is not located within the excusion zone described in §57.111 of this title (relating to Definitions) [Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Species Exclusion Zone]. However, such a dealer may only sell or deliver this species to another person if the shrimp are dead and packaged on ice or frozen.

(j) The department is authorized to stock triploid grass carp into public waters in situations where the department has determined that there is a legitimate need, and when stocking will not affect threatened or endangered species, coastal wetlands, or specific management objectives for other important species.

(k) An aquaculturist[A fish farmer] who holds a valid exotic species permit issued by the department may possess, propagate, transport and sell Pacific blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) provided the exotic shellfish are cultured under quarantine conditions in private facilities located outside the harmful or potentially harmful exotic species exclusion zone, and meet disease free certification requirements listed in §57.114 of this title (relating to Health Certification of Exotic Shellfish) and as provided by conditions of the permit and these rules.

(l) A person operating[An operator of] a mechanical plant harvester in accordance with the provisions[possession] of a valid exotic species permit issued by the department may remove and dispose of prohibited plant species from public or private waters only by means authorized in the permit.

(m) Any person may possess water[Water] spinach [(Ipomoea aquatica)] for personal consumption.

§57.114. Health Certification of Exotic Shellfish.

(a) All disease free certification of exotic shellfish must be conducted by a shellfish disease specialist approved by the department.

(b) Any person importing live exotic shellfish from facilities outside the state must prior to importation:

(1) provide documentation to the department that the shellfish to be imported have been inspected and certified as disease-free by a department-approved shellfish disease specialist; and

(2) receive acknowledgment from the department that the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection have been met.

(c) Any person in possession of exotic shellfish for the purpose of production of postlarvae must provide to the department monthly certification that nauplii and postlarvae have been examined and are certified to be disease-free. If certification cannot be provided, the exotic shellfish must be maintained in quarantine condition until the department acknowledges in writing that the stock is disease-free or specifies in writing condition(s) under which the quarantine can be removed.

(d) Any person in possession of exotic shellfish stocks who observes one or more of the manifestations of disease appearing on the clinical analysis checklist provided by the department shall:

(1) immediately place the entire facility under quarantine condition [the entire facility], immediately notify the department and immediately request an inspection from a certified inspector[department approved examiner]; or

(2) immediately place the entire facility under quarantine condition [the entire facility], immediately notify the department and immediately submit samples of the affected shellfish to a department approved shellfish disease specialist for analysis. Results of such analyses shall be forwarded to the department immediately upon receipt.

(e) Upon receiving a request from a permit holder under subsection (d)(1) of this section, the certified inspector [department approved examiner] shall inspect the private facility, complete the clinical analysis checklist provided by the department, and submit copies of the checklist to the department and the permit holder.

(f) No more than 14 days prior to [Before] harvesting ponds or discharging any waste [for the first time in any calendar year] into or adjacent to water in the state, the permittee shall:

(1) have a certified inspector visit [department approved examiner inspect] the facility and examine samples of the shellfish from each[the] pond or other structure from which waste will be discharged or from which shellfish will be harvested or from any other pond or structure that in the opinion of the certified inspector requires further investigation [containing exotic shellfish no more than 14 days prior to the first discharge or harvest] and shall submit the results of the examination to the department on the [department approved] clinical analysis checklist; or

(2) submit samples of the shellfish from each[the] pond or other structure containing exotic shellfish to a department approved shellfish disease specialist for analysis no more than 14 days prior to the first discharge or harvest and submit the results of such analyses to the department immediately upon receipt.

(g) If the results of an inspection performed under subsection (f)(1) of this section indicate the presence of one or more manifestations of disease, the permittee shall immediately place the entire facility under quarantine condition and immediately submit samples of the shellfish from the affected portion(s) of the facility to a department approved shellfish disease specialist for analysis. Results of such analyses shall be forwarded to the department immediately upon receipt.

(h) If the results of analyses performed under subsection (f)(2) of this section indicate the presence of disease, the permittee shall immediately place the entire facility under quarantine condition.

(i) If the results from inspections or analyses from a [A] private facility quarantined under subsections (d), (g) or (h) of this section indicate the presence of disease, the facility shall remain under quarantine condition until the department removes the quarantine condition in writing or authorizes in writing other actions deemed appropriate by the department based on the required analyses.

(j) If the results of inspections or analyses[testing] performed under subsection (f) of this section indicate the absence of any manifestations of disease, the permittee may begin discharging from the facility.

