Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, May 21, 2008

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Commissioner T. Dan Friedkin, Committee Chair
Scott Boruff, Committee Liaison

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    • New Bycatch Reduction Devices
    • Nongame Wildlife Rules – Modification of Proposal
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Request Permission to Review Rules
    • Chapter 51 – Executive
    • Chapter 52 – Wildlife and Fisheries
    • Chapter 55 – Law Enforcement
    • Chapter 61 – Design and Construction
    Staff: Ann Bright
  3. Migratory Game Bird Proclamation – Permission to Publish
    Staff: Vernon Bevill
  4. Offshore Aquaculture Rules (Action Item No. 9)
    Staff: Mike Ray
  5. Public Hunting Program Update
    Staff: Mike Berger, Linda Campbell
  6. Public Lands Proclamation (Action Item No. 7)
    • Hunter Recruitment Events
    • Open Season on Public Hunting Lands
    • Public Hunting Activities on State Parks
    Staff: Linda Campbell

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Regulations Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
May 2008

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith 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 Carter Smith 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: Ann Bright

Regulations Committee
Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Permission to Publish
May 2008

I. Executive Summary: Section 2001.039 of the Texas Government Code requires state agencies to review each rule under its jurisdiction at least once every four years.

II. Discussion:A state agency's review of a rule must include an assessment of whether the reasons for initially adopting the rule continue to exist. Under the requirements of this statute, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) must now review the following chapters of Title 31 of the Texas Administrative Code: Chapter 51, Executive; Chapter 52, Wildlife and Fisheries; Chapter 55, Law Enforcement; Chapter 61, Design and Construction.

With Commission approval, the agency will publish a Notice of Intent to Review for public comment in the Texas Register.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
May 2008

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. The Service typically 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, staff recommends adoption of the most liberal provisions possible, while affording all necessary protection to the resource.

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Early Season
  2. Exhibit B – Proposed Late Season

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Summary: Proposed 2008-2009 Dove, Teal, Rail, Snipe, and Gallinule Open Seasons, Shooting Hours, Bag and Possession Limits

  1. Mourning doves and white-winged doves
    1. North Zone:
      1. Dates: 60 consecutive days beginning Monday, September 1 (Sept.1–Oct.30, 2008).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 15 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 30 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    2. Central Zone:
      1. Dates: 60 consecutive days beginning Monday, September 1 (Sept. 1-Oct. 30, 2008), and 10 consecutive days beginning Friday, December 26 (Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    3. South Zone except special white-winged dove area:
      1. Dates: 51 consecutive days beginning Saturday, September 20 (Sept. 20 — Nov. 9, 2008) and 19 consecutive days beginning Friday, December 26 (Dec.26, 2008–Tues., Jan.13, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    4. Special White-winged Dove Area in the South Zone:
      1. Dates: The first two complete weekends in September (Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 2008) and 51 consecutive days beginning Saturday, September 20 (Sept 20 — Sun., Nov.9, 2008) and 15 consecutive days beginning Friday, December 26 (Dec.26, 2008 –Tues., Jan.9, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: noon to sunset on first two complete weekends in Sept., thereafter one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits:
        1. First two complete weekends in September: 12 white-winged, mourning and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 4 mourning doves and 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 8 mourning doves and 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
        2. Thereafter: 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate including no more than 2 white-tipped doves per day; 24 in aggregate including no more than 4 white-tipped doves in possession.
    5. Falconry only- Statewide
      1. Dates: Nov. 19-Dec. 25, 2008
      2. Bag and possession limits: 3 in the aggregate, and 6 in the aggregate
  2. Teal (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon).
    1. Legal Firearms — Statewide:
      1. Dates: 16 consecutive days beginning on the 3rd Saturday in September (Sept.15-30, 2007) except the High Plains Mallard Management Unit is 9 consecutive days (Sept. 15–23, 2007).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 4 and 8 in the aggregate, respectively.
  3. Rails
    1. Legal Firearms — Statewide:
      1. Dates: 16 consecutive days (Sept.13-28, 2008) and 54 consecutive days beginning November 1 (Nov. 1-Dec. 24, 2008).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits:
        1. King and clapper rails: 15 and 30, respectively.
        2. Sora and Virginia rails: 25 and 25, respectively.
    2. Falconry only- Statewide
      1. Dates: Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 31, 2009
      2. Bag and possession limits: 3 in the aggregate, and 6 in the aggregate
  4. Gallinules. All species (common moorhen and purple gallinule).
    1. Legal Firearms — Statewide:
      1. Dates: 16 consecutive days (Sept. 13 — 28, 2008) and 54 consecutive days beginning November 1 (Nov. 1 — Dec. 24, 2008).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 15 and 30, respectively.
    2. Falconry only- Statewide
      1. Dates: Dec. 26- Jan. 31, 2009
      2. Bag and possession limits: 3 in the aggregate, and 6 in the aggregate
  5. Woodcock.
    1. Legal Firearms — Statewide
      1. Dates: 45 consecutive days beginning Thursday, December 18 (Dec.18, 2008-Jan.31, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 3 and 6, respectively.
    2. Falconry only- Statewide
      1. Dates: Nov. 24-Dec. 17, 2008
      2. Bag and possession limits: 3 in the aggregate, and 6 in the aggregate
  6. Wilson’s snipe (Common snipe or jacksnipe)
    1. Legal Firearms — Statewide
      1. Dates: 107 consecutive days beginning Saturday, November 1 (Nov. 1 2008–Feb.15, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 8 and 16, respectively.
  7. Sandhill Crane (A permit is required of any person hunting sandhill cranes in areas where an open season is provided.)
    1. Zone A
      1. Dates: 93 consecutive days beginning Saturday, November 1 (Nov. 1, 2008–Feb.1, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 3 and 6, respectively.
    2. Zone B
      1. Dates: 73 consecutive days beginning Friday, November 28 (Nov. 28, 2008–Feb.8, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 3 and 6, respectively.
    3. Zone C
      1. Dates: 37 consecutive days beginning Saturday, December 20 (Dec. 20, 2008–Jan. 25, 2009).
      2. Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
      3. Bag and possession limits: 2 and 4, respectively.
  8. Red-billed pigeon, band-tailed pigeons, and shorebirds: No open season.
  9. Eurasian collared doves and rock pigeons (domestic pigeons) are not protected. There are no season length or bag limit restrictions. Hunters taking these species are advised to retain evidence of species (head or wing) on the carcass until reaching the final destination.
  10. Commission policy for the dove season opening dates for the North and Central Zones is September 1 regardless of the day of the week and the first Friday after September 20 in the South Zone. Dove zone boundaries, season dates and bag limits are the same as last year. The rail and gallinule early season are 16 days to correspond with anticipated teal season. In addition, the snipe, rail and gallinule second season opening correspond with the anticipated opening date of the general waterfowl season.
2007-2008 Waterfowl Hunting
Season Dates
(Shooting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset)
Ducks
Zone Hunt type Dates Bag Limit
High Plains Mallard Management Unit Youth Oct. 18-19 DUCK DAILY BAG LIMIT: The daily bag limit shall be 5 ducks with the following species and sex restrictions — 2 scaup, 2 redhead, 2 wood duck; only 1 from the following aggregate bag: 1 hen mallard, or 1 pintail, or 1 canvasback, or 1 dusky duck (mottled duck, Mexican like duck, black duck and their hybrids), all other ducks not listed- 5.

