Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, November 4, 2009

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744

Commissioner T. Dan Friedkin, Committee Chair
Ross Melinchuk, Committee Liaison

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Listing of Certain Mussel Species as State-Threatened - Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (Action Item No. 7)
    Staff: Wendy Gordon
  3. 2010-2011 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Preview
    Staff: Clayton Wolf, Ken Kurzawski, Robin Riechers
  4. Deer Breeder Rules - Deer Importation - Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (Action Item No. 10)
    Staff: Kevin Schwausch
  5. Proposed New State Falconry Regulations - Raptor Proclamation - Permission to Post Rules in the Texas Register
    Staff: Matt Reidy
  6. Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants - Special Provision - Water Spinach Regulations - Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (Action Item No. 6)
    Staff: Gary Saul

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Regulations Committee
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
November 4, 2009

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 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. 3
Presenter: Clayton Wolf
Ken Kurzawski
Robin Riechers

Regulations Committee
2010-2011 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation Preview
Potential Changes
November 4, 2009

I. Executive Summary: This item apprises the committee of potential changes to the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation for the 2010-2011 seasons.

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. The potential 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 - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Potential Changes to the 2010-2011 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Potential Changes to the 2010-2011 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Wildlife

Mule Deer
The Wildlife Division is considering a recommendation to implement an open general season in Dawson and Wheeler counties. Under current rule, there is no open season for mule deer in Dawson or Wheeler counties. Implementing a nine-day, buck-only season in Dawson County and a 16-day, buck-only season in Wheeler County would offer increased hunter opportunity without adversely impacting mule deer reproduction or distribution. The literature suggests that the implementation of a buck-only season will not have any measurable impact on herd productivity or expansion; however, a measurable change in the age structure of bucks is anticipated as a result of harvest pressure on a previously unhunted population.

Inland Fisheries

The Inland Fisheries Division is considering a recommendation concerning only nonsubstantive clarifications and housekeeping-type changes.

Coastal Fisheries

The Coastal Fisheries Division will be obtaining public input regarding a potential regulation change to lower the minimum size limit for snook.

General

Changes necessary to organizationally separate the body of regulations governing commercial fishing from the regulations regarding recreational fishing. Also, staff may recommend changes to reporting requirements for commercial fishing.


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenters: Matt Reidy

Regulations Committee
Proposed New State Falconry Regulations - Raptor Proclamation
November 4, 2009

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks permission to publish proposed new state falconry regulations. The new rules would:

II. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 49, the Commission may prescribe rules for the taking, capture, possession, propagation, transportation, export, import, and sale of raptors, the times and areas from which raptors may be taken or captured, and species that may be taken or captured; provide standards for possessing and housing raptors held under a permit; prescribe annual reporting requirements and procedures; prescribe eligibility requirements and fees for and issue any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit; and require and regulate the identification of raptors held by permit holders.

The practice of falconry is regulated at both the state and federal levels. The federal authority to regulate falconry is derived from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. As with all migratory bird rules, the states may adopt rules that are more restrictive than the federal rules, but may not adopt rules that are less restrictive.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has recently conducted a significant revision of federal falconry rules. As a consequence of the new federal falconry regulations, the Texas falconry rules must be revised. The proposed new rules would make Texas falconry rules consistent with federal falconry rules.


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