§57.115. Transportation of Exotic Species.

(a) Transport of live harmful or potentially harmful exotic species is prohibited except by:

(1) An aquaculturist[ a fish farmer] in possession of a valid exotic species permit and an exotic species transport invoice [Exotic Species Permit and an exotic Species Transport Invoice];

(2) a commercial shipper acting for the permit holder in possession of an exotic species transport invoice[Exotic Species Transport Invoice];

(3) persons holding exotic species pursuant to limitations of §57.113 of this title (relating to Exceptions).

(b) An aquaculturist[ a fish farmer] transporting live triploid grass or black carp must have sales invoices which account for all triploid grass or black carp being transported and a copy of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service certification declaring that the carp being transported have been certified as being triploid in addition to meeting requirements of Chapter 134 of the Agriculture Code.

§57.116. Exotic Species Invoice.

(a) An exotic species transport invoice shall contain all the following information correctly stated and legibly written: invoice number; date of shipment; name, address, and phone number of the shipper; name, address, and phone number of the receiver; aquaculture[fish farmer's Aquaculture] license number and exotic species permit number, if applicable; number and total weight of each harmful or potentially harmful exotic species; a check mark indicating interstate import, interstate export, or intrastate type of shipment. A completed invoice shall accompany each shipment of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species sold or transferred, and shall be sequentially numbered during the permit period; no invoice number shall be used more than once during any one permit period by the permittee.

(b) The exotic species transport invoice shall be provided by the permittee; one copy shall be retained by the permittee for a period of at least one year following shipping date and one copy shall be forwarded to the department's Exotic Species Program Leader.

(c) The permittee is responsible for supplying completed copies of the exotic species transport invoice to out-of-state dealers from which the permittee has purchased and or received harmful or potentially harmful exotic species, or to whom harmful or potentially harmful exotic species are transferred so that shipment will be properly marked and numbered upon delivery to the permittee in Texas.

(d) Owners, or their agents, of private ponds stocked with Mozambique tilapia or triploid grass carp by an Exotic Species Permit holder shall retain a copy of the Exotic Species Transport Invoice for a period of one year after the stocking date or as long as the tilapia or triploid grass carp are in the water, whichever is longer.

§57.117. Exotic Species Permit: [Fee and] Application Requirements.

(a) To be considered for an exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit], the applicant shall:

(1) meet one or more of the following criteria:

(A) possess a valid aquaculture license[Aquaculture License];

(B) possess a valid permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality authorizing operation of a wastewater treatment facility;

(C) possess a department approved research proposal involving use of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish or aquatic plants; [or]

(D) operate a public aquarium approved for display of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish or aquatic plants; or

(E) operate a facility approved by the department for the possession and propagation of harmful or potentially harmful exotic aquatic plants;

(2) complete and submit an initial exotic species permit application on a form provided by the department;

(3) submit an accurate-to-scale plat of the aquaculture facility specifically including, but not limited to, location of:

(A) all private facilities and owner's name and physical address including a designation on the plat of all private facilities which will be used for possession of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species;

(B) all structures which drain private facilities;

(C) all points at which private facility effluent is discharged from the private facilities or the aquaculture facility[fish farm];

(D) all structures designed to prevent escapement of harmful or potentially harmful species from the aquaculture facility[fish farm];

(E) any vats, raceways, or other structures to be used in holding harmful or potentially harmful exotic species;

(4) demonstrate to the department that an existing aquaculture facility[fish farm], private facility or wastewater treatment facility meets requirements of §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Private Facility Criteria);

(5) remit to the department all applicable fees.

(b) Applicants for an exotic species permit for culture of harmful or potentially harmful exotic shellfish must meet all exotic species permit application requirements and requirements for disease free certification as listed in §57.114 of this title (relating to Health Certification of Exotic Shellfish).

(c) An applicant for an exotic species permit shall provide upon request from the department documentation necessary to identify any harmful or potentially harmful exotic species and confirm the source of origin for the species for which a permit is sought.

(d) An applicant for an exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] whose facility is located within the harmful or potentially harmful exotic species exclusion zone as defined in §57.111 of this title (relating to Definitions) must submit an emergency plan[Emergency Plan] to the department for review and approval. The plan shall include measures sufficient to prevent release or escapement of permitted harmful or potentially harmful exotic species into public water during a natural catastrophe (such as a hurricane or flood).

§57.118. Exotic Species Permit Issuance.