Merganser Daily Bag Limit: 5 in the aggregate, to include no more than 2 hooded mergansers.

POSSESSION LIMIT: Twice the daily bag limit.
Regular Gun Oct. 25-26 Oct. 31-Jan. 25
North Youth Oct. 25-26
Regular Gun Nov. 1-30 Dec. 13-Jan. 25
Falconry Jan. 26-Feb. 9
South Youth Oct. 25-26
Regular Gun Nov. 1-30 Dec. 13-Jan. 25
Falconry Jan. 26-Feb. 9

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit B

Proposed Late Season

Geese with Conservation Order
Zone Species Dates Bag Limits
West Light and Dark Geese Nov. 1-Feb. 3 Western Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese — 20 in the aggregate; Dark geese — 4 Canada and 1 white-fronted goose.

Eastern Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese — 20 in the aggregate; 3 Canada geese and 2 White-fronted geese.

POSSESSION LIMIT: Twice the daily bag limit for dark geese, no possession limit for light geese
Light Geese (Conservation Order) Feb. 4-Mar. 29
East Light Geese

White-fronted Goose

Canada Goose
Nov. 1-Jan. 25

Nov. 1-Jan. 11

Nov. 1-Jan. 25
Light Geese (Conservation Order) Jan. 26-Mar. 29
Geese without Conservation Order
Zone Species Dates Bag Limits
West Light Geese Nov. 1-Feb. 15 Western Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese — 20 in the aggregate; Dark geese — 4 Canada and 1 white-fronted goose.

Eastern Zone Daily Bag Limit: Light geese — 20 in the aggregate; 3 Canada geese and 2 White-fronted geese.

POSSESSION LIMIT: Twice the daily bag limit for dark geese, no possession limit for light geese
Dark Geese Nov. 1-Feb. 3
East Light Geese

White-fronted Goose

Canada Goose
Nov. 1-Jan. 15

Nov. 1-Jan. 25

Nov. 1-Feb. 15

Duck, Merganser, and Coot Huntings Zones

Goose Hunting Zones


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenters: Mike Berger
Linda Campbell

Regulations Committee
Public Hunting Program Update
May 2008

I. Executive Summary: Mike Berger, Wildlife Division Director and Linda Campbell, Program Director for Private Lands and Public Hunting, will brief the Commission on public hunting opportunities available for the 2008-2009 hunting season.

Texas Parks and Wildlife makes public hunting opportunities available through a variety of means and on both public and private lands. This item will illustrate the various components of the public hunting system, how the resources are allocated and how the program has changed over time.

II. Discussion: Hunting opportunities are made available through a drawing system or through the purchase of the Annual Public Hunting Permit. Private lands are leased from landowners to provide hunting for small game, primarily doves, and to supplement the drawn hunt opportunities available for a variety of species on public lands. Staff will show how hunting opportunities have grown and/or changed over time to meet public demand and plans to expand the program.


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