Presenter: Earl Chilton

Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Action
Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish
and Aquatic Plants Rules Amendments
November 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item proposes an amendment to §57.125, concerning Harmful and Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants, specifically the waiver of the $2.00 per fish stocking fee for triploid grass carp stocked into public waters.

II. Discussion: Triploid grass carp are an effective method of aquatic plant control, but can only be used under a permit issued by the department. Under current rules, there is a $15 fee for a triploid grass carp permit and an additional fee of $2 per fish. The current rule also provides for the waiver of the $15 fee if the fish are released in public water. The proposed amendment would provide the authority to waive the $2 per fish stocking fee for triploid grass carp stocked in public waters when the department is a partner in the stocking activities. The intent of the department is to facilitate increased efforts to control noxious vegetation in the public freshwater of the state by waiving the stocking fee as well as the application fee. The amendment also clarifies that the department issues permits for the stocking of triploid grass carp in public as well as private waters.

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

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the amendments to §57.125, concerning stocking Grass Carp in Public Waters of the State with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the September, 2006, issue of the Texas Register."

Attachment – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants Rules

Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Exhibit A

Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish,
Shellfish, and Aquatic Plant Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §57.125, concerning Harmful and Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants.

Triploid grass carp are an effective method of aquatic plant control, but can only be used under a permit issued by the department. Under current rules, there is a $15 fee for a triploid grass carp permit and an additional fee of $2 per fish. The current rule also provides for the waiver of the $15 fee if the fish are released in public water. The proposed amendment would waive the $2 per fish stocking fee for triploid grass carp stocked in public waters. The intent of the department is to facilitate increased efforts to control noxious vegetation in the public freshwater of the state by waiving the stocking fee as well as the application fee. The amendment also clarifies that the department issues permits for the stocking of triploid grass carp in public as well as private waters.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the amendment as proposed is in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment. If the proposal is adopted, the department will no longer realize revenue from the $2 per fish stocking fee. For the period from 2001-2006, the department realized an average of $19,318 per fiscal year (FY) in fee revenue from triploid grass carp releases in public waters. Because the demand for grass carp permits is fluid, the department has no way to estimate how many permits will be issued in future years; however, using the five-year average as an indicator suggests that the cost to the department will be approximately $20,000 per fiscal year. There will be no fiscal implications for units of local government.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment as proposed will be an incentive for more vigorous efforts to control noxious plants in public freshwater, which in turn will result in better aquatic habitat, more robust fish populations, and greater opportunity for anglers.

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

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

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Earl Chilton, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4652 (e-mail: earl.chilton@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027, which authorizes the commission to establish and provide for the collection of a fee to cover costs associated with the review of an application for a permit required by the Parks and Wildlife Code, and §66.007, which requires the commission to promulgate rules governing the release of harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants.

The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 11 and 66.

§57.125. Triploid Grass Carp Permit; Application, Fee.

(a) The department may issue a triploid grass carp permit [to private individuals] for stocking of triploid grass carp in private or public waters.

(b) To be considered for a triploid grass carp permit, the applicant shall:

(1) complete an initial triploid grass carp permit application on a form provided by the department;

(2) submit this application to the department not less than 30 days prior to the proposed stocking date; and

(3) remit to the department the sum of the cost of the triploid grass carp permit application fee and the triploid grass carp user fee, if required.

(c) The department shall charge a triploid grass carp permit application fee in the amount of the sum of a $15 application flat fee plus $2.00 for each triploid grass carp requested on the triploid grass carp permit application form. In the case of permit denial, the triploid grass carp permit application flat fee is not refundable. All fees shall [The $15 flat fee will] be waived in the case of applications to stock triploid grass carp in public water.

(d) An applicant for a triploid grass carp permit or a permittee shall allow inspection of their facilities and ponds or lakes by authorized employees of the department during normal business hours.

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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