(a) The department may issue an exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] only to:

(1) an aquaculturist[a fish farmer] and only for species listed in §57.113(d), (e), and (k) of this title (relating to Exceptions);

(2) a wastewater treatment facility operator;

(3) department approved research programs; or

(4) a public aquarium for display purposes only.

(b) The department may issue an exotic species permit upon a finding by the department that:

(1) all application requirements as set out in §57.117 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Fee and Application Requirements) have been met;

(2) the aquaculture facility[fish farm] operated by the applicant and named in the permit meets or will meet the design criteria listed in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Private Facility Criteria);

(3) the applicant has complied with all provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.007, §66.015, and these rules during the one-year period preceding the date of application.

(c) Permits issued for aquaculture facilities[fish farms], private facilities or wastewater treatment facilities under construction shall not authorize possession of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish or aquatic plants until such time as the department has certified that the aquaculture facility[fish farm], private facilities or wastewater treatment facility as-built meets the requirements in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Private Facility Criteria).

§57.119. Exotic Species Permit: Requirements for Permits.

(a) A copy of the exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] shall be:

(1) made available for inspection upon request of authorized department personnel; and

(2) prominently displayed on the premises of the aquaculture facility[fish farm], private facilities or wastewater treatment facility named in the permit.

(b) Permittee must provide access to all facilities covered by the application to authorized department personnel during any hours in which operations pursuant to the exotic species permit are ongoing.

(c) If a permittee discontinues aquaculture[fish farming], research activities or public aquarium display involving harmful or potentially harmful exotic species or discontinues wastewater treatment, the permittee shall:

(1) immediately and lawfully sell, transfer or destroy all remaining individuals of that species in possession; and

(2) notify the department's Exotic Species Program Leader at least 14 days prior to cessation of operation.

(d) Upon a request, a permittee shall provide an adequate number of fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants to authorized department employees for identification and analyses.

(e) In the event that the aquaculture facility[fish farm], private facilities or a wastewater treatment facility of a permit holder appears in imminent danger of overflow, flooding, or release of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish or aquatic plants into public water, the permittee shall:

(1) immediately notify the department;

(2) immediately begin implementation of the department-approved emergency plan[department approved Emergency Plan].

(f) Except in case of an emergency, a holder of an exotic species permit authorizing possession of Litoenaeus vannamei must notify the department at least 72 hours prior to, but not more than 14[seven] days prior to any harvesting of permitted shellfish. In an emergency beyond the control of the permittee, notification of harvest must be made as early as practicable prior to beginning of harvest operations.

(g) A holder of an exotic species permit authorizing possession of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species may sell or transfer ownership of live individuals only to the holder of a valid exotic species permit specifically authorizing possession of transferred species.

(h) Upon discovery of release or escapement of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish from any private facilities authorized in an exotic species permit, the permittee must immediately halt discharge of all private facility effluent from the aquaculture facility[fish farm]. If the permittee's private facility is located within an aquaculture[a fish farm] complex, upon discovery or release or escapement of harmful or potentially harmful fish or shellfish, the permittee must immediately halt discharge of all private facility effluent.

(i) A holder of an exotic species permit must notify the department's Exotic Species Program Leader in the event of escapement or release of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish, within two hours of discovery.

(j) All devices required in the exotic species permit for prevention of discharge of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants must be in place and properly maintained prior to and at all times such species are in possession.

(k) All private facility effluent discharged from an aquaculture facility[a fish farm] holding exotic harmful or potentially harmful species must be routed through all devices for prevention of discharge of exotic species as required in the permit.

(l) A permittee must notify the department's Exotic Species Program Leader in the event of change of ownership of the aquaculture facility[fish farm] named in that permittee's exotic species permit. Notification must be made immediately.

(m) Permits are not transferable from site to site.

§57.120. Exotic Species Permit: Expiration and Renewal

(a) An exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permits] required by these rules expire on December 31 of the year issued.

(b) The department may renew an exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] upon finding that:

(1) the applicant has met application requirements in §57.117 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Fee and Application Requirements);

(2) the facility will meet all applicable facility design criteria listed in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit: Private Facility Criteria);

(3) the applicant has complied with all provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.007, §66.015, and these rules during the one-year period preceding the date of agency action on the application for renewal; and

(4) the applicant has submitted a renewal application and all required annual reports to the department as required in §57.123(a) and (b) of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit Reports).

§57.121. Exotic Species Permit – Amendment.

(a) Exotic species permits may be amended upon a finding by the department that:

(1) the applicant has complied with all provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.007, §66.015, all provisions of the[conditions in] permit, and these rules during the one-year period preceding the date of application;

(2) the applicant has met all applicable application requirements under §57.117 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit—Fee Application Requirements); and

(3) the facilities as altered will meet the private facility criteria in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit).

(b) Exotic species permits must be amended to reflect any:

(1) addition or deletion of species of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants held pursuant to the permit;

(2) intended redistribution of harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants into private facilities not authorized in the permit;

(3) change in methods of preventing discharge of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants;

(4) change in discharge of private facility effluent from aquaculture facilities[fish farms] or wastewater treatment facilities; and

(5) change in existing design criteria listed in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit—Private Facility Criteria).

(c) Applicants seeking amendment of exotic species permits, including those issued prior to January 23, 1992, must meet all application requirements listed in §57.117 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit—Fee and Application Requirements) and facility design criteria listed in §57.129 of this title (relating to Exotic Species Permit—Private Facility Criteria).

§57.122. Appeal. An opportunity for hearing shall be provided to the applicant or permit holder for any denial of an exotic species permit or a triploid grass carp permit or where the terms of issuance are different from those requested by the applicant.

(1) Requests for hearings shall be made in writing to the department no more than 30 days from receipt of the denial notification.

(2) All hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of practice and procedure of the State Office of Administrative Hearings and applicable provisions of Government Code[Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Administrative Procedure Act].

§57.123. Exotic Species Permit Reports.

(a) The exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] holder shall submit an annual report that accounts for importation, possession, transport, sale, transfer or other disposition of any harmful or potentially harmful exotic species handled by the permittee. This report shall be submitted on forms provided by the department with the application and shall be due January 10 of each year.

(b) An exotic species permit[Exotic Species Permit] holder who has imported, possessed, transported, transferred or sold triploid grass carp shall provide a copy of each exotic species transport invoice issued and a copy of each triploid grass carp certification received by the permittee for triploid grass carp purchased during the past year with their annual report.

§57.124. Triploid Grass Carp; Sale, Purchase.

(a) Triploid grass carp may be sold only by a holder of an exotic species permit authorizing possession of triploid grass carp, and only to:

(1) a person in possession of a valid exotic species permit authorizing possession of triploid grass carp; or

(2) a person in possession of a valid triploid grass carp permit, and only in an amount less than or equal to that number specified in the permit.

(b) A person who holds a valid triploid grass carp permit may purchase triploid grass carp only from a Texas aquaculturist[fish farmer] in possession of a valid exotic species permit authorizing possession of triploid grass carp, and only in an amount less than or equal to that number specified in the triploid grass carp permit.

(c) A holder of an exotic species permit may obtain triploid grass carp only from:

(1) the holder of a valid exotic species permit authorizing possession of triploid grass carp; or

(2) a lawful source outside of the state.

(d) An aquaculturist[A fish farmer] in possession of an exotic species permit must notify the department not less than 72 hours prior to taking possession of any and all shipments of triploid grass carp received from any source. Notification must include:

(1) number of triploid grass carp being purchased;

(2) source of triploid grass carp;

(3) final destination of triploid grass carp;

(4) name of certifying authority who conducted triploid grass carp certification; and

(5) name, address and aquaculture[fish farmer's Aquaculture] license number (if applicable) of both shipper and receiver.

§57.129. Exotic Species Permit: Private Facility Criteria.

(a) The aquaculture facility[fish farm] or wastewater treatment facility must be designed to prevent discharge of water containing adult or juvenile harmful or potentially harmful exotic species, their eggs, seeds or other reproductive parts from the permittee's property.

(b) Aquaculture facilities[Fish farms] holding harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish shall have at least three appropriately designed and constructed permanent screens placed between any point in the aquaculture facility[fish farm] where harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish are intended to be in water on the aquaculture facility[fish farm] and the point where private facility effluent first leaves the aquaculture facility[fish farm].

(1) Screen mesh shall be of an appropriate size for each stage of exotic fish or shellfish growth and development.

(2) One screen must be permanently affixed in front of the final discharge pipe in the harvest structure and remain in place while the pond is in use. This screen and backing material must be of sufficient strength to withstand a water level differential of the height of the discharge area.

(3) At those facilities which discharge into public waters, one screen must be secured over the terminal end of the discharge pipe at all times. This screen must be secured in such a fashion as to prevent escape of permitted species. A second, additional screen must be secured over the terminal end of the discharge pipe during all harvest activities.

(4) Screens must be designed and constructed such that screens can be maintained and cleaned without reducing the level of protection against release of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish. The department may approve alternate methods of preventing discharge of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish upon a finding that those methods are at least as effective in preventing discharge of adult or juvenile harmful or potentially harmful exotic species, their eggs, seeds, or other reproductive parts from the permittee's property. The point of discharge of all mechanical harvesting devices must be double screened to prevent escapement of harmful or potentially harmful fish or shellfish.

(c) An aquaculture facility that is[Fish farms which are] to contain species or hybrids of species listed in §57.113 of this title (relating to Exceptions) and wastewater treatment facilities containing permitted exotic species which are within the 100-year flood plain, referred to as Zone A on the National Flood Insurance Program Flood Insurance Rate Map, must be enclosed within an earthen or concrete dike or levee constructed in such a manner to exclude all flood waters and such that no section of the crest of the dike or levee is less than one foot above the 100-year flood elevation. Dike design or construction must be approved by the department before issuance of a permit.

(d) An aquaculture facility[Fish farms] containing harmful or potentially harmful exotic shellfish shall be capable of segregating stocks of shellfish which have not been certified as free of disease from other stocks of shellfish on that aquaculture facility[fish farm].

(e) An aquaculture facility[A fish farm] containing harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish must have in place security measures designed to prevent unrestricted or uncontrolled access to any private facilities containing harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish. Security measures must prevent unauthorized removal of such species from the fish farm.

(f) For aquaculture facilities[fish farms] that are part of an aquaculture[a fish farm] complex, the following additional facility standards shall apply.

(1) Each permittee shall maintain in the common drainage at least one screen for preventing the movement of harmful or potentially harmful exotic fish or shellfish between the point where private facility effluent from the permittee's private facility[fish farm] enters the common drainage and each point where an adjacent aquaculturist’s[fish farmer's] private facility effluent enters the common drainage. The adequacy of design and construction of such screens or other structures shall be determined by the department as provided in subsection (a)(1) of this section.

(2) Each permittee within the complex must have authority to stop the discharge of private facility effluent from the complex in the event of escapement or release of such fish or shellfish from that permittee's private facility[fish farm].

§57.130. Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit.

(a) Transport of live harmful or potentially harmful exotic species originating from a point of origin outside the state of Texas and being transported through Texas to a destination outside of the state of Texas is prohibited except by the holder of an exotic species permit or an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Permit or an Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit].

(b) Anyone transporting live harmful or potentially harmful exotic species must provide documentation accounting, collectively, for all exotic species being transported.

§57.131. Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit: Application and Issuance.

(a) The department shall charge a nonrefundable exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] application fee as specified in Chapter 53 of this title (relating to Finance)[of either:]

[(1) $25 for individual permits; or]

[(2) $100 for an annual permit].

(b) To apply for an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] an applicant shall:

(1) complete and submit an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] application on a form provided by the department;

(2) remit to the department's Exotic Species Program Leader all applicable fees.

(c) An applicant for an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] shall provide documentation upon request from the department necessary to identify any harmful or potentially harmful exotic species and source of origin of the species for which the permit is sought.

(d) The department may issue an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] upon a finding that all provisions of subsections (a)-(c) of this section have been met.

§57.132. Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit: Permittee Requirements.

(a) A copy of the exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] shall be made available for inspection immediately upon request of authorized department personnel.

(b) Permittee must provide access to shipments of exotic species to authorized department personnel during the effective date of the permit.

(c) Permittee must notify the department's Exotic Species Program Leader in writing or by facsimile transmission at least 72 hours prior to transport of live harmful or potentially harmful exotic species indicating transport date, intended transportation route, and name and physical address of recipient.

(d) While transporting harmful or potentially harmful exotic species within the state of Texas, a holder of an exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] must notify the department's Exotic Species Program Leader in the event of escapement or release of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species within two hours of release.

(e) Except as provided by the terms and conditions of the exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit], offloading or transfer of shipments of harmful or potentially harmful exotic species in the state of Texas is prohibited.

§57.133. Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit: Expiration and Renewal.

(a) An exotic species interstate transport permit expires[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permits expire] as stated on the permit.

(b) A separate exotic species interstate transport permit[Exotic Species Interstate Transport Permit] must be issued for each vehicle, trailer or other such transporting unit when transporting live harmful or potentially harmful species through the state.

§57.134. Wastewater Discharge Authority.

(a) An applicant for an initial exotic species permit must provide the following:

(1) written documentation demonstrating that the applicant possesses the appropriate valid wastewater discharge authorization or has received an exemption from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality if the aquaculture facility, aquaculture complex,[fish farm, fish farm complex]or private facility is designed such that a discharge of waste into or adjacent to water in the state will, or is likely to occur; or

(2) adequate documentation to demonstrate that the facility is designed and will be operated in a manner such that no discharge of waste into or adjacent to water in the state will, or is likely to occur.

(b) An applicant for an amendment or a renewal of an exotic species permit must provide the following:

(1) written documentation demonstrating that the applicant possesses or has timely applied for and is diligently pursuing the appropriate wastewater discharge authorization or exemption from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in accordance with 30 TAC Chapter 321, Subchapter O, if the aquaculture facility, aquaculture complex,[fish farm, fish farm complex] or private facility is designed such that a discharge of waste into or adjacent to water in the state will, or is likely to occur; or

(2) adequate documentation to demonstrate that the facility is designed and will be operated in a manner such that no discharge of waste into or adjacent to water in the state will, or is likely to occur.

(c) An exotic species permittee whose wastewater discharge authorization or exemption is revoked, suspended or annulled by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be treated as an applicant for an initial permit under subsection (a) of this section.

§57.136. Penalties. The penalties for violation of this subchapter are prescribed by Parks and Wildlife Code, §66.012 and Agriculture Code, §134.023.


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Larry McKinney

Regulations Committee
Texas Flounder – Status Update
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: The southern flounder, Paralichthys lethostigma, is the largest of more than 25 species of flatfishes that occur in Texas coastal waters and a species whose future is of increasing concern to fishery managers and anglers alike. While the southern flounder is found from North Carolina southward into Mexico, they are most common west of the Mississippi River and Texas is the epicenter of the population. It is a highly sought species by commercial fisheries and a staple of any Texas seafood restaurant. It is the most valuable commercial finfish fishery in Texas with total landings of about 160,000 pounds a year at an ex-vessel price of $2.00/pound, or more. Sport boat anglers land about 200,000 pounds a year and while the flatfish may not be a primary target of most anglers, it does make up one part of a "Texas Slam" that includes red drum and spotted seatrout. The lowly flounder has seen a growing appreciation by anglers in recent years, especially during the fabled fall flounder runs as these fish head out of the bays and into shallow coastal waters to spawn. The sport boat angler's estimate of the number of flounder landed does not include wade bank and recreational gig anglers, but in the past this group has equated for another 25 percent or more fish to the total recreational flounder catches, but based on all indications this portion of the recreational catch is probably growing. All of these factors have raised concerns about the health of the southern flounder stocks.

The biology and life history of the southern flounder makes it especially susceptible to harvest throughout its entire life cycle by various types of fishing gear. Nonetheless, some indications of success are beginning to surface from analysis of long-term monitoring efforts. When viewing the overall population in terms of relative abundance along the coast, the population declined through the 1980's until the mid-1990's. Then the population appeared to stabilize and is presently showing some signs of increasing slightly in the most recent years.

Most adult flounder leave the bays during the fall and head out into the shallow offshore waters to spawn. They return to the bays at a more gradual pace over the spring. By taking advantage of tides and currents in late winter and early spring, the young flounder steadily move back into the bays and estuaries from which the adults emerged the previous fall. As they grow, they move further into the bays and often enter into the lower reaches of coastal rivers and bayous. This early part of their life cycle closely parallels brown shrimp and both species seem to prefer similar bottoms. For that reason, the young flounder are particularly vulnerable to trawling during this April to September period. It is not only a habitat link between these species but also one of predator and prey.

There are three primary man-made causes of flounder mortality: bycatch from shrimp trawling, recreational angling and commercial harvest and these occur in addition to natural mortality. Certainly, other causes exist that may reduce flounder populations, such as loss of coastal habitat, but our focus here is on these direct causes. Shrimp fishery bycatch accounts for approximately 82 percent of losses, recreational fishing accounts for 10 percent and commercial take accounts for the remaining 8 percent. This breakdown is key for any management decisions that aid in rebuilding future stocks to historic levels.

The briefing will summarize actions taken to date that have had positive impact on flounder populations and present the pros and cons of various additional management that might be considered.


Back to Top
Back to Top